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Atletico pip Bayern to reach ECL final

Soccer

Atletico Madrid lost the battle but won the war, reaching the Champions League final for the second time in three seasons despite a 2-1 defeat at Bayern Munich.

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In a second leg semi-final clash in which both teams missed penalties, Atletico advanced on away goals after with the tie finishing 2-2 on aggregate.

Atletico will face either city rivals Real Madrid, who beat them in the 2014 final, or Manchester City, who meet in the second semi-final tomorrow morning, Australian time.

With the Spaniards taking a 1-0 lead to Munich after last week’s first leg, Bayern got the tie back on level terms when Xabi Alonso gave them a second-leg lead on 31 minutes.

Antoine Griezmann’s seventh goal of the competition in the 54th handed Atletico the advantage, with Robert Lewandowski setting up a dramatic finale with his 74th minute goal.

Thomas Mueller missed a first-half penalty for Bayern and Atletico’s Fernando Torres had an 85th minute spot kick saved.

For Bayern, it was a third straight semi-final elimination by a Spanish team in their three seasons under Pep Guardiola, who is joining Manchester City next season.

“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,” said Griezmann, whose side are level on points with leaders Barcelona in the Spanish title race.

-Reuters

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