Real Madrid bade farewell to Alfredo Di Stéfano with a touching memorial displayed on the pitch. All the trophies he won during his career were displayed alongside a beautiful, huge white shirt with a number 9. And that was probably the best we saw during the first 45 minutes of the match. Real Madrid weren't exactly poor. Ancelotti's men didn't play exactly bad, they were just predictable and mediocre. And that's because Atlético de Madrid worked to stop Modric and Kroos' presence in the midfield. That way, Xabi Alonso and Ramos were given too much responsibility and they just had one register tonight: through balls to Bale and Ronaldo.
It should be noted that Atlético de Madrid starting wasting time up as soon as the match kicked-off. And they also collected two yellow cards on the first 15 minutes because of their aggressive -should we call it violent?- tackles. One of those tackles probably took Cristiano Ronaldo out of the game. The Portuguese star appeared to be well recovered from his injuries, but he stayed on the bench for the whole second half being replaced on the left wing by James Rodríguez.
Unluckily enough for Real Madrid, the team didn't improve after this substitution. The game itself didn't change much, as Atlético kept making dirty tackles -the one on Kroos was outrageous- and Alonso was still slowing Real's tempo down. Simeone tried to shake things up and introduced Griezmann for Saúl, but Real Madrid still had most of the possession, and shortly after Real enjoyed their best chance of the game off a free-kick taken by Gareth Bale. The ball fell right on Toni Kroos' boots after Moyà's deflection but the German midfielder sent it way over the crossbar. Carlo Ancelotti did not like what he was watching and soon replaced Luka Modric with Ángel Di María as Isco still waited for his chance to come in.
The Argentinian player changed the game as expected, and Real Madrid soon earned the big prize with James Rodríguez scoring in his home debut at the Santiago Bernabéu. His second half wasn't brilliant to be honest, but to contribute with such an important goal is sensational. Real Madrid tried to slow the tempo down but Atleti's demons from Lisbon came back and haunted Ancelotti's men off yet another one weak goalkeeping by Iker Casillas on a corner-kick.
It was a bad game by Real Madrid and even a worse result to take to the Vicente Calderón. Simeone and his side only need to keep a clean sheet to win the trophy.