Champions League final score: Real Madrid defeat Atletico 4-1 in extra time


On Saturday the biggest club soccer game in the world was played between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in Lisbon, Portugal. For the fifth time in the history of the Champions League it was between two teams from the same domestic league, and the first time it was held between two teams from the city.

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Real Madrid came into the game looking for their 10th European Cup in their 13th finals appearance. Real Madrid has a championship pedigree unmatched by any other club in Europe on this stage. Atletico Madrid came into the game in some ways an under dog, playing in just their second final and having never won the a European Cup.

The big story line heading into the game was the injury concerns for both teams. Real Madrid starter Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, all players who were beat up and dealing with injuries. Defender Pepe was a big question mark and started the game on the bench as a substitute.

For Atletico Madrid the big question mark was around striker Diego Costa, their superstar player who is reportedly set to leave for Chelsea FC this summer. He had a grade one hamstring tear heading into the game and was receiving horse placenta treatment to get ready for the final and Atletico boss Diego Simeone started Costa.

In the ninth minute of the game however, Costa was pulled in a somewhat surprising move. It was shocking to see Atletico Madrid waste a substitution so early in the game when Costa didn’t seem to be injured. He wasn’t necessarily limping and wasn’t on the receiving end of a hard tackle to prompt a substitution.

That almost made it seem like a planned tactical move all along. By starting Costa, Real Madrid had to use a certain line up to account for him and by then substituting on Adrian they changed their lineup catching Real Madrid a bit off guard.

That can be a huge advantage between two teams that know each other as well as these two sides have. Not only have they played one another in the La Liga season, they’ve played one another in the Copa Del Rey competition as well and any tactical move can be an advantage with this kind of familiarity.

Later in the first half the disdain between the two clubs was on full display after a foul on Madrid’s Angel Di Maria by Atletico’s Raul Garcia. He was shown a yellow card for the challenge and Madrid’s Sergio Ramos was also shown a yellow for confronting Garcia after the fact. During all this a bit of a dust up occurred and there was some pushing and shoving and even a forearm to the face in the ensuing scuffle.

In the 36th minute the scoreless draw was broken when Atletico Madrid got on the board. A ball was coming into the box, and Madrid goal keeper Iker Casillas made a baffling decision to leave his line and come out for the ball. Atletico’s Diego Godin went up and got a head on it, giving it a little loft over Casillas. The keeper was left scrambling back to the line to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line but he was too late and Atletico Madrid was on the board.

It was kind of surprising to see a veteran player make such a mental error on such a grand stage. That score line held until the end of the first half and Real Madrid came into the second half looking to over come the deficit.

Real Madrid had their fair share of chances in the second half early on. Cristiano Ronaldo took a free kick that curled over the wall and was headed in just below the cross bar, but Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois was able to get a hand on it and put it over the bar setting up a corner kick. That set up a couple of corner kicks, neither of which Real Madrid was able to convert for the game-tying goal.

Real Madrid really began to pour on the offense and had several near chances but wasn’t able to get any of them to go in the goal just missing the mark usually. Atletico Madrid began to go into time-wasting mode, desperately trying to cling to their lead and to hold onto their first European Cup.

MORE: Top 10 Champions League goals | Casillas mishap gives Atletico lead | Twitter reacts to Ramos goal

The referees awarded five minutes of stoppage time which began with an Atletico Madrid free kick. Real regained possession and began to attack repeatedly trying to get anything to find the pack of the net. Two minutes in they were awarded a corner, which they played short and worked around to the far side of the box, which didn’t go in. It set up a second corner kick and gave Real Madrid another chance. This corner was sent into the box and Sergio Ramos was able to get a head on it and tuck it in near the post to tie the game.

That goal in stoppage time forced extra time and just ripped all the momentum out of the Atletico Madrid squad that was so close to a European Cup.

In the first period of extra time, Atletico was mainly on the defensive and players on both sides began to cramp up. Both teams had used up their three substitutions in regular time resigning them to using these squads for the remaining 30 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo got a free kick in the 100th minute from outside the box. It was a spot Ronaldo had taken free kicks from earlier in the game and in a nearly ideal spot and distance for him to take a strike.

The ball went off someone in the wall’s elbow, and Ronaldo appealed for a hand ball but it wasn’t awarded. That resulted in a corner kick, which Real Madrid wasn’t able to convert and they headed into the break of the first period of extra time the same way they entered, level at one goal a piece. Both teams needed the break to recover from the fatigue setting in on both sides.

In the second period, Real Madrid continued to pour on the offense. A shot on goal from Angel Di Maria, who snaked his way past some defenders, was initially saved by Atletico Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois. The ball floated to the far side of the goal and Welsh forward Gareth Bale was there. He got up over the defender and put a head on it and the ball sailed into the top right corner of the goal, giving Real their first lead of the game.

Bale was the big summer transfer window acquisition from Tottenham Hotspur and if anyone is questioning whether or not he was worthy of the the move.

Real Madrid wasn’t done either. Minutes after Bale’s goal, Madrid’s Marcelo was coming into the box with the ball and added an insurance goal incase Atletico Madrid was thinking about a come back. He came in on goal and was being given space before taking the shot.

To add insult to injury, Atletico Madrid gave up a penalty in the box minutes after that. Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and Portugal legend, stepped up to take the kick in his home country. He buried the goal and quickly took off his shirt and ran into the corner to celebrate striking a Mario Balotelli-esque stance.

Some anarchy broke out as Atletico boss Diego Simeone ran out onto the pitch. Once the game was calmed down the whistle blew and Real Madrid won the Champions League final 4-1.