REAL MADRID 4-1 ATLÉTICO MADRID (AET)
Real Madrid beat Atlético to win Champions League final 2014
Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid beat Atlético Madrid in the Champions League final 2013/2014 in Lisbon, with a goal from Ramos in the 93’ cancelling out Godin’s goal, and taking the game into extra-time. Goals from Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano saw Real Madrid triumph.
Real Madrid will take on Atlético Madrid in the Champions League final on 28 May in Milan. (Video highlights here) A repeat of the final two years ago; a chance for Atleti to take revenge for what happened that night, with Ancelotti's side denying their city rivals their first European Cup as they claimed Real's 10th.
Here's our match report from that incredible night:
La Décima, Real Madrid's 10th European Cup, had to be special, and it was. It couldn’t be just another Cup, just another triumph, in the same way that the joy at winning it wouldn’t be comparable. But the ecstasy of this Champions League win has to be set against the utter grief of Atlético Madrid. Real Madrid's city neighbours, with the fans of both sides sharing apartment buildings, offices, supermarkets. Real’s heroics, concentrated in the unbreakable faith of the team in the final minutes of the 90, are an infinite cruelty when seen from the perspective of Atlético.
Atlético were Champions for 56 minutes, nearly an hour. To which should be added the six minutes they were Champions for, 40 years ago. They fell as they did then. At the point where they believed they’d won it, when everyone in the world believed, except for Madrid. It happened with two minutes to go, just like against Bayern. The coincidence isn’t cruel, it’s sadistic.
Lisbon will always now belong to Real Madrid, an extension of La Castellana (the street the Bernabéu is on). As of this moment we’ll talk about the Stadium of White Light. In years to come, in the narrow streets of Lisbon’s Alfama district there will be lovers, Real Madrid fans, maybe cuddling under a lamp post, whispering, “they were rojiblanco, red and white, you were a vikinga... we’ll always have Lisbon”.
Sorry for the chaos. It’s a heavy responsibility to write for an edition of the paper that won’t be used to wrap fish and chips, but will be kept for posterity, read again and again over the years, usually when moving house, how many tears are shed when moving house! Maybe it’ll be a newspaper found by accident, because the intention was to destroy it. Hello from the past, citizens of the future: what you lived through was true, move house in peace, cry at your leisure. Madrid won, and it was the Décima. Atleti lost, as they did 40 years ago. Although this page will yellow as time passes the value of this page is as an official certificate. It happened. And it was unforgettable.
I’m writing this watching my colleagues: some are jumping for joy; others are slumped in their seats. They tell me it’s nothing compared to what’s happening on the streets of Madrid, where the two sets of fans are crying or laughing. The supporters, at least now, are an example of the brotherhood of football: some in red and white will be crying on a shoulder dressed in white, a few will sleep in the same bed as their adversary, and will do for many years. Long live the mix.
Whoever says you can’t always win is wrong; Madrid nearly always win, in fact they win one out of every six European Cups. Atlético have a consolation, they’ve lost the Champions, but they retain the legend that they’re jinxed, the overcoat and the fog. There’s no hurry to change stadium and leave the Paseo de los Melancólicos. Simeone can continue to be Robin Hood and Mono Burgos, Little John. Both can carry on living in Sherwood Forest.
What to say. Joy is hardly a creative subject and Atleti’s lyrical situation is based purely on misfortune. Madrid have the more conventional film plot: Ingrid marries Bogart, they close the bar and have five children. Following Madrid is as unadventurous as being a citizen of the US of A. Who run the world.
This was Cristiano’s moment. He’s 29, his last Champions League before he turns 30, his first final in five years with Real Madrid. His incredible statistics needed a title like this to confirm the legend. It couldn’t happen in a better place, in his own country, but on away turf, at Benfica’s ground, the eternal rival to the Sporting of his youth. But he had a tame match, out of form and his celebration for the fourth goal was distasteful. An ugly gesture, nice photo though.
The memory of the match still burns. As expected the first half was played in brambles. Impossible not to get scratched. It was hard work, like metal-beating, medieval; every ball was a battle. There’s little to mention, except the mishaps. Some of which were foreseen. After eight minutes Diego Costa came off. If it was all a trick they’ll have to explain it. In the first 10 minutes Cristiano had been pushed twice while jumping, with a certain amount of intention. Presumably to test his muscles.
Atleti’s defence were playing far back to protect against counter attacks. A few kilometres up field the team looked for long balls to Villa or Adrián. Only when they involved Juanfran did they create any danger. Madrid came out fast, but they lacked their sharpness round the box and sent balls in for Santillana, who of course wasn’t actually playing. Di María was the only real out and out threat.
Godín’s goal was about as beautiful as the game. From a corner Tiago returned a cleared ball to the box. Godín out jumped Khedira and Casillas was stuck in no man’s land having come out. When he ran back to get the ball it was already in. At that point we thought Iker’s guardian angel was also out injured. We underestimated him.
In the second half Atleti started to play against the clock early on. Without taking their eyes off it they sat further and further back. Madrid got closer and the agony became more acute. Real made several chances in a row, two for Isco and one for Bale. The minutes kept ticking away and Atleti weren’t just threatened by their rivals in white, but by a ghost with 13 letters: Schwarzenbeck. The German ogre scored with two minutes left and Sergio Ramos did it in time added on, also two minutes from the end. At a corner Cristiano and Bale took the main part of the defence with them and the defender headed home as they do in the manuals. Atleti’s error was a serious one: Madrid aren’t Barça.
In extra-time, Atlético could have done with the change they’d wasted after eight minutes with Diego Costa. The effect of that on their psyches was added to by sheer exhaustion, the inability of Juanfran to take another step, collective collapse. Somehow they survived the first half of extra time. In the 110th minute they couldn’t give anymore. Di María broke their resistance down Juanfran’s side and shot, Courtois blocked, but only as far as Bale’s head, who nodded home. Though Marcelo and Cristiano also scored it was over. Tumult. An implosion of grief, an explosion of joy. The Décima belongs to Madrid. Just like the European Cup. Atleti are left with bittersweet lyrics.