MADRID — Bayern Munich’s struggles in Spain continued on Wednesday with a 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Bayern’s defeat at the Vicente Calderon Stadium after a first-half strike by midfielder Yannick Carrasco made it another frustrating night for the German champions against Spanish clubs.
Bayern’s last three trips to Spain had ended in elimination in the semifinals of the Champions League — against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico last season. The German club failed to score on all three occasions.
The win sent Atletico clear at the top of Group D with six points from two matches. Bayern stayed on three points. Rostov and PSV Eindhoven, which drew 2-2 in Russia, have one point each.
“I liked everything about the team tonight,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “The team knew how to pressure, how to defend, how to play on counterattack. When we had to suffer we did. We were intense for the 90 minutes against a very hard side and this is one of the best achievements since I’ve been here at Atletico Madrid.”
Carrasco scored Atletico’s winner in the 35th minute with a well-placed low shot from just outside the area, with the ball hitting the far post before going into the net.
“I was lucky that it struck the post and went in,” Carrasco said. “Last season, it always hit the post and went out, today it gladly went in.”
Atletico was in control during most of the match, and Antoine Griezmann, who set up Carrasco’s great run through the Bayern defense, missed an 84th-minute penalty kick that could have made the victory easier.
Bayern tried to apply some pressure in the second half but was unable to threaten much against Simeone’s perfectly set-up defense. Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak made few difficult saves throughout the match.
“It was a complicated match as we expected, but we could’ve played better. We were too slow and that kept us from creating many chances,” said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti, who had won eight straight matches since taking over the German club. “We have to move on. It’s still early in the season and we can still win the group if we beat Atletico.”
Ancelotti was in charge of Real Madrid when it beat Atletico in the 2014 Champions League final. Atletico lost to Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid in last season’s final.
One of Bayern’s best chances was a header by Robert Lewandowski that just missed in the 77th, and substitute Arjen Robben came close with a low shot in the 81st. That was just before Griezmann struck the crossbar from the spot after Filipe Luis was fouled by Arturo Vidal. Robben had Bayern’s last chance with a weak header in injury time.
“Atletico showed a killer instinct tonight, and we did not,” Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said. “We will have another chance to beat them in Munich.”
Unbeaten this season, Atletico has won 26 of its last 31 European matches at the Vicente Calderon, losing only twice.
Atletico was without midfielder Augusto Fernandez, who tore a right-knee ligament in the Spanish league on Sunday, while Bayern was missing Brazilian forward Douglas Costa because of a hamstring injury.
In the next round, Atletico plays at Rostov, while Bayern hosts PSV.