REPORT | 10/05/2017 | Alberto NavarroReal Madrid capitalised on their 3-0 first-leg advantage, with Isco's strike securing the Whites' passage into the final, which will be played on 3 June against Juventus.
- Champions League
- Semi Final (Second leg)
Although Casemiro came close to making the breakthrough from a Toni Kroos corner on 7', with the Brazilian forcing Jan Oblak to pull of a fine save, Atlético it was who dominated the opening quarter of an hour, in which they netted twice. Koke swung over a corner in the 12th minute and Saúl headed the ball home to put the home side 1-0 up. Three minutes later, Fernando Torres hit the turf after a challenge with Raphaël Varane inside the area and the referee, Çakir, pointed to the spot. Up stepped Antoine Griezmann to convert the resulting penalty.
Sensational piece of play from Benzema
From that moment on, the complexion of the whole game changed and Real Madrid began to boss possession. The reigning European champions knocked the ball around at will and started to make some inroads into the hosts' area. Isco skipped inside Savic on 38' and fired in an effort at the near post, but Oblak was on hand to gather the ball in. This was a foretaste of what was to come as the Whites gave themselves some breathing space in the tie. Karim Benzema received the ball in the corner, where he found himself surrounded by three opposing defenders and he evaded the attentions of Savic, Godín and Giménez in the tightest of space with a stunning piece of skill. He then slipped the ball to Kroos, who unleashed an effort, only to see Oblak again keep the visitors at bay, but up popped Isco to turn the rebound home with 42 minutes on the clock. Atlético were tasked with scoring three and Real Madrid were now closer than ever to securing a place in the Cardiff showpiece.
Real Madrid continued to dominate after the break and the first shot on target was theirs. Cristiano Ronaldo hit a powerful free-kick from a tight angle in the 47th minute but Oblak punched clear. Eight minutes later it was Isco who tried with his left foot, but his shot from the edge of the area was deflected clear. Atlético also had a chance to score. Keylor Navas made a great double save in the 66th minute, first from Kevin Gameiro and then a headed effort from Yannick Carrasco.
The minutes passed and Real Madrid, instead of defending their position, wanted to level the scores. They came close to doing so in the 74th minute when a cross from Marcelo was met by the head of Benzema but his effort was just off target. The European champions have made it through to Cardiff. Only one match, on 3 June against Juventus, separates them from being the first team to have defended their title in the Champions League era.