Hoo boy that was bad! But who was less bad in today’s exhausting performance against Bayern Munich’s current bugbear, Atletico Madrid?
Jersey Swap: Felipe Luis
Yes, Carrasco scored Atletico’s goal, and, yes, Carrasco took a team-leading four shots. But you don’t hate Yannick Carrasco. No, not him. You hate Felipe Luis, who lurked like a malevolent shadow at left-back, making more tackles than his teammates, winning more aerial duels, leading both teams in successful dribbles (5!), and even having the audacity to shoot twice. Yes, let the hate flow through you. Now collect your yellow card and concede a penalty: you lose. Felipe Luis dominated Bayern today - there was no way around him.
Tip of the Cap: Jerome Boateng
For the hour he was on the pitch, Jerome Boateng was outstanding. That was apparent from the get-go, as he coolly cleared a dangerous ball in the opening minutes of the game - a scene indicative of what was in store for Bayern today. Boateng's clearances and aerial superiority kept Bayern safe and sound. The one blemish - Carrasco's runaway goal - is not really on his hands. A bad header by Alonso and a completely missed slide-tackle by Thiago put Boateng out of a position where he could intervene.
Golf Clap: Manuel Neuer
With four saves today, Manuel Neuer did precisely what Bayern required to stay in this game, and that is despite the one occasion when there was nothing he could do to prevent a goal. His counterpart, Jan Oblak, was in fact tested less often, which should tell you all you need to know about this kind of game. When it mattered, and he had a play to make, Neuer was at the ready. Unfortunately, it mattered rather more often than we would have liked.
Standing Ovation: Franck Ribery
Ribery battled again and again against Atleti’s back line in the hope of finding an opening, and he nearly did, whether shooting or serving assists. Regrettably, Athelti’s Juanfran, Gabi, and Savic ground his efforts into dust, but Ribery deserves recognition for the creative presence that he brings to even the must frustrating games.
Meister of the Match: David Alaba
Well, "Meister" as far as one can be in such a loss. David Alaba did no wrong. His defensive work today was impeccable, and with four key passes he did more than anyone else to jumpstart Bayern's stalled offense. Alaba worked smoothly with Ribery on the left, and he managed to find the space to take two shots himself. Today, he and his teammates were fated to failure, but Alaba did his utmost to prevent that result.