Robert Lewandowski's expert free-kick gave Bayern München a 1-0 victory against Group D winners Atlético Madrid, ending the visitors' hopes of a clean sweep in the section.
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Atlético Madrid were denied a clean sweep of UEFA Champions League Group D victories as Robert Lewandowski's stunning free-kick gave Bayern München a well-deserved win.
Yannick Carrasco was twice denied as the visitors sought to make an early breakthrough, yet the German champions heeded the warnings and came roaring back. From there the Bavarian side took control of the game and Douglas Costa threatened before Lewandowski's 25-metre effort capped a fine spell of dominance.
Thiago Alcántara went closest to extending Bayern's lead in the second half and, despite a late period of Atlético pressure, they were able to hold on and end the group stage on a winning note.
Key player: Arturo Vidal (Bayern)
The midfield battle was always going to be key to this affair and Bayern came out on top, thanks in no small part to Vidal's contribution. The Chilean was everywhere, never allowing the usually composed pairing of Koke and Gabi a moment's peace on the ball, while also showing his attacking prowess in a real box-to-box display.
4-3-3 has its merits for Bayern
Carlo Ancelotti was quick to defend his 4-3-3 system yesterday and this performance demonstrated why. It enabled the Bavarians to boss possession in midfield and patiently work their way towards goal, while snuffing out Atlético's attempts to counter.
The Rojiblancos were unable to make it six from six in this season's competition, although that should not detract from a brilliant Group D effort. Diego Simeone may be disappointed to have succumbed to a first defeat, especially given Bayern's supremacy on the night, but can take consolation in the fact that no team with a 100% group-stage record have gone on to lift the trophy.
Jordan Maciel, Bayern (@UEFAcomJordanM)
Bayern needed a win more than Atlético tonight and it showed on the pitch. You can only read so much into a game that had no real importance, but it was a dominant display from the hosts, which will please Ancelotti. Had they lost, questions would have been asked of the Bundesliga title holders but now they can go into the final three matches of 2016 with confidence.
Joe Walker, Atlético (@UEFAcomJoeW)
The game was similar to last season’s semi-final in the way it played out. Then Atlético sneaked a crucial goal on the counterattack; they were just unable to repeat the trick tonight. However, the hard work had been done before their visit to Bavaria and with top spot already secured it was something of a free hit, so perhaps it should not be too surprising they lacked a little urgency after an energetic opening.