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Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid: Hosts seek to vent Bundesliga frustration

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 1 May 2016

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Bayern Munich must seek to avoid carrying the frustration of failing to secure the Bundesliga title into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Borussia Monchengladbach ensured the champagne to celebrate the domestic title remains firmly on ice by coming from behind to clinch a 1-1 draw in Bavaria on Saturday.

While Bayern – five points clear of closest rivals Borussia Dortmund – are still all but assured of a record fourth consecutive German title, their failure to beat Gladbach, albeit with a much-changed line-up, could be a concern.

And it remains to be seen how they will respond as they seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit from defeat in the first leg at Vicente Calderon, where Saul Niguez’s superb individual goal gave Diego Simeone’s men a narrow advantage last week.

“It’s disappointing,” said defender Jerome Boateng, who appeared to have recovered from a groin injury as he came through 68 minutes of the Gladbach draw. 

“We started well against strong opponents.

“Of course we wanted to win and celebrate the championship title in front of our own fans. Unfortunately we didn’t succeed.

“Now we have to turn our focus to Tuesday and give it 100 per cent.

“It was good and very important for me to play a few minutes. Match practice is crucial, it’s different from training.”

Head coach Pep Guardiola added: “We still need one point for the title. Now we have to focus on Atletico.

“Tuesday’s match is going to be different. We have to play better then.”

Atleti also rested a number of players for their clash with Rayo Vallecano, but Antoine Griezmann came off the bench to settle the encounter 1-0 with a stunning winner, keeping Diego Simeone’s men in the Liga title race.

“I think at this stage of the season, when we play matches, winning is the most important thing,” said Simeone, whose side sit level on points with Barcelona at the Liga summit. 

“We did that and that makes us happy.”

The memorable intervention of Niguez gave Atleti the advantage over Bayern last week and a run of six matches without conceding will also boost their confidence.

Simeone will be back in the dugout after watching the victory over Rayo from the stands.

The Argentine coach is serving a three-match domestic ban following a bizarre incident in which a ball was thrown at Malaga winger Ricardo Horta during a league match, with Simeone accepting ultimate responsibility despite denying he was the guilty party.

Franck Ribery is an injury doubt for Bayern after missing the Gladbach draw with a back problem, while Diego Godin (hamstring) and Yannick Carrasco (ankle) are available again for Atletico.

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