Bay­ern Mu­nich out to set­tle Span­ish score in Atletico Madrid

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

AF­TER three con­sec­u­tive semi­fi­nal de­feats against Span­ish clubs in the Cham­pi­ons League, Bay­ern Mu­nich head to Atletico Madrid for Wed­nes­day’s group match with a point to prove.

“We want to show that we can do bet­ter than in the last few semi­fi­nals. We cer­tainly have a score to set­tle there,” said Bay­ern for­ward Thomas Mueller be­fore the team jet­ted off to Madrid.

Af­ter the highs of beat­ing Borus­sia Dort­mund in the 2013 Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal came Bay­ern’s lows of semi­fi­nal ex­its to Real Madrid, Barcelona and then Atletico in each of the last three sea­sons un­der Pep Guardi­ola.

Atletico have won 25 of their last 30 home Euro­pean games mak­ing the Es­ta­dio Vi­cente Calderon some­thing of a caul­dron.

Last sea­son’s semi­fi­nal exit at the hands of Diego Sime­one’s Atletico was par­tic­u­larly painful for Bay­ern, who won the re­turn leg 2-1 in Mu­nich af­ter los­ing 1-0 in Madrid as the Span­ish side reached the fi­nal on away goals.

“In the last three years, we played three times against Span­ish teams and al­ways lost there,” said Bay­ern chair­man Karl-Heinz Rum­menigge.

“We saw how strong Atletico are last sea­son and you can’t get much more of a tougher test.

“Now we have the chance to show with Carlo (Ancelotti) that we can get at least a point there — or even three.”

Af­ter Guardi­ola failed to steer Bay­ern to the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal, his suc­ces­sor Ancelotti is the Bavar­ian giants’ not-so-se­cret weapon.

Two years ago, Ancelotti’s Real Madrid won the 2014 Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal with a 4-1 ex­tra-time win over Atletico.

“I re­ally like Madrid and I’m look­ing for­ward to go­ing back, I had two won­der­ful years there,” said Ancelotti.

Sight­see­ing will be the last thing on the Ital­ian’s pro­gramme, with Ancelotti more con­cerned about French for­ward An­toine Griez­mann, whose goals knocked Bay­ern out of Europe last May.

“He could play at any big club in Europe,” said Ancelotti. Bay­ern smashed Rus­sian side Ros­tov 5-0 in Mu­nich in their open­ing Group D match, the same night Atletico won 1-0 at PSV Eind­hoven.

But the Ger­man team’s play­ers know they will be in for a much sterner chal­lenge on Wed­nes­day.

“It will be a dif­fi­cult fight in Madrid and we have to at least get a few goals,” said Bay­ern cap­tain Philipp Lahm.

Bay­ern de­fender Mats Hum­mels, who trained on Mon­day af­ter limp­ing out of Satur­day’s 1-0 win at Ham­burg with a knee in­jury, says the Bun­desliga lead­ers have a “pretty tricky task against one of the top favourites to win the Cham­pi­ons League”.

Bay­ern Mu­nich FC play­ers Atletico Madrid FC play­ers Fix­tures

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