Atletico Madrid face a nerve-wracking final game to ensure they reach the Champions League knockout stage after they could only draw 1-1 at home to a much-changed Bayern Munich side on Tuesday following a late penalty from Thomas Mueller, reports Reuters.
Atleti looked on course for a comfortable victory which would have sealed a place in the last 16 when Joao Felix put them in front in the 26th minute, appearing at the near post to knock in a cross from Marcos Llorente. But Diego Simeone’s side were unable to add to their lead against holders Bayern, who rested most of their first-team regulars after qualifying as group winners last week.
Atletico were made to pay for their conservatism when substitute Mueller beat goalkeeper Jan Oblak from the spot in the 86th minute after being felled by defender Felipe.
A third consecutive draw left Atletico second in Group A with six points and to qualify they must avoid defeat in their final game at RB Salzburg, who are third with four points.
“We are feeling angry and frustrated because we have drawn because of a penalty and we leave here with an awful taste in our mouths,” said Atletico winger Llorente. “Bayern are a great team but we did more than enough to win.”
Simeone made a defensive substitute just before conceding the penalty in removing Angel Correa for Hector Herrera and surprisingly took off scorer Felix and in-form winger Yannick Carrasco right after Mueller converted from the spot.
They were not far from re-taking the lead as defender Mario Hermoso narrowly missed the target with a late header while they also came close with a last-ditch corner deep in added time.
Bayern, whose record run of 15 consecutive Champions League victories was halted, top the group with 13 points, while Lokomotiv Moscow, who lost 3-1 at home to Salzburg in the group’s early game, are bottom with three.