Arturo Vidal has lashed out at Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid over the manner of their victory on Tuesday night, blaming Bayern Munich's exit on Diego Simeone's “ugly football”.
Bayern were 2-1 victors on the night with goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski, but Atletico went through on away goals after securing a 1-0 win at the Vicente Calderon a week earlier. The result condemned Pep Guardiola to his fourth successive Champions League semi-final defeat, whilst Atletico celebrated reaching their second final in three years.
The result condemned Pep Guardiola to his fourth successive Champions League semi-final defeat, whilst Atletico celebrated reaching their second final in three years.
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Speaking after the match, the Chile international made it clear that he felt the result was an unfair reflection of the ninety minutes.
“We were superior,” he said.
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“We controlled the game, but we did not finish off the chances we had. Atletico did exactly what they have been doing all year in their league and took advantage of their chances."
Bayern had 72.5% possession at the Allianz Arena and amassed a remarkable 33 shots on goal, but could not overturn the deficit once Antoine Griezmann scored a vital away goal in the 54th minute.
Vidal was clearly frustrated by his side’s failure to break through Atletico’s brick wall defence and did not hold back in his damning criticism of Simeone’s style.
"Today ugly football - Atletico - played against the best football in the world," he said. "The only time they saw the ball was for the goal. The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists."
Vidal has never won the Champions League, and having been on the losing side in the 2015 final whilst playing for Juventus, his personal frustration is understandable.
However, it is difficult to take seriously his suggestion that Atletico, a team clearly revelling in their reputation as resilient underdogs, will have sleepless nights over the outcome of Tuesday’s encounter.
"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.”
Vidal may not have to wait long for another chance to lift the most coveted prize in European football. Bayern’s new manager for 2016/17, Carlo Ancelotti, has won the Champions League on no less than three occasions.
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