Simeone: Atletico have eliminated two of the world's three best teams

The Argentine was left delighted as Bayern fell to an away goal defeat, and he compared the triumph with the club’s win over Barcelona in the quarter-final stage

Diego Simeone believes Atletico Madrid have accounted for two of the world’s best three teams to reach the Champions League final.

Atletico overcame defending champions Barcelona in the quarter-final, before Antoine Griezmann’s goal at Allianz Arena on Tuesday eliminated Bayern Munich on away goals following a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Simeone acknowledged it has been a hugely impressive campaign from his team and was particularly proud of their response to a brilliant first-half display from Bayern.

“This Champions League has been spectacular and very difficult,” said the coach.

“We have overcome two of the three best [teams] in the world, going through difficulties and suffering.

“In the first half we saw a tremendous Bayern, with pressure, speed and intensity. We were up against the best team I have faced in my career.

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“Their first half was fantastic, with us providing a minimal response to the situations they created.

“In the second half it was no longer the same match, it was more even. We countered well, scored a goal and were closer to capitalising on our advantage from the [Vicente] Calderon.”

The outcome could have been very difficult had Thomas Muller converted a first-half penalty, while Fernando Torres was also unable to score from the spot in the closing stages for Atleti.

Simeone was well aware how difficult it would have been for his side had they gone into the break 2-0 down.

“The two penalties were key at the time because of what they transmitted,” he said.

“If they had scored theirs it would have become very difficult. And for them it would have cost a lot if Torres scored.”

Vidal: The best in the world lost to ugly Atletico

The Chilean was left fuming after Antoine Griezmann’s goal put the visitors through on away goals, claiming Atleti were undeserved finalists after Tuesday’s clash

Arturo Vidal could not hide his disappointment at exiting the Champions League at the semi-final stage, as he maintained Bayern Munich were a better team than the “ugly” Atletico Madrid. 

After Saul Niguez had given the Spaniards the lead in the opener last week, strikes from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski were not enough for Pep Guardiola’s men to proceed as Antoine Griezmann sealed an away goal victory. 

But Vidal insisted that the result was unfair, and that Bayern deserved to win. 

“We were superior. We controlled the game, but we did not finish off the chances we had,” the Chilean said after the final whistle. 

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“Atletico did exactly what they have been doing all year in their league and took advantage of their chances.” 

The midfielder went even further in his criticism as he highlighted the clash of styles between Pep’s vanquished charges and those coached by Diego Simeone. 

“Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal,” he claimed. 

“They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final. 

“The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.”

Bayern feel cheated, says Rummenigge

Antoine Griezmann’s goal was marginally offside and Atletico’s penalty occurred outside the box, leaving the Die Roten official seething at the refereeing mistakes

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the side feel cheated after their Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

Bayern won the second leg of the tie 2-1 on Tuesday but were eliminated on away goals having lost the first leg 1-0.

However, Rummenigge believes the result should have been different after accusing referees of getting key decisions wrong, in particular failing to call offside in the build up to Antoine Griezmann’s tie-winning goal for Atletico.

“We feel a little bit cheated,” he said after the game.

“The Atletico goal was offside, the foul for the penalty [which Atletico missed] was outside of the box.

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“The referee had two matches in the last seven days. I don’t know whether those UEFA guys can have too many matches, too. The UEFA delegate told me: ‘It’s a shame what he did.'”

Forward Thomas Muller also reflected on a bad night for his side, including a missed penalty which would have put Bayern 2-0 up.

Instead, Griezmann scored an equaliser to cancel out Xabi Alonso’s first-half opener, before Robert Lewandowski scored in the 74th minute to set up a tense finish.

“Football sometimes can be extreme. We have made many things right and just a little bit wrong,” Muller said.

“Sadly enough, it was not enough. I haven’t witnessed such an evening many times. The disappointment hurts. And I am personally disappointed that I have had my penalty kick stopped.”

Boateng: Bayern solely to blame for Champions League exit

The German champions beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 but still went crashing out of the Champions League on away goals and the defender feels his side can only blame themselves

Jerome Boateng believes Bayern Munich only have themselves to blame for suffering elimination from the Champions League semi-finals at the hands of Atletico Madrid.

The German champions trailed 1-0 from the first-leg when they welcomed Diego Simeone’s men to the Allianz Arena for Tuesday’s return fixture. Xabi Alonso levelled the tie with a deflected free-kick in the first half, but Antoine Griezmann scored a huge away goal on the break for Atletico after Thomas Muller had been denied from the penalty spot.

Although Robert Lewandowski set up a tense finale with a header in the 74th minute, Fernando Torres’ failure to convert from the spot did not prove costly as the 2-2 aggregate score sent Atletico into the final on away goals.

Boateng was disappointed Bayern were punished by Griezmann for a momentary loss of concentration early in the second half, and says they must take responsibility for failing to reach the final.

“We played very well in the first half, Atletico did not have a chance,” Boateng said.

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“In the second half we weren’t attentive for two minutes, but we played well after conceding the goal, too.

“We gave it our all, but that’s football. We must blame ourselves for not taking our chances.”

A crestfallen Lewandowski felt Bayern deserved to secure a trip to Milan on May 28 ahead of Atletico.

“It’s a huge shame. We deserved it,” he said in a post-match television interview.

“We just needed one goal, but that is football. We’re not in the final. We searched for everything and fought for everything, but just couldn’t get there.”

“It was a siege” – Torres proud of Atletico after holding off Bayern

The Spaniard described his side’s Champions League semi-final second leg against the Bavarians as a “match of much suffering” but was delighted to see them come through it

Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres likened the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich to a “siege”.

Diego Simeone’s men were beaten 2-1 on the night but still advanced through to the final on away goals, in a fast-paced, intense match which saw the hosts dominate proceedings from the get go.

Bayern brought a relentless tempo to the field as they looked to blast through Atletico’s rigid structure but Antoine Griezmann’s second-half strike proved decisive as the Spaniards reached their second Champions League final in three seasons.

And afterwards Torres, who, like Bayern’s Thomas Muller, had a spot-kick saved in the game, admitted it was a “match of much suffering” for his side but believes Atletico were able to show that their strong resilience means they are a match for any team.

“It has been a match of much suffering. We were overwhelmed,” he said.

“We could not find a way to put pressure on them. It has been a siege, but sometimes you cannot play the game you want. But it is also nice to win having suffered.

“We have had a very complicated path [to the final], we have beaten the best in Europe. We want to be champions. This team is ready to play against anyone.”

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Referee Cuneyt Cakir awarded Atletico’s penalty for Javi Martinez’s tackle on Torres, despite contact taking place outside of the box.

The striker admitted he believed the correct decision would have been a free-kick, but was unconcerned as the incident ultimately had no bearing on the outcome.

“I thought it was outside the box on the pitch, but the play is quick and sometimes the referee sees where the player goes down,” he added to BT Sport.

“I saw the replay and it was clearly outside, but in the end it didn’t change the final result so we don’t have to think about that.”

Griezmann urged calm from his Atletico team-mates ahead of the final in Milan on May 28, with maintaining a challenge to win La Liga their next priority.

“We’re delighted. It was difficult, a really hard game, we had a great opponent in front of us and we had to both defend and try to score,” he said.

“They were better, but we scored an away goal, which was important. We need to keep grounded and first of all think of the Liga before the final.”