UEFA Champions League: Where Atletico Madrid lost the game to Real Madrid CF


first_imgIn football, intensity of a team can do wonders to their fortunes and Atletico Madrid set out to do exactly that last night.But Real Madrid CF comfortably eased past their city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-2 on aggregate across to the two legs of the UEFA Champions League semi-final, thanks to the first leg hat-trick by Cristiano Ronaldo.Overturning a 3-0 deficit against Real Madrid was always going to be a near-impossible task but Atletico showed agility, intensity and overall, bright prospects early in the game.Real Madrid had not conceded twice inside the opening 20 minutes of a Champions League match since 2004 but Atletico broke that record when Saul Niguez scored a header in the 12th minute and then Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty in the 16th minute. They now needed only two more goals without a reply to achieve the miracle.Atletico Madrid showed exceptional intensity in the first 20 minutes – fighting for each ball and going deep to dominate the midfield and edge Real with counter-attacks.But all that fizzled after the two early goals, Atletico allowed Real Madrid to play around and dominate the ball.After the initial ruckus, Real used all their Champions League experience to slow down the game and push back Atletico. Real were playing with the same formation as the first leg and Zidane made the same substitutions later in the game, yet Atletico Madrid failed to keep their early intensity that lost them the game.Twenty-five minutes on, Real dominated the possession, playing around the ball and looking for openings. Isco as usual danced around the midfield – that is the skill which has forced Zinedine Zidane to give him the start and his performances are making it tough for Zidane post Gareth Bale’s return.advertisementIt was Karim Benzema’s brilliance that got Madrid back on top in the 42nd minute. Benzema fought his way out from being surrounded by three Atletico defenders to pass to Toni Kroos whose effort was brilliantly saved by Jan Oblak only for Isco to be present at the right spot to shoot home the rebound.Atletico were back to square one then, needing 3 more goals to win the tie. That proved to be the nail in their coffin for Real Madrid aren’t the defending champions of the continental competition for nothing.last_img

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