Real Madrid’s 4-2 aggregate victory over rivals Atletico Madrid, set up a rematch of the 1998 champions league finals with Juventus. A game Real snatched winning 1-0.
Real Madrid are in their 15th finals appearance, a record, AC Milan with 11 have the next most appearances.
Zinedine Zidane became the first manager since Sir Alex Ferguson in 2008 and 2009 to reach two European Cup finals in a row, and has done so in his first two seasons as a coach. He attempts to become the first to retain it, he will have to do so against his former club. Zidane actually featured in the 1998 finals, for Juventus.
In order for Atletico to progress they had to own the game, and the started that way. They were able to score not just once but twice inside the opening minutes. The first came from a corner with Saul Niguez rising to plant a near post header.
Soon after and Fernando Torres worked his way into the penalty area only to be tripped by Raphael Varane, the spot-kick was given and Griezmann was able to score, even though Navas got a hand to it. The atmosphere feverish, their dream of a comeback was looking like reality.
After that goal Atletico seemed to let off, allowing players like Modric and Kroos settle into their rhythm and control the midfield.
Benzema channelled his inner Ronaldo (R9) in a moment of pure magic, how he managed to keep the ball within the lines of the pitch was simply wonderful, drawing and skipping past 3 of Atletico’s defenders. He delivered the ball to Kroos, whose shot was parried by Jan Oblak only for Isco to pounce.
Isco had been the best player in the game and it was great to see him put the ball away, returning to Real their control of the tie. halftime 2-1.
Atletico now needed three goals in normal time. Their chances were wasted, most notably from substitute Kevin Gameiro who headed tamely for Navas to turn away after the goalkeeper had parried Yannick Carrasco’s curling shot. The game was over immediately Isco scored, there was really never a way back.
Ronaldo had the ball in the net, but was called off for offside.
Atletico threw themselves forward but they could not make the breakthrough. Full time 2-1.
Atletico Madrid became the first team to be eliminated by the same opponents four times in a row.