Pep Guardiola suffered a third Champions League semi-final defeat in three years as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal knocked out Bayern Munich in a classic.

Xabi Alonso’s deflected free-kick had given Bayern the lead on the night, before Griezmann netted the crucial strike on the counter. Robert Lewandowski’s 39th goal of the season set up a frantic finale, but on a night that saw both sides miss a penalty, it was Atletico who booked a spot in their second final in three seasons.

It was one-way traffic right from the off, with Bayern dominating possession and Atleti content to sit back and soak up pressure – nothing new there. With an almost impenetrable backline it seemed it would take something special for Bayern to breach the Atleti rearguard, but instead it was a slice of luck that resulted in the first goal Diego Simeone’s men have conceded in 632 minutes in all competitions hitting the net, as Alonso’s free-kick was deflected home.

With the tie level, the visitors seemed to go to pieces, and conceded a penalty moments later, only for Thomas Muller – on this return to the starting XI – to see his spot-kick well-saved by Jan Oblak.

After the break, though, the visitors provided a sucker punch, as Griezmann broke the offside trap to net a pivotal away goal. The run was timed to perfection, after the France international was a mere spectator for most of the first half.

Bayern threw everything at Atleti, and got themselves back in front on the night through Lewandowski, but Atleti once again produced a defensive masterclass and held on, with even Fernando Torres’ missed penalty deemed meaningless.

Once again, it didn’t matter that Atleti saw almost none of the ball – finishing the game with a measly 27.6% possession – they just need one chance, and in Griezmann they have a man who doesn’t need asking twice to find the net. However, after inheriting a treble-winning side, is Guardiola’s lack of success on the continent during his tenure in Bavaria enough for his reign to be judged as a success?

 Wires

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Michael Eli Dokosi is a journalist and a formidable writer with a decade's experience. He is a blogger as well who currently owns and manages the news portal www.blakkpepper.com. The site is a wholesome news platform with entertainment, political, general, sports, negroid and foreign news offerings with the tagline 'More than Straight News' because of its alternate take on issues. The blakkpepper name emerged because the site is Afrocentric and hot. The Managing Editor can be reached via cell line (+233) 0249907425 & (+233) 0262907425 and via email blakkpeppergh@gmail.com for adverts, enquiries and news coverage invites.