Indeed world, European and Spanish champions Barcelona needed two dramatic late goals from Luis Suarez to rescue them after Fernando Torres had shot the visitors ahead.
Torres then spoiled his good work by being sent off for two deserved yellow cards and numerical superiority helped Barcelona, who had seen their long unbeaten record ended in a late defeat at home by 10-man Real Madrid last Saturday, rally.
Barcelona made an eager start with Lionel Messi sending a left-foot volley wide before Neymar headed over a floated cross from the right by full-back Dani Alves.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico, who are six points behind the La Liga leaders after trashing Betis 5-1, looked dangerous on the break as Antoine Griezmann fired a low shot just wide from around 22 yards out. Then they went ahead on 24 minutes and Torres shot first time through Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s legs.
Torres turned from Atletico’s hero to villain when he was booked by German referee Felix Brych for fouling Neymar and Gerard Pique in quicjk succession.
Barcelona, though, could also have found themselves without Suarez, but the officials failed to spot a kick out by the Uruguay striker at Juanfran in the Atletico penalty area.
Following the restart, the home side took control as Atletico were pressed back into the own half.
Messi’s overhead kick dropped just wide, before Neymar’s rising shot from 18 yards rattled the crossbar and Atletico keeper Jan Oblak saved again from the Argentinian.
The pressure eventually told as Suarez equalised on 63 minutes, flicking a rebound home from close range.
His second goal of the night came on 74 minutes as he headed in a Dani Alves cross.
In Munich Bayern managed only Arturo Vidal’s second-minute goal separated them from Benfica on an evening when the German champions were unusually subdued for long periods.
Pep Guardiola hailed Benfica’s defensive unit as Europe’s best in the build up to the game. While that was not evident early on as Bayern scored with their first attack, the claim held water for much of the contest as the likes of Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski and Douglas Costa were largely kept quiet.
Benfica were even denied a penalty when Nicolas Gaitan’s low cross struck the trailing arm of Philipp Lahm as he slid in to make a block but Polish referee Szymon Marciniak was unmoved.
Ederson’s alertness thwarted the hosts once more just after the half-hour mark following a clever free-kick from Thiago Alcantara, whose deft flick over the defensive wall would have dropped nicely for Muller to shoot had the goalkeeper not rushed to the edge of his six-yard box to smother the ball at the German’s feet.
Vidal mis-timed a header when in a good position as another chance came and went for Guardiola’s team but the former Juventus midfielder made amends in his own penalty area in first-half stoppage-time, sliding in to block a goalbound effort from Gaitan.
Benfica went close again shortly after half-time when top scorer Jonas Oliveira, with 32 goals this season in all competitions, spun away from David Alaba inside the penalty area but hit his shot straight at Manuel Neuer when faced with the Bayern keeper.
The Portuguese had their tails up and it took a block from substitute Javi Martinez just in front of his own goal line to preserve Bayern’s lead as Jonas’ goalbound shot struck his chest. The Brazilian then snatched at the rebound and sliced the ball high and wide on the volley.
Ederson was not worked again until the 80th minute, repelling a Ribery effort with his foot following a direct run goalwards from the pacey forward.
Lewandowski had few sights of goal and his header from Muller’s corner was over the crossbar. The Poland international then spurned a glorious chance to make it 2-0, rejecting the opportunity to shoot from Vidal’s through ball and instead over-hitting his attempt to tee-up Lahm with the goal gaping.