In-form teams collide as Atlético welcome Bayern
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Two in-form sides collide as Atlético Madrid host Bayern München in the semi-final first leg with Josep Guardiola "relaxed" about his last chance to win the trophy at his current club.
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- Atlético Madrid welcome Bayern München in semi-final first leg
- Josep Guardiola "relaxed" about last chance to reach final with Bayern
- Atlético have won their last five games and are 422 minutes without conceding
- German side are 11 matches unbeaten, winning nine
- Bayern have lost in Spain in semi first leg in last two seasons
- Clubs have met just once before, Bayern winning 1974 final in a replay
Atlético: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Savić, Filipe Luís; Gabi, Koke, Saúl, Augusto Fernández; Griezmann, Fernando Torres.
Out: Tiago (broken leg), Godín (hamstring)
Doubtful: Carrasco (ankle)
Bayern: Neuer; Lahm, Martínez, Alaba, Bernat; Alonso, Vidal; Costa, Ribéry; Müller, Lewandowski.
Out: Robben (groin), Badstuber (ankle)
Doubtful: Boateng (match fitness), Rode (illness)
Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
We have to be thinking about one thing: winning. I'm expecting a hard match against an opponent with a lot of attacking potential, against a coach who changes from game to game. We will try to take the game into our hands where and when we can. It will be an important match in terms of the tie as a whole.
Obviously we have a coach and players with different characteristics [from Bayern's]. But in wars it isn't the side with the most soldiers that wins, rather the side that uses its soldiers better. In football or life there's no such thing as revenge, just new opportunities. They're in the same position as us. To win the league you have to win games, and we're in the same situation. I want my side to win, nothing more.
Josep Guardiola, Bayern coach
We're happy to be here in the semis – we know all the teams are difficult and Atleti are no exception. You can compare them to Barça and Madrid – when they play against the big European clubs they can confound the favourites. Simeone has managed to achieve big things. It will be a great game, complete and fun at the same time, and we'll do all we can to get the final.
Jérôme [Boateng] is here, we'll decide if he'll play tomorrow. He's one of the best centre-backs in the world, he has the experience and personality for a game like tomorrow's.
Atleti do many things. It's been five years since I was involved against them, but from what I've seen and what people say they defend well, though that's not all they do. They're extremely well organised, Koke takes a mean dead ball, they've got a good structure defensively, they close space, they have a great counterattack. They've been fighting for the league title for the last three or four seasons as well as in Europe, so you have to do almost everything very well against them. We've seen them and now we'’ll have to see what we can do in order to hurt them.
In football you have to adapt and we'll adapt to get the best result we can. In three years we've got to three semis I know that people say if I don't win the UEFA Champions League my work won't be complete, but I've been very lucky to have experienced what I have in Germany. I think I'm a better coach, a better person, more relaxed.
Atlético Madrid 1-0 Málaga (Correa 62)
Substitute Ángel Correa scored in successive games for the first time in his Atlético career as Simeone's men secured a narrow home victory. The Argentinian's shot from the edge of the box soon after the hour proved enough for Atlético to claim a fifth straight win in all competitions.
Hertha Berlin 0-2 Bayern München (Vidal 48, Douglas Costa 79)
Bayern will be confirmed as German champions with one more victory following a 2-0 win at hard-working Hertha. Arturo Vidal's deflected effort gave Guardiola's side the lead in the German capital not long after the break, but it took a stunning finish from Douglas Costa to rubber-stamp the points, with the Bavarians unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Reporter's view: Joseph Walker (@UEFAcomJoeW)
Simeone's team will be brimming with confidence after knocking out holders Barcelona in the quarter-finals, although Diego Godín's absence is a blow for the Rojiblancos and the likes of Robert Lewandowski will try to take advantage. Guardiola is desperate not to fall at this semi-final stage to Spanish opposition for a third year running before he leaves Bavaria this summer – yet Atlético are determined to spoil the leaving party.
Did you know?
Who were the scorers when Bayern beat Atlético in the 1974 European Cup final replay? Find the answer, as well as various other facts and stats, in our extensive match background.