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Real Madrid rally to win UEFA Champions League

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

Real Madrid’s quest for ‘La Décima’ finally ended as they won a pulsating final against neighbours Atlético Madrid in Lisbon, extra-time goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo settling a match that had looked set to end in an Atlético triumph.

Having already become the first side apart from Madrid or FC Barcelona to win the Spanish title since 2004, Atlético took a 36th-minute lead when Diego Godín – whose goal clinched the Liga title last weekend – headed over the stranded Iker Casillas following a corner.

It seemed that would be enough when the final moved into added time but with two of the five additional minutes remaining Sergio Ramos nodded the equaliser to take the match into extra time.

There Madrid ran away with it after Bale’s 110th-minute header, Marcelo and Ronaldo’s penalty crowning a memroable fightback.

Diego Simeone, who was sent from the touchline after the fourth goal, included Diego Costa in his starting lineup despite a hamstring injury, but the gamble backfired before ten minutes had elapsed, the striker limping off.

His replacement, Adrián López, barely got a look-in early on as Madrid did the majority of the pressing, the alert Thibaut Courtois reacting sharply to deny Bale and Karim Benzema.

The goalkeeper was exposed when Bale cut out Tiago’s wayward crossfield pass and bore down on the Atlético net, however; Miranda came to the rescue, sliding in and the Welshman’s shot flew a metre wide.

Four minutes later, that proved even more crucial as Juanfran sent the ball back into the penalty area after Madrid had partially cleared a corner; Godín beat Casillas to it and his looping header bounced over the line despite the goalkeeper’s efforts to claw it away.

The Madrid captain had warned of Atlético’s set-piece prowess but his team were nearly undone again from the same route, Adrián meeting another corner only to head too high. That suggested the game was opening up, and so it proved.

Within minutes of the restart – after Madrid again failed to properly clear a corner – Adrián had a shot deflected wide, while Courtois pushed over Ronaldo’s free-kick before the Portuguese flicked on a Ramos cross; Benzema was centimetres from connecting.

With Atlético threatening on the counter, Madrid continued to press, Luka Modri? and Ronaldo setting up Bale from a fierce shot three metres past the post.

Another Ronaldo pass then set Bale clear of Godín but, from a tight angle and with Courtois advancing, again his could only prod wide of the near post.

It looked as if Madrid would be denied before Ramos came to their rescue, heading from a corner deep into stoppage time – having also scored twice in the semi-final second leg.

Atlético’s sole previous final appearance, in 1974, had featured a last-minute equaliser conceded.

Then they lost the replay to FC Bayern München and there was more heartbreak in store this time.

Ángel Di María did the legwork for Madrid’s crucial second goal, wriggling clear down the left; though Courtois made another fine stop, Bale was first to the rebound to head in.

With the Madrid fans still celebrating, Marcelo broke through direct a low shot under Courtois, before Ronaldo was brought down by Gabi and got up to convert the penalty himself – his 17th goal of this season’s competition, making him the fourth player to score in two UEFA Champions League finals.

Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti emulating Bob Paisley in winning the trophy three times as a coach, could start their ‘Décima’ party, with Atlético left to reflect on how close they came once again.

 

READERS COMMENTS

  1. Bright Baffour says:

    Real Madrid are the best team in Europe

  2. boro says:

    In fact Real Madrid vrs Athletico Madrid is simply a clash of star-studded team against a team that looks more hungrier for the title. However, momentarily lost of concentration against such star-studded team in a minute can cause you a lot and I think that is what happened to Athletico on the day. How one earth can you leave a player like Sergio Ramos unmarked when RM had the comer kick knowing that Sergio is a player has scored three goals in two matches from similar situations?.
    This is where I will take the opportunity to advice our BS players to make sure they maintain 100% concentration in all the seven matches we are going to end up playing in Brazil. We support each other until the last whistle in each of the seven matches we will play, period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. John says:

    Checkout the record, boakye yiadom scored against the champions league winners which is real Madrid and also uefa cup winners sevilla .. In fact boakye yiadom is blessed!!!

  4. manuel says:

    i think real madrid deserves the championship trophy and have really fought hard to come this far.hala madrid

  5. Anokwale says:

    This is a good example of why you should not play conservatively. Eventually, the other team will break through.

  6. 21guns says:

    I miss mourinho in this final soo much that it made me sad after I saw the 5 minutes added time …

    (1) He Simeoni want to show the soccer world that he is going to attack and attack no matter what the game is and I see that as an arrogance, you are playing Real Madrid you have manage to win the first half easily with ball possessions in my idea .

    (2) the players fight and fight playing the say style at the second half even though Real Madrid is controlling the game at the middle of the second half ,I can’t blame the players because they are following the instructions from a coach who thinks football is always about possessions ,regardless of a time.

    (3) I miss mourinho soo much that ,I nearly slapped Simeoni through the TV ,FOOTBALL IS NOT always about possessions ,what if you lost your possessions ,what option do you have ,you don’t have options than to defend,mourinho will defend and the same time make it spicy ,it 5 minutes to go ,you know that you can’t play toe to toe within those 5 minutes instruct your players to delay time fake injuries ,bite ,fight ,cause trouble ,vomit,do what ever you can to delay the time .

    I quiet remember France against Italy ,Italy have played and played they the Italians know that there is noo way to beat France unless zidane is out of the game ,so they the Italians knows that zidane get angry easily so they did what they have to do to take him out of the game,and it killed the moral of the BLUES IT WORKED LIKE MAGIC for the AZURIES .

    I AM 99% sure that mourinho will not let Real Madrid snatch the cup away if he is leading and it extra time !we will always remember him as the SPECIAL ONE DUE TO HIS BRILIANCE AND TATICS OF STUDYING A GAME AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT ….

    the equalizer of the Madrid goal killed their joy and their strength in the game ,and what we have to know is if you are winning and you let your opponent comes over it very defficult to come back in a game it a normal,I did predicted that Real Madrid will win after the equalizer ,I WAS SUPORTING ATLETICO MADRID THOUGH.

    I LOST MONEY BY THE WAY ….SORRY TO THE ATLETICO FANS

  7. 21guns says:

    I miss mourinho in this final soo much that it made me sad after I saw the 5 minutes added time ….

    (1) He Simeoni want to show the soccer world that he is going to attack and attack no matter what the game is and I see that as an arrogance, you are playing Real Madrid you have manage to win the first half easily with ball possessions in my idea .

    (2) the players fight and fight playing the say style at the second half even though Real Madrid is controlling the game at the middle of the second half ,I can’t blame the players because they are following the instructions from a coach who thinks football is always about possessions ,regardless of a time.

    (3) I miss mourinho soo much that ,I nearly slapped Simeoni through the TV ,FOOTBALL IS NOT always about possessions ,what if you lost your possessions ,what option do you have ,you don’t have options than to defend,mourinho will defend and the same time make it spicy ,it 5 minutes to go ,you know that you can’t play toe to toe within those 5 minutes instruct your players to delay time fake injuries ,bite ,fight ,cause trouble ,vomit,do what ever you can to delay the time .

    I quiet remember France against Italy ,Italy have played and played they the Italians know that there is noo way to beat France unless zidane is out of the game ,so they the Italians knows that zidane get angry easily so they did what they have to do to take him out of the game,and it killed the moral of the BLUES IT WORKED LIKE MAGIC for the AZURIES .

    I AM 99% sure that mourinho will not let Real Madrid snatch the cup away if he is leading and it extra time !we will always remember him as the SPECIAL ONE DUE TO HIS BRILIANCE AND TATICS OF STUDYING A GAME AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT ….

    the equalizer of the Madrid goal killed their joy and their strength in the game ,and what we have to know is if you are winning and you let your opponent comes over it very defficult to come back in a game it a normal,I did predicted that Real Madrid will win after the equalizer ,I WAS SUPORTING ATLETICO MADRID THOUGH.

    I LOST MONEY BY THE WAY ….SORRY TO THE ATLETICO FANS

  8. keith from germany says:

    Irrespective of the goals atletico conceded,they realy defended well.
    Brazillian mirana and uruguayan diego Godin,these defenders are rock solid and has got a lot of concerntration.
    But we all saw how just one unfortunate moment can dumpen your high moral.
    Atlectico madrid and borrussia Dortmund has realy showed the world
    That if u wana play well against big teams u gotta first of all tighten your defence n play counter attack football.
    The way Atletico madrid playef will be the best system for the blackstars.
    Their captain Gabi is a workaholic and the brazilian Luis Lopes is a great tactical six .
    If the blackstars defend like the way atletico defemds ghana will be a hard nut to crack