By Niall Clarke
- Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City (1-0 aggregate)
- Bayern Munich 2-1 Atletico Madrid (2-2 aggregate. Atletico advance via away goals)
Real Madrid defeated Manchester City 1-0 thanks to a Gareth Bale goal to secure a Champions League final spot against city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City
After a lifeless affair in Manchester last week, this second leg showdown proved to be more attacking minded- even if from one end of the field.
Madrid were the dominating side, controlling possession and creating the better chances as City rarely threatened. Bale gave his side the lead after a deflected shot off Fernando looped the ball over Joe Hart and into the back of the net.
The Welshman almost grabbed another with a header that hit the bar, and Hart was forced into action to save two efforts from Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Premier League side knew they only needed one goal to progress, but they failed to put much pressure on the Madrid defence, perhaps cautious of conceding a second goal.
In the end the Spanish side played out the time and sealed a meeting with their rivals Atletico Madrid in the final.
The two sides from the Spanish capital met in the final two years a go where Real Madrid won 4-1 after extra time.
Sergio Ramos scored a dramatic equaliser that night in the final minute, ending the chances of a league and Champions League double for Atletico.
There will be no dream ending for Manuel Pellegrini’s tenure as Manchester City manager, but the Chilean led them to their first semi final in this competition.
Pep Guardiola will take the reigns next season, and like Pellegrini, he was unable to leave his club with a Champions League trophy.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid grabbed a crucial away goal to seal their second Champions League final berth in three years despite losing 2-1 at Bayern Munich.
After a 1-0 win in Madrid last week, the German’s, knowing they needed to score, started out aggressively as they looked to level the tie on aggregate. Xabi Alonso gave the home side the lead on the half hour mark after a dominating 30 minutes. It looked like Bayern were to double their lead, but Thomas Muller failed to convert a spot-kick only minutes later.
Atletico were predictably defensive in the opening 45 minutes, but their counter attacking approach paid off when Antoine Griezmann, the hero of the quarter final, levelled proceedings 10 minutes in the second half. The goal proved to be controversial as the Frenchman appeared to be offside- not like the travelling fans from Madrid cared.
Bayern continued their relentless assault on the Atletico Madrid goal, knowing they needed two more without reply to advance. Robert Lewandowski scored to give Bayern hope with 15 minutes to go, but those hopes turned sour when Fernando Torres was brought down and Atletico were awarded a penalty five minutes from time. Like Muller before him, Torres failed to convert and the tie was still wide open with the minutes ticking.
Atletico held strong, particularly Oblak in the goal and they sealed their second final in three years. Once again Diego Simeone’s men managed to frustrate the opposition with their in your face approach. They are rough, they are frustrating, but nobody can deny the heart of this team.
The Champions league final will take place on the 28th May.
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