At the Vicente Calderon, maybe a new chapter in European football is written as Atletico Madrid knocked Barcelona out with a 1-0 win thanks to an early goal from Koke, while Bayern Munich needed Manchester United to wake her up with a stunning goal from Patrice Evra to go through with a 3-1 win, making it to the semifinal of the Champions League.
Atletico Madrid win on aggregate 2-1, but it’s so much more than a one goal win. It was the fifth time they played Barcelona this season, and for the fifth time they didn’t lose, and hardly let Lionel Messi get himself a chance. Early pressure against the patched up defense from Barcelona created a ball hitting the woodwork before Koke finally scored, and the first 15 minutes were about Atletico hitting the crossbar and the post time after time.
Things settled down a bit in the next 30 minutes, and from time to time in the second half Barcelona felt like maybe they’ll finally get the goal that seemed impossible to reach. Except for Neymar creating two chances thanks to one genius Xavi pass and another good cross from Pedro, they didn’t even come close to make Thibaut Courtois feel uncomfortable, while being the more dangerous team through counter attacks.
In Munich, the first half was one of the worst we saw this season in the competition, ending in a dull 0-0 that seemed to favor Manchester United, looking slightly more dangerous when trying to get something through the counter attack.
Patrice Evra scored the best goal of his career in the 57th minute, but that seemed to finally make Bayern Munich wake up. Manchester United seemed to be a bit disorganized after the goal, and Bayern struck immediately with an equalizer from the fantastic Mario Mandzukic.
Manchester United couldn’t get back to the defensive shape they were before and in an open field match they had no chance against the European champions. Thomas Muller put Bayern up 2-1 nine minutes later with a shot from close range and Arjen Robben finished the job in the 76th minute with a typical cross-penalty box dribble that clipped Nemanja Vidic on its way to De Gea’s net, as Bayern completed a 4-2 aggregate win.