MADRID: Atletico Madrid haunted Bayern Munich once more as Yannick Carrasco inflicted Carlo Ancelotti’s first defeat as coach of the German giants with a 1-0 win at the Vicente Calderon in the Champions League yesterday. The Spaniards eliminated Bayern on away goals in the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League and there was to be no revenge for the five-time European champions as Carrasco drove the ball in off the inside of the post 10 minutes before half-time.
Thomas Mueller had Bayern’s best effort, but was denied by a sensational save from Jan Oblak early on as the German champions failed to score on Spanish soil for the fourth consecutive trip. And Atletico could even afford the luxury of missing a penalty seven minutes from time when Antoine Griezmann rattled the bar from the spot. Victory takes Atletico top of Group D with six points from their opening two games. Bayern remain second on three points with FC Rostov and PSV Eindhoven on one each after a 2-2 draw in Russia.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone opted for Fernando Torres up front instead of Kevin Gameiro and the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker had an early claim for a penalty waved away when his shirt appeared to be pulled as he cut inside Javi Martinez. Bayern’s first serious attempt on goal was their best as Mueller smashed a volley goalwards on 14 minutes that was brilliantly beaten away by Oblak. Not to be outdone, Bayern stopper Manuel Neuer produced a great save of his own as he got down low to his left to turn Carrasco’s first effort of the night to safety.
Torres missed a glorious chance to open the scoring when he somehow turned Koke’s corner against the post from pointblank range with the goal gaping. And the former Spanish international was off target with another decent chance moments later as he fired into the side-netting from a narrow angle. However, Atletico finally went in front when Griezmann collected a loose ball and freed Carrasco on the left. The Belgian strode forward before unleashing a powerful effort in off the far post. Bayern took a long time to muster a response as Ancelotti brought on Arjen Robben and the on-form Joshua Kimmich.
Neuer parried another powerful low effort from Carrasco to keep Bayern in the game midway through the second half. The visitors finally began to threaten in the final 15 minutes as Robert Lewandowski’s glancing header flew inches wide of the far post. Robben then drove a shot just wide from the edge of the box. However, it was the hosts who had the best chance to extend their advantage when Arturo Vidal cynically chopped down Filipe Luis inside the area. Griezmann stepped up to take it, but just as in their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in May, he smashed his spot-kick against the bar to give Bayern a lifeline. Ancelotti’s men had one final chance to rescue a point, but Robben’s header drifted harmlessly over as Atletico held on to secure another major European scalp under Simeone. — AFP