Real Madrid crowned kings of Europe –

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Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid 5-3 on penalties in the 2016 UEFA Champions League final, thus booking their place at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup Japan in December. In Milan’s San Siro where the atmosphere was electric, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos opened the scoring on 15 minutes, before half-time substitute Yannick Carrasco grabbed the leveller for Atleti on 79 minutes, bringing the game to extra time.

After a stalemate, the game went to a shoot-out where Cristiano Ronaldo netted the winner, seeing Los Merengues crowned kings of Europe for a record 11th time.  

The second all-Madrid final in three years saw Atletico’s Koke enjoy the first opportunity on five minutes but goalkeeper Keylor Navas was able to hold onto his effort with ease. Moments later at the other end, Jan Oblak pulled off a stunning save to deny Casemiro from close range, who had latched onto the end of Gareth Bale’s free-kick.

Los Merengues took the lead on the 15-minute mark when a Toni Kroos free-kick was flicked on cleverly by Bale’s head into the direction of skipper Ramos, who turned the ball past Oblak. The 2014 winners continued to look confident going forward, but Atleti were not without their chances as Antoine Griezmann tried to catch Navas off-guard with a couple of long range efforts, but the shot-stopper was quick to react each time.

There was drama shortly after the break when Los Rojiblancos were awarded a penalty after Fernando Torres was brought down by Pepe inside the area. France international Griezmann stepped up to take the spot-kick, but he was unable to grab his side an equaliser, with his effort smashing the crossbar.

Atleti continued to press for a leveller, going close on 54 minutes when Stefan Savic hit the side-netting, while Saul Niguez fired narrowly wide shortly before the hour mark. At the other end, Karim Benzema nearly doubled Real’s advantage after charging into the box on 70 minutes, but Slovenian shot-stopper Oblak pulled off another strong save.

Cristiano Ronaldo tested Oblak on 78 minutes and Savic made a last-ditch clearance to deny Bale soon after, but just as it looked like Los Merengues were piling on the pressure, substitute Carrasco grabbed the equaliser for Atletico, turning home Juanfran’s cross and becoming the first Belgian to score in a Champions League final.

In extra time, Casemiro tried his luck from way out, while Oblak again proved reliable for his team by holding onto Ronaldo’s 95th-minute header. Five minutes after, Bale, in a dangerous position, launched an effort towards goal, only to be denied by an heroic block from Diego Godin. A tense battle ensued in extra time and while Lucas Vazquez went close late on, seeing his effort blocked by Lucas Hernandez, the tie went to penalties.

After all spot-kicks were converted in the shoot-out with the score poised at 4-3, Atletico’s Juanfran saw his penalty hit the post – and afterwards, Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot, sending the ball past Oblak and sealing the trophy for Zinedine Zidane’s side. 




Real Madrid crowned kings of Europe –

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