Football: Atletico frustrated in Champions League as Thomas Mueller penalty rescues weakened Bayern

Mueller celebrates after scoring the 1-1 equalizer from the penalty spot. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MADRID (AFP) - Atletico Madrid must wait to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League after substitute Thomas Mueller scored a late penalty for a much-changed Bayern Munich in Tuesday's (Dec 1) 1-1 draw in Spain.

Joao Felix put Atletico ahead in the first half before Mueller won and converted a spot-kick four minutes from time as Bayern Munich's record 15-match winning run in the competition came to an end.

Diego Simeone's Atletico had won just once in four matches in Europe this term despite their strong start in La Liga, but knew victory would secure passage to the knockout phase after Lokomotiv Moscow's 3-1 home loss to Salzburg.

Luis Suarez was again unavailable at the Wanda Metropolitano having tested positive for Covid-19 while Diego Costa is sidelined long-term after suffering a blood clot in his right leg.

Alexander Nubel replaced the rested Manuel Neuer in goal as Bayern coach Hansi Flick left several regulars, including Robert Lewandowski, behind in Germany with top spot in Group A already assured.

Bright Arrey-Mbi, a former Chelsea academy player, made his senior debut in central defence while fellow 17-year-old Jamal Musiala was handed a start in attack behind Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Portugal international Felix swept in a low cross from Marcos Llorente on 26 minutes to give Atletico the lead.

German-born England Under-21 international Musiala shaved the side-netting after running menacingly at the Atletico defence, with Llorente blazing over at the other end following a burst from Felix.

With Bayern staring at a first Champions League defeat since March 2019, Flick introduced Mueller and Serge Gnabry on the hour in a bid to keep their remarkable European sequence intact.

Mueller equalised for the visitors after he was fouled by Felipe, squeezing the resulting penalty just beyond the reach of Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Atletico defender Mario Hermoso flashed a header over late on as the Spaniards missed a chance to wrap up second place in the group. They must avoid defeat away to Austrian champions Salzburg next week to advance.

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