Real Madrid finally ended their long wait for a tenth European Cup in the club’s history. The popularly-known, ‘La Decima’ came on the night of 24th May, Saturday at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal as Madrid beat their city rivals, Atletico 4-1 in a thrilling final.
It was the second all-Spanish final and the first in the history of the competition to feature two teams from the same city. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale both started for the Los Blancos while Diego Costa was seen in the starting line-up for Atletico despite suffering an injury from the last week’s match with FC Barcelona. Rafael Varane came in for Pepe and Sami Khedira started for Xabi Alonso, who was suspended after taking a yellow card in the semi-final against Bayern Munich.
The match kicked off with a nervy start for Atletico as Real Madrid looked more comfortable on the ball. However, the hardworking team of Diego Simeone, Atletico’s Manager, started growing into the match as they left no ball uncontested and putting pressure on the Madrid players. The first goal came in the 36th minute for Atletico as Diego Godin headed the ball into the Madrid net from a rebounded corner into an empty net as Iker Casillas was caught in no-man’s land. Diego Godin had also scored in last week’s draw against Barcelona which eventually led the Atletico team to win the Spanish La Liga.
The match continued in the second half with the match being mostly contested in the midfield. The match looked set for a win by the men in red and white but their celebrations were spoilt by the long-serving Madrid man, Sergio Ramos as he headed the ball into the net in the 93rd minute. It was heartbreaking for the Atletico fans as they saw the trophy being stolen from them during the next 30 minutes.
The first period of extra-time saw a majority of the ball with the men in white. But the breakthrough came in the second half of the extra-time period with a clinical run from Angel Di Maria whose shot was saved by Courtois but rebounded in by the world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale. This was followed by a goal from Marcelo who ensured that the title was going to the Spanish giants. However, Atletico conceded a penalty in the dying minutes of the match to allow Cristano Ronaldo to score on his homeland. This was followed by a scuffle between Diego Simeone and Rafael Varane which eventually led to Simeone being sent off from the grounds but not for long, as shortly afterwards, the final whistle was blown.
Real Madrid ended their 12 year wait for the coveted title and Angel Di Maria was named the Man of The Match. Take a look at the highlights of the match below!
Image courtesy: tsmplug.com