Real Madrid reached a third Champions League final in four years after seeing off Atletico Madrid despite a 2-1 defeat in the second leg of their semi-final tie on Wednesday.Two goals in the first 16 minutes from Atleti threatened to produce another memorable comeback in this season’s tournament, until Isco’s strike just before half-time effectively ended those hopes and sealed a 4-2 aggregate win.
The players were greeted with a tifo from the home fans proclaiming ‘proud to be different to you’ as they walked out onto the pitch for the last European game at Vicente Calderon, but Atletico’s electric start was very much in the mould of Madrid’s in the first leg.
Saul Niguez thumped in a header with 12 minutes gone before Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty to get Diego Simeone’s side believing in a turnaround.
Madrid have made a habit of digging deep to salvage results this term, though, and Isco’s finish from close range on 42 minutes – his first in the Champions League this season – handed Zinedine Zidane’s side a crucial away goal.
Atleti persevered but there was little real hope in their second-half efforts, as they suffered European heartbreak against their city rivals for the fourth time in as many seasons.
Madrid’s hopes of becoming the first team to defend the Champions League remain intact, however, and they will face Juventus – the team Zidane left as a player to move to Santiago Bernabeu, who knocked out Monaco on Tuesday – in next month’s final in Cardiff.