So it is decided. It will be another Madrid derby in this year’s UEFA Champions League final. Real Madrid beat Manchester City by a score of 1-0 at Santiago Bernabeu last night. With a first leg score of 0-0, this made the aggregate score 1-0 in favour of the Los Blancos. With this, the 10 times champions will play in their 14th Champions League final appearance on May 28 at San Siro, Milan. Manchester City have, however, missed a chance to play their first ever Champions League final.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) May 4, 2016
The night saw no redemption for Manuel Pelligrini who was sacked by Real Madrid back in 2010, as an own goal by Fernando was enough to see Zinedine Zidane’s men through to the final. The intent of Real was clear from their starting line up. They absolutely had to score more goals than their opponents, as a draw would go in favor of City, thanks to the away goal rules. Real’s starting lineup consisted of Casemiro in the holding midfield position as a sort of defensive cushion for the back four. The game also saw the return of Isco to the starting lineup. James Rodriguez, who is rumored to leave the club in the summer, was on the bench and came over in the 67th minute of the game.
Ronaldo was back in the starting 11, having missed the first leg of the game due to a thigh injury. The top scorer for both Real Madrid and the Champions League this season, he currently has goals to his name. The all time highest number of goals in a Champions League season is 17, set by Ronaldo himself in 2014, when he scored the record-breaking 17th goal in the final against Atletico Madrid. Will history repeat itself? Will Ronaldo break his own record against the same opponents in the 2016 UEFA Champions League final? We will have to wait and see.
Manchester City who saw the return of Toure to their starting lineup started the game positively. But the injury of Captain Vincent Kompany in the opening 10 minutes of the game brought a turn to their momentum, and the pressure starting coming from the other side. Madrid’s efforts finally paid off in the 20th minute, when Bale’s attempted cross deflected off of Fernando’s legs to find the back of the net. This was to be the only goal of the game and just enough to see Real Madrid through to this year’s Champions League final.
Real Madrid kept pressing throughout the game but they failed to convert the chances into goal. Manchester City’s Joe Hart pulled brilliant saves throughout the match, particularly those of Ronaldo, Modric and Bale. Manchester City however failed to enough to give Madrid any serious trouble. Fernando and Sergio Aguero, who had the best shots both failed to find the back of the net.
Real Madrid will face home town rivlas Atletico Madrid on May 28 in Milan. A repeat of 2014’s final at Lisbon perhaps? Atletico, who beat Bayern the other night to proceed to the finals, sure hope not. After taking the lead for most of the game in 2014’s tense final, Ramos had equalized for Real Madrid in injury time. This saw the game proceed on to extra time, and the next 30 minutes saw three more goals from the Los Blancos in a game that ultimately won them their 10th Champions League. Should Madrid win this year’s final, this will be their 11th title. Atletico are however hopeful for there first ever title. The final will be held at San Siro, Milan, and Alicia Keys is set to perform in the opening ceremony.
[Photo by : David Ramos / Gettyimages]