LISBON: Real Madrid secured a 10th European Cup when they snatched a stoppage-time equaliser before extra-time goals by Gareth Bale, Marcelo and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty gave them a 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final yesterday.
Atletico, who won the Spanish league title a week ago, looked set to complete a double after Diego Godin’s 36th-minute header, helped by a blunder from Real keeper Iker Casillas, put them in control of the first European final between teams from the same city.
Real attacked relentlessly in the second half at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light but had to wait until the third minute of stoppage time for an equaliser when Sergio Ramos headed in powerfully from a corner. Atletico looked a spent force in extra time and Real completed the comeback win when Bale headed them into the lead in the 110th minute before Marcelo slammed in a late third. Ronaldo, the Portugal captain playing in his own capital city, scored the fourth from the penalty spot to clinch an astonishing turnaround and a double of Champions League and King’s Cup after Real could only finish third in La Liga.
Atletico took the lead when their city rivals failed to clear a corner and they hooked the ball back into the box.
Casillas, who came rushing out of his goal, was left stranded in no man’s land as Godin beat him to the ball and headed towards goal. The keeper rushed back and attempted to scoop the ball out but it had already crossed the line. It was a notable double for Godin who headed the goal in last week’s 1-1 draw at Barcelona that secured Atletico’s first league title since 1996.
The opener came five minutes after Real’s world record signing Gareth Bale had spurned a great opportunity to put his side ahead when he picked up the ball in midfield after Tiago gave possession away cheaply.
Welshman Bale surged forward, powering his way deep into the Atletico penalty area, but waited too long to shoot and when he did he fired wide of Thibaut Courtois’ goal. That started a surge of Real pressure that finally paid off when Ramos headed the equaliser to force extra time.
The first period of that ended without another goal, but Real finally took control of the game in the last 15 minutes when Bale headed them in front in the 110th minute before Marcelo fired home the third and Ronaldo scored from the spot. Ronaldo’s goal was his 17th of the campaign, an all-time record for the competition, and meant Carlo Ancelotti became only the second man after Bob Paisley of Liverpool to win three European Cups as a coach after the Italian’s earlier successes with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007. Reuters