In what was an absolutely pulsating final from start to finish, Real Madrid claimed “La Decima”, their 10th European Cup crown, against cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid, winning 4-1 after 120 hard-fought minutes at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal. Madrid needed 4 goals after 90 minutes to amass that score line though, having gone down early in the 36th minute to a Diego Godin header following a critical mistake by RM Captain Iker Casillas, who found himself in no man’s land during a goal-mouth scramble after a corner kick. The goal was well deserved by Atletico, who had to endure 111 minutes of the match without star Diego Costa, who was withdrawn after just 9 minutes as he was unable to give 100% following his late push for fitness (although a horse placenta treatment is a bit extreme).
The score remained tilted 1-0 in Atletico’s favor all the way to the 93rd minute, when Sergio Ramos found a pocket of space (in what had previously been an air-tight seal provided by the Atletico back-four) to head past Thibaut Courtois in a last-gasp equalizer to push the game to extra time and crush the hearts of Atletico players and fans alike.
That shift of momentum would forever change the course of history, with Real going on to DOMINATE the extra 30 minutes, pushing 3 goals past an overworked and exhausted Atletico Madrid defense in the form of a Gareth Bale tap-in header on 110 minutes, a Marcelo strike on 118, and lastly, a Cristiano Ronaldo spot kick in additional time of additional time to rub salt in the wound and provide the culminating end to Real Madrid’s 2014 Champions League title (although the removal of his shirt WAS a bit unnecessary).
Ronaldo’s penalty conversion spurned a mini-melee on the pitch between the two sides, with frequently agitated Atletico manager Diego Simeone going after Real Madrid youngster Raphael Varane due to some sort of gesture made by the 20 year-old Frenchman. Indeed, it wasn’t the first time of the night that Simeone took to the pitch in Lisbon, with Simeone also charging at Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipersat the end of regulation to vent his frustration at the 5 minutes of added time awarded.
Regardless, the night belonged to Real Madrid, with their rapid-fire offense on full display despite its late, late arrival to the party, leading the way to their 10th European Cup crown. From all of us here at Footyblog.net, a hearty congratulations goes out to Real Madrid, your 2013-14 UEFA Champions League Winners.