Real Madrid continued to create history by becoming the first team ever to win the UEFA Champions League 11 times (aka La Undécima) after beating arch-rivals Atletico Madrid 5-3 on penalties at the San Siro Stadium on Saturday night.
Atletico were looking to win their first ever Champions League in theri club’s 113-year history also seeking to avenge their 2014 Final defeat where they lost to Real-Madrid on extra-time. Real Madrid, under Zinedine Zidane were looking to win the trophy as they can’t afford to end their season trophyless.
Real Madrid threatened Atletico with set-pieces early in the game, forcing Atletico keeper Jan Oblak to some fine stops. But Real eventually took the early goal just 15 minutes into the game when the skipper Sergio Ramos squeezed in the ball from a set-piece. Atletico questioned for a possible offside call but the officials allowed it in. With not much action later in the half, Real had the advantage during the break.
The second half started with a huge call from the referee Mark Clattenburg who gave Atletico a penalty with just about a minute into the second half after Pepe hacked into Fernando Torres’ legs in the box. Antoine Griezmann had the chance to level it up and bring momentum to his side, but the Frenchman failed to handle the pressure after blasting straight at the crossbar giving Real Madrid a lifeline.
Real Madrid wanted to score more goals as an insurance policy but the persistent defending from Jan Oblak and his defense managed to keep Aatletico in the game, forcing number of saves and a few goal line clearances to keep the score 1-0.
And it was eventually Atletico who managed to equalize and force the game to extra-time with 10 minutes to go as substitute Yannick Carrasco tapped home from 10 yards from Juanfran’s cross down the right. The momentum looked to be on Atletico’s side with the equalizer and also saving substitutions for extra time unlike Real Madrid who used all three substitutes in regular time.
Extra-time however didn’t show much action, where most of the time was spent on players lying down from cramp and other minor injuries. With nothing much happened in extra time, the game was forced to penalties.
Every player scored in the shoot-out until Atletico’s fourth kicker Juanfran failed to capitalize his penalty after striking the left post, continuing the woodwork curse for his side following Griezmann’s miss in the second-half. Cristiano Ronaldo had the chance to win his team the trophy with the final kick, which the Portuguese superstar spotted calmly away from Oblak to win the Championship.
Atletico failed to get their revenge on their final defeat to Real Madrid as their King’s of Europe dream will have to postpone until next time. They managed to win the fan’s hearts though as they have knocked out favorites Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively. Real Madrid can now end their season in the high, as the Los Blancos overcame a treacherous start of the season under Rafa Benitez to winning the title under Zinedine Zidane. The race for this year is over, but the fight will continue next season…
Do you think Real Madrid deserved to win? Who do you think will win next season’s Champions League? Will there be any upsets? Comment your thoughts below!