Champions League: La Décima
Real Madrid is crowned in Lisbon tonight as the best football team of all time, winning its tenth Champions League (or equivalent) final, beating arch rivals Atlético 4-1 after extra time. On the night, Atlético did not deserve to lose by three goals but was part of a true festivity of football.
What an amazing game of football. Up to one hundred thousand Spanish football fans poured across the (now non-existent border between Spain and Portugal) into Lisbon to celebrate the first Champions League final between two teams from the same city and what a party they had. Many came on Friday night to follow several tapas routes, exploring Lisbon's more traditional and historic zones to taste some delicious seafood and other hot and cold snacks, before making their way on Saturday to Benfica's Estádio da Luz (Stadium of Light) to see the UEFA Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid.
Atlético had the game sewn up on 90 minutes, after Godín scored a header on 36', from a Gabí corner. Casillas went out of his area, flailing, misjudging rather than missing the ball, and Godín headed the ball over him into the net. However, Real came into the second half looking for the equalizer and as time wore on, the more determined Carlo Ancelotti's disciples looked. Even on the 90 minutes, with 5 minutes of extra time being added, one sensed that the game was far from over and it was from another corner, on 93 minutes, that Sérgio Ramos equalized the score.
In extra time, Gareth Bale broke the deadlock on 110', followed by Marcelo (118') and finally Cristiano Ronaldo, the best player in the world, with a penalty on 120'.
Diego Simeone did not deserve a defeat by three goals but Carlo Ancelotti also did not deserve to lose. Atlético finish the season with Las Liga championship, Real the Champions League and Spanish Cup winners. With Sevilla winning the Europa League, with Spain UEFA European Champions twice and FIFA World Cup winners once, Spain storms into the World Cup in Brazil if not as favourite, at least as a hot contender.
However, will Spain play tiki-taka? Barcelona does, and won nothing this season.
How they got there:
Champions League: Madrid comes to Lisbon
If one can sum up the expectations of Lisbon: how disappointing. The Lisbonians would have loved to support Chelsea FC (Mourinho) against Real Madrid (Cristiano Ronaldo) but it is not to be. Madrid is coming to Lisbon on May 24. Real thrashed Bayern in Germany, Atlético thrashed Chelsea in London. La Liga rules.
Chelsea 1 Atlético Madrid 3
Torres 36 Adrián López 44
Diego Costa 60 (pen)
Arda Turan 72
José Mourinho must be asking what he has to do to win the Champions League with Chelsea FC. Tonight's match was a nightmare, losing 1-3 at home to Atlético Madrid, firing 10 shots at goal on target (the same as Atlético), the fruit of a ball possession of 52% (against 48%) and 17 shots against 14. Chelsea had 5 shots blocked, against 3 but one against the woodwork, against 2 and 4 corners against 9.
At the end of the day, the Spanish La Liga has produced the best football this season, the Premiership second best, and so, two Spanish teams are in the final of the Champions League in Lisbon on May 24.
Mourinho has once again proven his worth, reaching yet another semi-final, his eighth.
Atlético Madrid 0 Chelsea FC 0
A professional game of football took place at Vicente Calderón, in which the home side, Atlético Madrid, was held to a goalless draw by Chelsea, obeying Mourinho's orders and playing an intelligent and containing game of football. The bad news is Chelsea lost Cech and Terry through injury.
Petr Cech will be out of action until the end of the season due to a shoulder injury he sustained this evening in Madrid after 17 minutes. John Terry will also be out, because of a foot injury which saw him limp off the field tonight after 73' but he might be back to captain Chelsea in a Champions League final, Mourinho's third with three teams after FC Porto and Inter Milan. It is also Mourinho's eighth Champions League semi-final.
For the first time in eleven games, Atlético did not hit the net, the fruit of Chelsea's containment game, coming to Madrid determined to get a point. And they got it. Atlético had 69% of ball possession, against Chelsea's 31%, had 25 shots (4 on) against 5 (2) and 6 corners to 4.
Champions League: Real books place in Lisbon
Real Madrid will play against rivals Atlético Madrid or Chelsea FC in Lisbon in the Champions League final on May 24, after thrashing Bayern Munich in Germany 4-0, making it a total of 5ive goals without reply over two legs. What has Guardiola done to his team which has gone way off the boil since winning the Bundesliga?
Bayern Munich 0 Real Madrid 4
Ramos 16, 20
Ronaldo 34, 89
It took a quarter of an hour before Real was two gals up on aggregate and from then on it got worse for an unrecognizable Bayern, which has gone right off the boil since sewing up the German championship. Sergio Ramos' two goals came from set pieces (two headers) and before the break Real was 4-0 up over the two legs, Ronaldo making it five from another set piece just before time. Pep Guardiola has a lot of explaining to do.
Despite having 69 per cent of ball possession, against Real Madrid's 31%, Bayern did nothing with 19 shots (4 on target) and 9 corners. Real scored 4 goals with 13 shots (5 on) and three corners.
Real Madrid 1 Bayern Munich 0
Bayern Munich 3 Manchester United 1
Mandzukic 59 Evra 57
T. Müller 68
Evra put United ahead, and the game then swung in Moyes' favour at 2-1, after the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. However, Guardiola made some changes and that was the turning point. Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben put three in the net and Bayern Munich goes through on aggregate 4-2.
Bayern had 63% possession against 37%, 25 shors against 6 (14 on target against 4) and 11 corners against 2.
Manchester United 1 Bayern Munich 1
Vidic, 58 Schweinsteiger, 67
Old Trafford was ablaze when Captain Nemanja Vidic put the home side ahead with a headed goal on 58 minutes but within nine minutes Bastian Schweinsteiger had equalized, before he was sent off for a second yellow, in a tackle on Rooney. Despite playing away from home, Bayern had 70 per cent of ball possession, against United's 30% and had 15 shots (9 on target) against United's 6 (5 on). In corners, Bayern also had the advantage (6 against 3).
Aggregate: Bayern Munich 4-2
Atlético Madrid 1 Barcelona 0
Koke's goal took the Rojiblancos through to their first Champions League semi-final, the first in this type of competition for 40 years, while Barça was denied the sixth successive appearance in the semis. Atlético hit the woodwork thrice in the first half but played an intelligent game, giving Barça possession (64% against 36%), while Atlético had 14 shots against 11 (9 on versus 5).
Barcelona 1 Atlético Madrid 1
Neymar, 71 Diego, 56
An amazing long-range rocket from Diego (replacement for the injured Diego Costa) put the visitors ahead befor Neymar equalized the game, managing to beat the amazing goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
The game was controlled by Barcelona (66% against 34%) and the home team had 17 shots (11 on) against Atlético's 6 (3 on). Barça had 8 corners to the visitors' one.
Aggregate: Atlético 2-1
Dortmund 2 Real Madrid 0
Reus 24, 37
Bale, Isco and Ronaldo, injured and not playing tonight, had done enough in the first leg to pull real through, just, because Dortmund put two away through Marco Reus in the first half, had one shot blocked and two on the woodwork. What a game! The ball possession was divided 50-50, Dortmund had slightly more shots, 12 to 10, 6 to 5 on.
Real Madrid 3 Dortmund 0
Isco 27; Ronaldo 57
Isco was the man of the match, in which Real Madrid started off in the best manner with a goal from Gareth Bale after just three minutes. Isco scored the second on 27 and Real went into the bootroom 2-0 up. In the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo was on target to score the 3-0, so Dortmund need to score 4 goals without reply in Germany to pass.
Real had 58% of ball possession against the visitors' 42%, 20 shots with 16 on target, against 14 (9), while Dortmund had seven corners against Real's 6.
Aggregate: Real Madrid wins 3-2
Chelsea 2 Paris Saint-Germain 0
Demba Ba, 87
Chelsea win the tie on away goals with the aggregate at 3-3, after André Schürrle put the first goal away after 32', and two more balls hit the posts, then Demba Ba struck three minutes from time. Chelsea goes into the semi-final.
José Mourinho's side had more possession, 54% against 46% and had 16 shots (10 on) against 13 (6 on target).
Paris Saint-Germain 3 Chelsea 1
Lavezzi 4 Hazard 27 (pen)
David Luiz (o.g.) 61
Had it not been for the own goal by David Luiz and the last-gasp third from Pastore, Chelsea would have come home from Paris with a technical advantage. As it is, PSG just has to manage a two-goal lead. However, with Mourinho in charge, Chelsea might just do it by throwing everything at the Parisians in London or by playing a cat-and-mouse game, giving away possession and counter-attacking.
Aggregate: 3-3 Chelsea FC wins on away goals
Europa League: Sevilla beats Benfica on penalties
Full time 0-0. Extra time 0-0. Penalties Sevilla 4 Benfica 2. Sevilla wins the third European title. Ball possession was evenly divided but Benfica had more shots (20 to 11), 6 on target against 4 for Sevilla and seven corners against 4. In the end it came down to penalties and at this level, those who cannot put them away are punished.
In the semi-finals Benfica overcame Juventus over two legs and returned to Turin to play Sevilla. By the wayside in Benfica's path are Tottenham Hotspur FC (England) and AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands). Sevilla, which after eliminating Betis and FC Porto, beat Valencia.
Benfica 0 Sevilla 0
Lima Bacca, M´Bia, Coke, Kevin Gameiro (scored)