UEFA Final goes to Real Madrid in a wild one
Tensions were racing until the very end of the UEFA Champions League final, with Real Madrid finally clinching the win 4-1 with three goals in extra time. TheY beat crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid in what turned from a nail bitter to laughter in about five minutes.
Almost 61,000 (60,976) spectators gathered in Lisbon’s Estádio da Luz to see the first Champions League final to be played between two teams from the same city.
Atletico lost key player Diego Costa to injury in the ninth minute; a nagging right-thigh problem sustained during their league-winning match against Barcelona the week before.
But Atletico held on to their lead from the 36th minute when Diego Godin put the Spanish league champions ahead. Real keeper Iker Casillas scrambled back to pull the ball away from the net, but couldn’t stop it from crossing the line.
Sergio Ramos finally broke through for Real in the 93rd minute, scoring a late header to equalise and take the match to extra time.
In a “Back to the Future” moment, the Real goal provided a flashback to the ’74 final when Atletico had their European Cup dreams shattered against Bayern Munich. A Bayern equaliser in the 120th minute lead to a replay, with the German side winning the title 4-0.
The outcome wasn’t dissimilar. Gareth Bale went on to score a header in the 111th minute to put Real in the lead.
All bets were off when Marcelo put the ball into the corner of the net, past a touch from Atletico keeper Thibaut Courtois, taking the match to 3-1 in Real’s favour.
Twelve years after their last Champions League victory, Cristiano Ronaldo secured the victory for coach Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
After being brought down for a penalty, he calmly slotted the ball to Courtois’ left to score his 17th goal in 11 Champions League matches this season.
Atletico look set to hold on to their jokey nickname “los pupas” (“the Jinxed Ones”) for a while longer.