UCL: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Madrid (agg 2-4)


Ronaldo silences the home crowd after Isco's strike

Real Madrid are through to face Juventus in the Champions League final despite losing 2-1 to Atletico Madrid, who were playing their last European game at the Vicente Calderon..


Atletico were tasked with overturning Real's commanding 3-0 semi-final lead from the first leg, and blew the tie wide open with two goals in the first 16 minutes through a Saul Niguez header and Antoine Griezmann penalty.

However, a sublime moment of skill from Karim Benzema saw him set up Toni Kroos just before half-time, and though the German's effort was superbly kept out by Jan Oblak, Isco was there to follow up with the rebound and leave Atletico needing three more without reply.

No goals followed in the second half, and the result means Real have now got the better of their city rivals for a fourth successive season in Europe.

Only Juventus stand in the way of Real's bid to become the first side to retain the Champions League trophy, in what would be their 12th European title overall. The two heavyweights face-off at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, June 3.

The message was clear from Atletico fans before the match - who displayed a banner aimed at their city rivals reading 'Proud to not be like you' before kick-off - and that mantra was carried onto the pitch as their players dug in from the off.

Keylor Navas was called into action early on, turning Koke's effort round the post before Fernando Torres headed over from the resulting corner.

But it was then Oblak's turn to make an impressive stop, getting a palm to Casemiro's header to ensure that Atletico were not out of the tie early on.

The Calderon erupted after 12 minutes when Saul's header proved too strong for Navas at the near post - valiantly running back to the half-way line instead of celebrating with 78 minutes still to go. And it got better for Alteti just moments later, as Torres drew the foul from Raphael Varane, leading referee Cuneyt Cakir to point to the spot after some hesitation.

Atletico had missed eight of their 13 penalties this season, but Griezmann just about tucked it home despite slipping on impact and Navas getting a hand to it.

However, the bubble was then burst by Benzema, who somehow wriggled past three players neat the corner flag before laying it off for Kroos. A stunning stop from Oblak followed, but he could not prevent Isco from scrambling in the rebound.

It took until 20 minutes into the second half for Atletico to carve out another chance, but they couldn't score as Navas saved from Yannick Carrasco before somehow keeping out Kevin Gameiro's header on the follow-up.

Navas then denied Griezmann from a tight angle before Sergio Ramos' vital interception prevented Gameiro from tapping in from close range. Real saw out the tie to advance 4-2 on aggregate, and now look towards a June date in Cardiff with Juventus in a repeat of the 1998 final, which they won 1-0 against the Italian outfit.


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