Jan Oblak Is the Atlético Madrid Protagonist in the Munich Drama
Again, the native of Škofja Loka blocks penalty shot from Thomas Muller in the yesterday’s semi-final match of the UEFA Champions League. Despite the defeat of his native club Bayern Munich (1:2), Oblak brought the “Mattressers” into the final due to the away goal rule. On 28 May 2016, at the legendary San Siro Stadium in Milan, Oblak’s native club Atlético Madrid will compete for the title of best team of the Old World for the second time in the last three years.
Ljubljana. Atlético Madrid became the first finalist of the current UEFA Champions League. On 28 May, it will play the final match at the Milan’s San Siro Stadium. In a dramatic re-match full of unexpected game episodes (for example, two penalty shots saved by goalkeepers), Atlético lost 1:2 in Munich, but thanks to the guest goal resulting in a final score of 2:2, the Munich giant was knocked out of the tournament. The Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak from the Madrid club came up trumps saving the 11-meter penalty shot from Thomas Muller at the 34th minute.
How were Josep Guardiola, Frank Ribery, Robert Lewandowski, and other Bayern leaders preparing for a game with the Madrid rivals in red-and-white uniforms? The response was quick as lightning. The Bavarians brought down the entire power of their attacks with fast serves and flank breakthroughs, trying to find a gap in the defence of Atlético, which is justly called the best team in the Europe. This is eloquently proved through 601 minutes without missed balls.
The hosts managed to open the score after the first half hour of the game. Augusto Fernandez broke the rules at the approach to penalty box. A Basque Javi Alonso volunteered to shot. He broke through the centre, hitting the wall of players, and managed to mislead Oblak with the help of a ricochet. On its way to the net, the ball touched Jose Mario Jimenez and changed the flight direction so that Jan Oblak was powerless. Prior to this missed ball, Jan Oblak saved 30 matches in all tournaments without a single goal.
The Bavarians did not stop attacking and on the 34th minute, they were again rewarded for a bold attack. Having performed a free-shot against the rules, Jimenez stopped another Bayern’s Basque, Javi Martinez, in the penalty box. The Turkish referee Chakir Gyunet justly pointed to the spot. However, the Slovenian goalkeeper confidently won the duel with Thomas Muller. Mueller lost the fourth penalty shot out of the last eight.
Oblak’s feat left Atlético in the game, and the goal by Antuan Griezmann at the 54th minute became a cold shower for the Bayern. Almost 15 minutes before the end of the match, Robert Lewandowski raised Bayern’s hopes, having guaranteed a nervous ending featured by both goalkeepers. Manuel Neuer saved a penalty shot from Fernando Torres, and Jan Oblak kept his net shut during the final minutes of the match and helped the Club to get into the final of the UEFA Champions League for the second time in the last three years. The Spanish sports newspaper “Marca” announced Jan Oblak the best Atlético’s player.
Antuan Griezmann, the Atlético’s forwarder: “We are over the moon with happiness. Facing such a strong opponent, we had to defend hard and try to score a goal. We managed to do both. The Bayern was better, but we managed to perform the decisive guest goal. We should avoid illusions and have our feet on the ground. Prior to the Champions League final, we need to seriously concentrate on the remaining decisive matches of the Primera.”
Robert Lewandowski, the Bayern’s forwarder: “It’s hard to accept the fact that after such a game and such a fight we are not in the final. Atlético took advantage of their only chance in the match. In fact, it was our present. Well, be that as it may, I am really hurt with such an outcome of the match because we have invested a lot of energy into this evening.”
The Champions League — the Return Semi-Final Meet
Bayern — Atlético Madrid 2:1 (0:1)
(Javi Alonso, 31; Robert Lewandowski, 74; Antoine Griezmann, 54).
Bayern: Neuer, Alaba, Martinez, Boateng, Lahm, Alonso, Ribery, Vidal, Müller, Costa (73./Coman), Lewandowski.
Atlético Madrid: Oblak, Juanfran, Godín, Gimenez, Filipe Luis, Gabi, Fernandez (46./Carrasco), Koke (93./Savić), Saul Niguez, Griezmann (82./Teye), Torres.