Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports
Chelsea was hosting Atletico Madrid in the second-leg of their Champions League semi-final pairing. With the aggregate score tied at zero, Chelsea would need an outright win because any draw involving a goal would benefit Atletico Madrid because of the away goal rule.
In the first half Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, a product of Atletico Madrid, gave the home team an early lead and put them in the driver’s seat. Torres refused to celebrate against his former club though in a classy move.
The lead didn’t last long, because before the end of the first half, Adrian Lopez scored tying the game. That 1-1 draw would’ve benefited Atletico had the scoreline held for the rest of the game.
In the second half, Chelsea proceeded to melt down. A foul by Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o on Atletico striker Diego Costa gave the Spanish side a penalty kick. Costa got a yellow card for taking a long time to place the ball and taking a spot, continuously moving it and rubbing his cleats on the spot.
Eventually Costa took the kick and buried it in the back of the net giving Atletico a 2-1 lead. That put Chelsea in a situation where they needed two more goals, to try and win 3-2. A little bit later, Arda Turan had the ball fly off the cross bar and land at his feet just over six yards out from the goal and no Chelsea defender near by. Turan buried it in the back of the net to give Atletico a commanding 3-1 lead, making any kind of Chelsea comeback a monumental task.
Eventually the final whistle blew, and Atletico Madrid advanced with a 3-1 score line. That sets up an all-Madrid Champions League final against Real Madrid, who dominated Bayern Munich in the second leg of their semi-finals on Tuesday. It is the second year in a row that both teams in the final came from the same domestic league.
An all-Madrid final might not be the most compelling storyline from UEFA’s stand point, and having two teams from the same league might not appeal to fans from other leagues, but it is still a quality pairing between to solid clubs.
Either way, Madrid can start planning a parade.