Torres delighted with first-leg lead over Bayern Munich

Simon Foster 28/04/2016
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Denied by the post: Torres.

Fernando Torres hailed a fantastic night for Atletico Madrid and mission accomplished as they claimed a 1-0 first-leg victory over Bayern Munich in their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

Although they take only a slim advantage to Munich for the second leg on Tuesday, the Spanish striker revealed Los Rojiblancos were delighted to take the early initiative.

Torres, who struck the post in the second half after an exquisite piece of skill to set up his shooting opportunity, said: “It was a fantastic night and I’m happy for all Atletico supporters. We’ve got what we wanted which was to get the scoreline in our favour.

“We suffered and kept suffering, kept fighting, that’s what we do. Bayern have a level few teams have but we kept on doing our thing.”

Atleti defended for much of the game but reduced Bayern, in the main, to chances from distance with Polish striker Robert Lewandowski suffering a frustrating evening and Pep Guardiola unable to muster much penetration from his team.

Torres’ strike partner Antoine Griezmann said: “We’re very happy with a win. In the second half, we saw that Bayern are a great team.

“It was better for us when we came back to 4-4-2. It may be not so nice to see from the stand or in TV but our game is our game: defend strongly and convert our chances.”

Bayern lost the first legs of their semi-finals in the previous two seasons to Real Madrid and Barcelona on their way out of the competition and captain Philipp Lahm lamented their inability to score an away goal.

“We didn’t think we’d have so many chances to score in the second half as we did, but we didn’t use them,” Lahm told ZDF. “You have to use them in games like this, but we still have 90 minutes to come.”

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Twitter reacts to Saul Niguez's amazing goal for Atletico Madrid against Bayern Munich

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Atletico fans celebrate Saul's wonder goal.

Read our full report on the action from the Vicente Calderon here.

And here’s the best of the reaction so far on social media:

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Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich: Saul Niguez wondergoal seals first-leg win

Sport360 staff 28/04/2016
Atletico's Saul Niguez celebrates his goal.

The Spain Under-21 international’s early wonder goal handed the Spanish side the edge ahead of next week’s second leg at the Allianz Arena.

Arturo Vidal came closest to netting an equaliser for Pep Guardiola’s side but the home defence worked hard to keep his and his team-mates’ efforts out as they recorded their fifth consecutive clean sheet.

Diego Simeone’s hosts began to press from the start and Fernando Torres came close to opening the scoring in the first five minutes but his drilled shot from 20 yards out was blocked by David Alaba.

It did not take long for Atleti to break the deadlock as 21-year-old midfielder Niguez took on the Bayern defence alone from 40 yards out, dribbled the ball past three more opponents before curling it into the bottom corner with a beautiful finish past the diving Manuel Neuer to hand his side the lead after 11 minutes.

Bayern almost levelled two minutes later before Vidal’s header was sent out for a corner and Xabi Alonso’s resulting set-piece was finally made safe after Vidal’s further effort was collected by home goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Vidal won a free-kick just inside the right touchline which was taken by Douglas Costa but he was just short as he fired into the side netting as Bayern looked to get back into the match midway through the first half.

The Bavarians continued to press for an equaliser as the half wore on but Philipp Lahm’s effort was blocked by Jose Gimenez, while – down at the other end – Antoine Griezmann’s close-range effort was toe-tipped to safety after a break for Atletico.

Oblak was called into action again 10 minutes before the break as he made a diving save to deny on-loan Juventus teenager Kingsley Coman before Vidal fired a shot wide.

Javi Martinez did well to head goalscorer Niguez’s cross out for a corner before it reached the waiting Koke at the near post, while Juan Bernat sent the ball sailing high over the crossbar just before the break.

The visitors started the second half the brightest as Guardiola’s half-time team talk looked to have made an impact, Alaba’s long-range strike only denied by Oblak’s crossbar eight minutes in.

Moments later, the Atletico keeper did well to hold out Javi Martinez’s header and hold onto his clean sheet for a little longer as the German side continued to dominate possession.

Robert Lewandowski was unfortunate as his effort across Oblak’s goal rolled just wide before Guardiola brought on Franck Ribery for Coman in an effort to bag an equaliser.

Bayern’s frustrations started to get the better of them and Vidal conceded a free-kick with 20 minutes to go for bringing down Gabi but Douglas sent his weak shot over the bar as the home side searched for goal number two.

Torres then struck the post from close range and – on the rebound – Koke’s drilled shot was comfortably kept out by a diving Neuer.

Bayern battled on for a leveller but Oblak denied Vidal late on as the home side held on for a narrow victory.

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