Real Madrid secured a place in their 15th European Cup final with a 4-2 aggregate victory over Atletico Madrid, despite losing 2-1 on the night in the final ever European game at Vicente Calderon.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick at the Bernabeu had given Diego Simeone’s side a mountain to climb, but Atleti were intent on making history by becoming the first team to overturn a 3-0 first-leg defeat in the Champions League history, as the hosts raced into a two-goal lead in an enthralling 16 minutes.
Saul Niguez’s headed opener was the perfect start for Diego Simeone’s side, and Los Rojiblancos’ sent the home fans into hysterics moments later as Fernando Torres was felled by Raphael Varane inside the area, with Antoine Griezmann scoring from the subsequent penalty.
But Real stunned the hosts on the stroke of half-time as Isco grabbed a crucial away goal meaning Atletico had to score a further three times without response to make the final.
Keylor Navas should have saved Griezmann’s penalty earlier in the game but he made amends with a remarkable double save to deny Yannick Carrasco and Kevin Gamiero after the restart.
In truth, Atleti ran out of steam in the second period and could do little to prevent Real Madrid sealing their place in the final where they will meet Juventus in an epic showdown in Cardiff on June 3. Los Blancos are bidding to become the first team to retain the European Cup in its current format, while the Old Lady are aiming to claim Europe’s top prize for the first time since 1996.