Atletico Madrid odds slashed for Champions League after Barca win
Coral have cut Atletico Madrid’s odds of winning the Champions League for the first time from 12/1 to 5/1, after they knocked fellow Spanish giants Barcelona out of the competition.
A Koke header was sufficient to win their quarter-final second leg and secure a 2-1 aggregate victory for Diego Simeone’s side over Catalan club Barca. Atletico achieved this famous result without top scorer Diego Costa to boot.
Despite a dearth of midfield options because of injury and suspensions, 11/8 favourites Bayern Munich recorded a 3-1 win over Manchester United at the Allianz, advancing 4-2 on aggregate.
Patrice Evra gave the Red Devils a shock lead in Germany before Mario Mandzukic quickly levelled. Further goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben sealed Munich’s progress to the semis under Pep Guardiola.
Atletico’s cross-capital rivals Real Madrid remain second-favourites behind Bayern to end their dozen-year wait for European glory at 2/1. Carlo Ancelotti’s team survived a second leg scare as Borussia Dortmund, beaten finalists last term, won 2-0. Real edged them 3-2 on aggregate, however.
Chelsea complete the final four, with the semi-final draw set to be made on April 11th. Jose Mourinho’s men are the 11/2 outsiders, but came from 3-1 down against reigning French champions PSG to sneak through on the away goals rule. Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba struck to send the Blues into the semis.
The draw has the potential to throw up some interesting subplots. Spanish football fans have already witnessed four Madrid derbies (in La Liga and the Copa del Rey) this season. We could also see a repeat of the 2012 final, when Chelsea beat Bayern on penalties in their own stadium.
Guardiola will be keen to avoid Real, who remain the biggest threat to Munich’s bid to retain the Champions League trophy – a feat not achieved in the modern era. Atletico have aptly demonstrated their credentials too, showing they can upset the established order, so back them to go all the way at 5/1.