Atlético were unable to win any of the two matches against Lokomotiv and, for that reason, the meet against Bayern Munich was crucial in order to advance through the group stage. The bavarian club, which are always beyond the rest, sealed the deal in only 4 games as the first team of the group. The German roller ares something else.
Reliability and experiments:
Cholo went out with his IDEAL XI, which is becoming more recognizable as the season goes by: the Argentinian coach has always used the 4-4-2 system, but now he has introduced a new variable since a couple weeks ago that is working pretty good for him. Carrasco, the new Carrasco, who works harder than ever both offensively and defensively, is now playing as a second left back without the ball, which turns into a 5-3-2 system that moves Mario Hermoso as a third central in order to strengthen themselves backwards and go out fast in transitions.
On the other side Flick, who had nothing to battle for, took advantage of it and carried out experiments on his line-up, as he went out on a 3-4-2-1 where Alaba played in defense between Süle and Lucas Hernández, Sarr and Arrey-Mbi in the wings (that did not work) and Musiala had freedom to move as a playmaker. In fact, he was the only Bayern´s player to find passing lines on the opponent´s half during the first half. The German coach was not satisfied with his tryouts and put in the pitch all the starters he had on the bench the last thirty minutes in order to keep their unbeaten condition.
Atlético, dominance without efficiency:
The Rojiblancos were better than Bayern the first hour of the game but, as Cholo admitted in the press conference later, their lack of efficiency forward held them back from putting the game away when they had the chance to. Carrasco and Correa dribbled constantly and leave their market on the ground from the wing, but they did not find anyone to assist to; Koke y Saúl kept the team´s balance in the midfield; Llorente and Trippier connected on the right wing and that is how the goal came, the only time a winger connected with the forward; Joao, as always, was very active and went down to the middle to build plays. The playing level was very high and the slab of not scoring the second one ended up stealing the win from Atlético.
“We had lack of efficiency on offense, in the end a 1-0 lead is too short”
Simeone at the end of the game
Bayern´s substitutions worked out:
Bayern do not give anything away and wanted to keep their unbeaten condition. Flick put in all his starters in the second half and their addition plus Atlético´s tiredness after their huge effort, ended up on the equalizer. Müller created danger forward, detected gaps and received a pass inside the box, here he provoked a PK that he took care of scoring and waste Atlético´s job throughout the entire game. Now the Rojiblancos must at least draw in their last meet against Salzburg in Austria if they want to make it through the group stage. Moreover, Salzburgo can still pull it off if they get the win. Atlético, loyal to their history, will have to suffer until the end.