The stage is set for this season’s UEFA Champions League final at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on June 3rd in Wales with Real Madrid set to trade tackles with Juventus in the 2017 continental showpiece.
Real, who will be defending the trophy they won last term, withstood a valiant second-leg fightback from neighbours Atletico, to book a date with Juventus as Los Blancos are on the verge of becoming the first European club to win the Champions League back to back.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-leg hat-trick had left Atletico with too much to do, for a while it seemed they would manage it but an Isco goal woke them from their dream on an emotional final European night.
Madrid came into the game on a run of 60 games scoring and were just two short of their 400th Champions League goal. Atletico don’t have the same numbers, it was statistics against sentiment and sentiment went 2-0 up in just 16 minutes.
It was Atletico’s 50th European night here, half of those have come in the last four years. They have been shoulder to shoulder with Real Madrid in recent years and under Simeone they had only lost once at home against Benfica in Europe.
Saul Niguez’s near post header from Koke’s cross gave the hosts a lead on the night after 12 minutes. Antoine Griezmann reduced the arrears further four minutes later after the Frenchman scored from the penalty spot.
But Madrid scored for the 61st consecutive match as Isco reacted first after Toni Kroos’ shot was spilled as the home team won 2-1 at the Vicente Calderón but it wasn’t enough to keep Diego Simeone’s side in the tournament as Atleti bowed out of this season’s competition 4-2 on aggregate.
Juventus meanwhile, knocked out Ligue 1 club Monaco on Tuesday night 4-1 on aggregate to set up a potentially mouthwatering tie with Zinedine Zidane’s side.