Real Madrid in CL 11th heaven after perfect penalty win over rivals Atletico
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | May 28, 2016
Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid (Real win on penalties)
- Ramos poked home from Bale flicked header to give Real lead
- Griezmann hit bar with penalty after Pepe fouled Torres
- Carrasco equalised late in normal time from Juanfran cross
- Juanfran missed only penalty as Ronaldo scored to win 11th title
Spot-on Real down Atleti in final again
Real Madrid have extended their unmatched Champions League trophy count to 11, after a hotly-contested San Siro showdown against city rivals Atletico Madrid, who they beat in a tense penalty shootout.
Goals from Sergio Ramos and Yannick Carrasco in normal time forced the game into extra-time and then to spot-kicks, with of course Cristiano Ronaldo slotting in the winner, but the victory gives Zinedine Zidane his first title as Los Blancos boss.
It is a bitter blow for Diego Simeone and his men, who lost in the 2014 final against their same rivals too after being just minutes away from becoming champions.
While Atletico will have another chance at the competition next campaign, Real are 4/1 with Coral to go on and defend their crown in 2016/17.
Exciting start to season finale
Atleti clubman Koke made the first impact on the game, first by letting Casemiro know he was there in the opening seconds and then getting a shot on target.
Brazilian Casemiro then nearly got his ownback in the sixth minute, but his shot was somehow kept out by keeper Jan Oblak from point-blank range after a deflected free-kick from Gareth Bale on the edge of the box.
Ramos, who also netted a late equaliser on Los Blancos’ way to lifting their 10th title against them in the 2014 final, made sure that his side did get an early lead, however, poaching home from a headed flick-on by Bale after a quarter-of-an-hour.
Replays showed that the Spain centre back was just offside, but neither he nor Los Blancos fans will have cared.
Antoine Griezmann was a nuisance for much of the first-half, threatening to create chances, and just after the half-hour stage he unleashed a shot on target.
Navas and Benzema under pressure to perform
Keylor Navas was equal to it, however, and the Costa Rican certainly needed to be on top form tonight, in his final chance to prove that the club don’t need to search for a keeper in the summer.
Another Real star who is under pressure is Karim Benzema, following reports that the Spanish giants plan to make a bid for Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, but the controversial Frenchman looked lively up front.
But it was compatriot Griezmann who began to grow in confidence, and with a few minutes to go until the break the tricky forward was just wide of the post with a low drive.
Atleti needed an early goal in the second-half to change the momentum, and they nearly got their wish just three minutes in.
Griezmann passes up penalty gift
Pepe caused a stonewall penalty after fouling Fernando Torres in the box, which set up Griezmann to take the spot-kick. However, he crashed his effort onto the bar, hard enough for the ball to bounce back over him to safety.
Happiness changed to concern for Real and Spain fans, moments later, though, after a tearful Dani Carvajal had to come off injured. Will he be fit in time for Euro 2016? Or will it be an opening for Arsenal wonderkid Hector Bellerin to get La Roja call-up?
Atletico kept attacking, and came inches away from levelling the scores through the likes of Torres and defenders Diego Godin and Stefan Savic all in the same passage of play, but none could finish.
After Bale had an effort from far out, Atleti midfield duo Koke and Saul Niguez then came closer at the other end, but were just wide too.
The match calmed down for a while, before Benzema forced a fine save from Oblak in the 70th minute as he hit from an angle.
Real rue missed efforts as Atleti equalise
Cristiano Ronaldo had an unusually quiet night, but finally had his first cracks on goal with under 15 minutes to go, first from outside the area and next before his rebound found Bale, who couldn’t find the net either.
They were left to rue those opportunities, as literally seconds later substitute Carrasco converted from Juanfran’s brilliant first-time volleyed cross.
Carrasco scoring on and off the pitch… pic.twitter.com/Dffvs2mRMS
— Coral (@Coral) May 28, 2016
The goal seemed to spur on Real, though, and especially Bale who came close to putting his side back in front from a couple of chances.
A bad-looking Ramos foul at the end of normal time saw him earn a yellow card, but arguably also helped his side stay in the game after he brought down Carrasco, who had two other attackers to his side against just one defender, to force the tie into extra-time.
Players affected by cramp in extra-time
Ronaldo failed to head home from a corner after being set up on a plate after the break, and Oblak was therefore able to easily gather the Portuguese’s effort.
The two teams looked understandably tired during the first part of extra-time, and Bale and Koke in particular suffering with cramp, while the overall pace seemed slower.
Lucas Vazquez had a very late effort, but fellow sub Lucas Hernandez was able to block.
Panalty pain for Atletico
For the 11th time, a European Cup final was sent to penalties, and here is what happened…
Goal: Vasquez sent Oblak wrong way with low pass into right corner
Goal: Griezmann atoned earlier miss by shooting to the left
Goal: Marcelo strike too powerful for Oblak to get to
Goal: Gabi confidently fired shot in top left corner
Goal: Bale overcame cramp to slot into bottom corner
Goal: Saul slots in low left to send Navas wrong way
Goal: Ramos passed into bottom right corner
MISS! Juanfran hit left post after low shot
Goal: Ronaldo scored with final effort to win Champions League