For the first time in the history of the Champions League there will be two teams from the same city battling it out for European Club football’s most coveted prize.
After seeing Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in last season’s final, talk of a new era of German domination in European football was ripe. But this year it’s Spanish football that has taken over the continent.
Nine-times winners Real Madrid reached their first Champions League final in 12 years with an historic victory over holders Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night.
Having won first-leg 1-0 in Madrid, Real beat the defending champions 4-0 in Munich, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos each scoring twice.
Ronaldo reached a competition record 16 goals for the campaign on to help his side book their ticket for a 13th final.
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola said: “I know it’s a tough night for us, for me and for the players and I am still very proud of my team, my players. The reason we did so badly in the first half is that we did not have possession. In my opinion football is played with the ball, then the other things come after that and we didn’t play with the ball”.
Guardiola’s Real Madrid counterpart Carlo Ancelotti said: “We defended very well up front. We already did this well in the first leg and of course we used a very efficient counter-attack, with passes on the ground, using the speed of the forwards. We prepared the set pieces very well and we were able to put them into play really well for the first two goals”.
Completing the all-Spanish lineup for the final in Lisbon are Atletico Madrid, who celebrated reaching the showpiece match for the first time in 40 years.
Diego Simeone’s side beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the return leg following a goalless stalemate the week before in Madrid.
Adrian Lopez, Diego Costa and Arda Turan all scored for Atletico to hand Chelsea their first semi-final home defeat Europe.
So the May 24th final at the at Luz Stadium in Lisbon will be a Madrid derby.
Can Real win a record-extending 10th title or will Atletico write their name on European football’s most sought-after trophy for the very first time.
After the defeat Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said: “In one minute two actions decided the game. After that there was only one team on the pitch.
‘‘My team (played) with pride, my team trying obviously with honour and pride and professionalism trying to give everything. After that moment the game was completely controlled. Atletico were very mature, very intelligent in the way they controlled the game. From that moment, complete control.
‘‘The players gave everything. I am happy with them . They can go home sad but they can go home with clean faces.”
Atletico manager Diego Simeone said: “It is a great moment. I think it’s a very important moment, especially because we had a massive responsibility towards our fans because they spent a lot of money to come here, and we know how difficult it is for them – everything is very difficult in this team – and we just wanted to make sure that we fulfilled that responsibility.
‘‘I don’t think we have enough time right now to actually analyse or to be relishing this moment because there’s not a lot of time left – and we need to think about the next game against Levante.”