Saturday, 24 May 2014

UCL FINAL: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid - LIVE Commentary

All-Spanish affair: The Champions League final will be contested tonight between Real and Atletico
Hello again everyone and welcome to my latest LIVE Commentary, where I am covering the UEFA Champions League final tonight between Spanish sides Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Real will obviously be the favourites to lift their first CL trophy since 2002, but the title of underdogs seems to suit Atletico in this competition, when they are not feared they are at their most deadly. 

Atletico won the Liga BBVA title this time last week after a 1-1 draw against Barca sealed their first league title in over 10 years. Real will be desperate for revenge in a season where they could have won the quadruple. 

And here is the team line-ups and substitutions:

Real Madrid: Casillas, Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Fabio Coentrao, Modric, Khedira, Di Maria, Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo. 

Subs: Diego Lopez, Pepe, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Morata, Isco and Illarramendi.

A strong Real Madrid side as always, but with notable absences such as Marcelo and Pepe (bench), Alonso (suspension). 

Good to see former Spurs players Modric and Bale starting for Real tonight, Ronaldo & Co will be hoping that they can win La Decima - their tenth Champions League title in history.

Atletico Madrid: Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis, Raul Garcia (Sosa 65'), Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Villa and Diego Costa (Adrian 8').

Subs not used: Aranzubia, Mario Suarez, Rodriguez, Alderweireld and Diego.

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)

Another impressive line-up, Real's opposition are nothing to be laughed at. 

Diego Costa shakes off a knock suffered against Barcelona last weekend to start for the underdogs, with David Villa and Koke up-top next to him. 

Cristiano Ronaldo will hope that he can prove why he is one of the best players in the world tonight; back in Portugal for the final where he grew up and developed. 

19:41 - The teams have walked out onto the pitch, to a good atmosphere and loud applause from both sets of supporters. 

19:43 - The Champions League anthem is being sung, the mascots walking off the pitch and the opening ceremony has finished.

A giant sized Champions League trophy is on display in the stands before kick-off
19:45 - Awaiting the referee's whistle.. I have a feeling that this may be a tense game with a few goals, both teams are hungry for the trophy and it will come down to who wants it more on the night, who plays better overall. 

Real vs Atletico Madrid - LIVE Commentary:

1: And the referee blows the whistle. Real kick off and attempt to go straight on the attack, cleared away by Felipe Luis.

3: Foul given as Miranda jumps highest and clatters into Ronaldo, albeit accidentally. Atletico need to keep up the pressure on Real, giving them space is just an open invitation to attack, which everyone knows is not exactly the best idea.

5: A half-chance for Real - Carvajal runs down the flank and feeds a good through ball across the pitch towards Benzema, who attempts a back-flick to the feet of the incoming Bale, but Courtois reads the danger and sprints out the collect the ball.

6: Carvajal has been the one player so far who has made a significant impact on the game, despite being 6 minutes in.

Diego Costa looks uncomfortable on the ball, hinting that he is still struggling with the knock and could possibly be replaced at half-time or before the game is finished.

7: Bale gives away a free-kick after trying to win the ball in mid-air, swung into the box but well headed away by Sergio Ramos inside the Real area.

8: Atletico SUB:
Diego Costa OFF
Adrian Lopez ON

Disappointing but a sensible move by Simeone, Costa is replaced early on after struggling with the hamstring knock despite being desperate to continue. Runs down the tunnel.

Injury doubt: Costa jogs off the pitch in disappointment as he is replaced by Adrian early on
13: It's clear to see that Real Madrid are hungry for ball possession, fighting for every challenge and pressurising Atletico whenever they lose the ball. Just the final ball which is lacking at the moment.

14: A half-chance for Atletico is cleared away by Casillas after a lofted ball over the top of the Real defence by Koke is through towards the path of Adrian, but Casillas rushes out to clear the danger as instructed by the oncoming rush from Sergio Ramos.

15: Pictures show Diego Costa now sitting on the Atletico bench after being substituted 5 minutes ago, he looks upset which is understandable - Atletico need their key man.

16: Sly hint of trouble as Gabi reacts badly to Coentrao after a needless challenge, players rush towards both men concerned and the potential square-up is avoided swiftly as Atletico prepare to take a long distance free-kick.

Heated: Gabi reacts badly to a needless challenge from Coentrao early in the first-half.
20: Danger cleared by Courtois as Real break with Ronaldo and Bale running forward, the ball goes out wide to Carvajal whose attempted cross is deflected into the path of the on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper.

21: Real free-kick after Gabi trips Di Maria down on the wing, a dangerous position 25-yards out despite Coentrao angry for the referee not playing the advantage as he had the ball at his feet.

22: Modric steps up to take it, whips the ball towards the box but the delivery is poor and it swerves straight into the hands of Courtois.

23: Ramos is unhappy after a coming together with Juanfran results in one of his boots being stepped on, the referee temporarily stops play so that the Spanish defender can adjust his footing and tie his laces again.

24: Real go on the counter attack after a loose ball in the middle of midfield falls to Ronaldo, but Atletico eventually clear the danger.  

25: Atletico corner as Koke's delivery into the box is mis-kicked by Ramos over the bar and out of play for a set-piece. Koke whips a teasing cross into the box and Varane clears the danger.

26: Real go on the counter attack with Di Maria, Ronaldo and Bale running forward while Atletico are outnumbered and having to track back. 

Clever tactical foul by defensive midfielder Raul Garcia who slides in late from behind on Di Maria, the referee rushes towards the Spaniard and gives him a booking. Sergio Ramos also gets a yellow for his troubles as he confronts Garcia over the challenge.

Protest: Ramos is clearly upset as he is booked for a heated confrontation with Raul Garcia
27: Cristiano Ronaldo steps up to take the free-kick from around 25 yards out... comfortable save by Courtois. The Atletico wall did not exactly do its job, but it was not powerful enough or have any swerve to trouble the Belgian goalkeeper. 

31: Poor ball by Tiago, who gifts the ball into the path of Bale on the Real counter attack, he drifts past two Atletico defenders and cuts into the box but slots his effort wide of Courtois' goal. 

The best goal-scoring chance of the match so far, and the Welshman probably should have scored. 

Bale should have scored, after a good run past two Atletico players but his shot was lacking.
35: Atletico corner taken by Gabi into the box - partially cleared by Ramos but the ball is headed back towards goal and Casillas is wrong-footed by a Godin header..... GOAL!!!! 

Atletico take the lead thanks to a goal from Uruguayan defender Diego Godin! Two crucial goals from him in the past two weeks, and the deadlock has been broken. 

Jumping highest: Godin breaks the deadlock with a header over Casillas from a corner
Godin celebrates his second vital goal in the space of a week, first against Barca and now Real!
However, you cannot blame Casillas alone for the goal. Real failed to clear the danger and let Godin push forward unmarked, the ball was teasing and Casillas was consequently punished for coming out off his line in an effort to try and punch the delivery away.

36: Atletico's goal just proves that you need to take your chances when you get them. Real have virtually dominated throughout the first-half but have not taken their chances, while Atletico go on the counter attack and break the deadlock before half-time.

37: However, this goal will only fire up Real Madrid to react, 1-0 down before half-time.

41: CHANCE! Atletico could be 2-0 up! Another dangerous corner, this time the chance is headed over the bar by striker and substitute Adrian Lopez.

A bullet header which Casillas probably would not have reacted quickly enough to save, a let-off for Real.

45: The fourth official has signalled for just the one minute of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first-half of play at the Estadio da Luz. 

45+1: Free-kick to Atletico near the centre circle after a lazy challenge on David Villa by Sami Khedira, who sticks a leg out and is given a yellow card aswell. Third card of the game.

What did I do? Khedira protests, but gets a yellow card for a challenge on Villa before half-time
45+1: The referee blows his whistle to end the first-half of action between the two Madrid sides. It is Atletico who lead at the break, thanks to a Godin header towards the closing stages of the first period.

Real will feel disappointed that they are trailing, but it could inspire them to perform better than they have done so far - because despite dominating the chances, they have not taken them and need to test Courtois more if they are to get back into the match. 

A 1-0 scoreline is not a good thing for Atletico either; they need at least a 2-goal cushion to feel slightly more comfortable than they are at the minute. Despite playing well, it's not over until the final whistle blows.

Atletico have played well, mainly because they have contained the threat of Ronaldo, Modric and Bale as of now. Letting Carvajal have the ball is dangerous, but not as bad as the likes of Ronaldo and Bale. 

They are pressing their men well and not giving them any space, which is effective and frustrating for their opposition. Good tactics by Simeone. 

20:48 - The referee has blown his whistle to start the second-half of action, no substitutions from either side.

47: Real have a free-kick after Modric is tripped by Gabi, the danger is then headed away.

48: Ronaldo wins the ball on the flank and passes it straight to team-mate Bale, who tries to run at his marker but is well tackled by full-back Felipe Luis as Atletico clear the ball away once again. 

50: Great defensive work by David Villa to slide in on Bale as he looks to drive forward with the ball at his feet. Real throw-in.

51: Carvajal gets the ball on the flank and beats Luis before finding Khedira in the middle with a precise pass, but his attempted through ball into the box falls into the hands of Courtois.

52: Carvajal has done well both up and down the pitch tonight, but he has not created any real goal-scoring chances for his team-mates as of yet.

53: Atletico give away another tactical foul as Di Maria is held back by Miranda after the Argentine winger weaves his way past two players and drifts towards the box. 

A free-kick from 23 yards out for Ronaldo to test Courtois, who is giving instructions to his free-kick defensive wall.

54: The resulting free-kick is hit better than the previous one by Ronaldo, but Courtois does well to react quickly and parry the ball out of play for a corner, taking the sting out of the shot. 

55: A corner is given, and the ball manages to fall to Ronaldo who has an attempted header slide past the post, not troubling Courtois.

56: Atletico corner is given after Adrian weaves his way past Carvajal on the flank before a good recovery from the Spanish full-back partially clears the danger with a sliding challenge near the touchline. 

Another corner is given after the ball falls to Adrian and his attempted shot is deflected off Khedira out of play.

57: Cameras show that Isco and Marcelo are standing on the touchline, waiting to be substituted onto the field of play. Ancelloti needs to make changes, and that's exactly what he will do. 

58: Real Madrid SUB:
Sami Khedira and Fabio Coentrao OFF - Isco and Marcelo ON

Fresh legs for Real, they need to get back into the match and quickly if they are going to test Atletico.

60: Good defending by Marcelo who blocks Juanfran's crosses twice in a row, but Atletico win the ball back and continue to keep up the pressure with Gabi on the counter attack near the flank.

61: Inviting ball by Di Maria deep into the box for the path of Ronaldo, but the danger is partially cleared away by Godin.

62: CHANCE! The goal goes begging as a decent cross from Ramos falls to Ronaldo, who jumps high but does not get a solid contact on the ball, enough to test Courtois. End-to-end action now as players start to get tired and the length pitch opens up.

64: Atletico have two corners in quick succession as they try to push players forward to pressurise Real and move away from their goal.

Good tracking back by Modric to partially clear out for another corner - the resulting corner comes of nothing as Benzema smashes the ball clear.

65: Camera shows that Atletico are ready to make their second substitution of the match:

Raul Garcia OFF - Jose Sosa ON

Smart change by Simeone, Garcia is already on a yellow card and despite having played well, he needs to bring on fresh legs.

66: Real keep up the pressure as the ball falls to Isco just outside the box, he drags his effort wide of Courtois' goal as the Belgian scrambles towards the post and happily sees the shot trickle past the post.

70: Bale is penalized after an accidental handball inside the Atletico area, a chance for brief respite for the team leading so far. 

71: Real are looking dangerous on the counter attack, the next 20 minutes or so are very important for Atletico to see whether they can hold on, or even score again. 

72: David Villa may consider himself unlucky as he is booked for an accidental clash with goalkeeper Casillas from a cross, before Bale has another chance which is wide of the mark. 

73: Yellow card yet again, this time for right-back Juanfran after a strong but slightly late tackle on Di Maria near the flank. Atletico's 4th booking of the night. 

75: 15 minutes left plus stoppages for Real to respond, 1-0 down and you can sense that the supporters are starting to get frustrated. 

Atletico are happy to gallop up the pitch with the ball if it means that they get respite from having to constant defend, but Real have had too many chances and need to at least equalise sooner or later if they are to give themselves a decent chance of getting back into the match. 

77: CHANCE! Another chance bites the dust for Real Madrid, Bale goes on the counter attack bursting past his marker from the flank. 

Instead of crossing the ball into the box or passing to a team-mate, the Welshman goes for goal himself and has his effort fly into the side-netting as Courtois dives to make sure the ball doesn't beat him and go into the net. 

79: Real are making their last substitution: 
Karim Benzema OFF - Alvaro Morata ON

80: Great sliding challenge by Godin to deny Isco from taking a shot on goal six yards out, if Atletico win tonight then he will be my Man Of The Match - no doubt about that. 

Carvajal crosses the ball into the box, Isco with a great touch to control the delivery but Godin did very well to challenge.

83: Atletico also making their last sub of the match: 

Felipe Luis OFF - Toby Alderweireld ON

84: Another inviting delivery into the box by Real, this time from Marcelo but the ball goes past everyone before Carvajal crosses the ball back into the area, as Courtois comes out to collect. 

85: Great defending by Atletico, solid at the back but the question is whether they can keep it up for the last few minutes plus stoppages. 

Real have looked brighter ever since Isco was brought on, he should have started ahead of Khedira in my opinion. 

87: Di Maria has a free-kick from 25 yards out cleared away by the Atletico defence, after Koke is booked for kicking the ball away to waste time when Modric is fouled.

88: Cameras show Simeone is desperately trying to encourage the Atletico supporters to get behind their team for the final few minutes.

89: Good tactical play by David Villa who gets in-between Ramos and Modric before getting sandwiched and wins a free-kick. 

90: The fourth official signals for 5 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of a tense final. 5 minutes for Real to salvage extra time - 5 minutes for Atletico to hold on, for their first ever Champions League title win.

90+1: Real push men forward as they search for a late equaliser, a ball by Carvajal into the box is cleared away by Miranda who smashes the danger away for a throw-in, quickly taken.

90+2: Another cross into the box is well defended by the Atletico players, for a corner. 

90+3: GOAL! Another corner is whipped into the box, headed powerfully downwards by Sergio Ramos, accurately curled into the bottom corner of the net. 

Late equaliser: Ramos makes it 1-1 in the 93rd minute with an accurate header past Courtois
Unbelievable! Just a few minutes away from Champions League glory, Atletico cruelly have the lead slip away from their grasp with a last-gasp header. 1-1, Real have the momentum going forward in extra time but Atletico are unpredictable.
Unpredictable source: Ramos celebrates his last-gasp equaliser to make it 1-1.
90+4: Real are keen to keep the ball, they are happy for extra time now. 

90+5: The referee blows his whistle to end the 90 minutes of football. Extra time to be played, 1-1 thanks to two headers from two defenders - Godin and Ramos either side of half-time.

21:44 - The referee blows his whistle to start the first period of extra time, which is 15 minutes long each way. No substitutions left for either side now. 

90: Real Madrid get the first period of extra-time underway.

94: Atletico right-back Juanfran goes down under the challenge of Real's substitute striker Morata, being left on the ground.

He looks uncomfortable initally, but stands tall when his team-mates gather around him and try to encourage him to carry on, otherwise they will go down to ten men. 

96: Ronaldo is struggling with cramp, being helped by Bale with a stretch on his hamstring. 

97: Atletico initally struggle to clear the danger as Real push forward with the ball, constantly looking dangerous. 

99: Yellow card given to Atletico midfielder Gabi after he slides in late on Marcelo, 30 yards out. 6th booking from an Atletico player tonight.

100: Ronaldo steps up to take his third free-kick of the night, and his effort is deflected by the wall out for a corner. 

101: Resulting corner comes of nothing as Real clear, despite protests by Ronaldo who claims that the ball struck Gabi on his hand as the free-kick was taken. 

102: Ronaldo was right aswell, the ball did hit Gabi's hand but it would have been hard to give a penalty, especially because the referee did not see it and it was from an awkward angle. 

Atletico should count themselves slightly lucky to get away with that one, though. 

104: Real hold the play up as they look to close out the first period of extra time, after a culmination of fouls result in a hint of tentativeness from some of the players. 

105: The fourth official signals for just one minute of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first period, as Real go on the counter attack thanks to a good pass-and-move between Modric, Morata and Isco.

106: The referee blows his whistle, the scoreline is still 1-1 though. 15 minutes remain, both sets of players are starting to get tired and penalties seem as if they are looming.

22:03 - Second period of extra-time begins, 15 minutes left for one of these sides to get ahead of the other or risk the reality of penalties. 

108: Good save by Courtois, followed by another comfortable catch from Casillas at the other end a moment or two later after a set-piece was driven into the box.

110: GOAL! Real go on the counter attack yet again and they eventually make Atletico pay, as Di Maria cuts inside the box and takes a strike at goal which is parried away by Courtois, falls into the path of Bale who jumps ahead of his marker to head into the empty net and make it 2-1.  

Heads I score: Bale headed Real into a 2-1 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Pure jubilation: After a night of missed chances and failing to score, Bale celebrates his goal
111: Atletico cannot believe it. 1-0 up, with seconds to play and now they are facing defeat in the worst possible manner. Played well, fought valiantly and it may not be enough to seal their first Champions League title. 

112: Real well and truly have the momentum now, they'll move forward and look to score again. 

117: GOAL! Marcelo drifts into the box and takes his chance clinically, putting Ronaldo and Bale to shame with a cooly slotted strike past Courtois into the bottom corner of the net.

118: Marcelo is then booked for taking his shirt off, he is celebrating madly and so are the rest of the Real camp.

119: PENALTY! This is all too much for Atletico. Gabi trips Ronaldo inside the area and the referee has no choice but to point to the spot. 

120: Ronaldo steps up to take it... and scores. Sends Courtois the wrong way with a cool finish into the net, before celebrating by taking off his shirt and showing off his muscular physique. 

120+1: No real stoppage time to be played, but it seems as if there will be some added time as the referee rushes towards an incident near the centre-circle, where Atletico manager Diego Simeone has reacted angrily to something that Real defender Varane has done. 

120+3: Play resumes and the referee blows his whistle for full-time in a great final which finished controversially. 

Atletico were unlucky not to win the match after 90 minutes, just a few minutes away from Champions League glory over an hour ago but Real pressed and pressed for the equaliser - ever since then they had the momentum to carry on and push for their illustrious "La Decima."

22:40 - The UEFA Champions League trophy is finally presented to this season's winners, Real Madrid. 

Congratulations to the Kings of Europe this season - they have deserved it over this campaign but Atletico were unlucky not to be celebrating as their opponents are at the moment.

Champions of Europe once again: Real Madrid celebrate their 10th CL title win.