LISBON – Iker Casillas can be sure to thank Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale for letting him off the hook as Real Madrid claimed “La Decima” in thrilling fashion.
Bale, the most-expensive transfer player in history at 85 million pounds from Tottenham, netted the game-winning goal in extra time for Los Blancos, enabling Real to lift their record tenth European title, 4-1, in the first-ever final between clubs from the same city.
Scoring his sixth goal in 12 games, Bale became the first Welsh-born player to ever score in a UCL final.
After finding themselves down 1-0 off of a Diego Godin header and Casillas’ bad decision to play to far from the goal, Real was able to gradually assert control via possession, which ultimately set up their greatest triumph in their club’s illustrious history.
With a Chelsea-bound Diego Costa playing a mere nine minutes, due to a lingering hamstring, Atletico was able to frustrate and deny their more glamorous and star-studded rivals for a majority of the final. Real, with a potent attacking lineup that had the likes of Karim Benzema, Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria, had a tough time solving Atletico’s pressure.
Undefeated in Champions League play, Atletico, the newly-crowned La Liga champions keep Real at bay, thanks to Diego Simone’s defensive-minded approach. But in Lisbon, it wouldn’t be enough to stop Los Galaticos’ high-powered assault in the second half and extra time, thanks to Ramos.
Five minutes into stoppage time, Real would go level on a header from Ramos in the 93rd minute to send the final into an extra session. Towards the end of the first extra session, Simeone ran out onto the pitch to argue a questionable handball on a Ronaldo free kick, that glanced off of a Real player.
Moments later, Bale would score for Los Blancos in the 110th minute—which would prove to be the game-winner. Brazilian defender Marcelo would tally at the 118th minute and Ronaldo add the finishing touch in his native Portugal scoring on a penalty kick at the 119th minute, after being dragged down in the penalty box by Godin—who would be yellow carded—to clinch Los Blancos’ tenth European title.
With the win, Real Madrid can now lay claim to being the greatest and most accomplished club in European football, while Atletico—who won both the Copa Del Rey and La Liga titles, concluded their most memorable campaign in their 117-year history.