In order to meet Juventus in the Champions League final, all Real Madrid had to do was maintain its three-goal aggregate lead from the first leg. In the final match inside Atleti’s historic Vicente Calderón, Real weathered an early onslaught from the hosts through a backbreaking run and goal from Benzema and Isco.
Zidane opted to use the same starting XI as the first leg with the exception of Danilo, who came in to replace the injured Dani Carvajal. After an early onslaught of pressure from Atletico, they found an early lifeline off a corner kick header from Saul. Real failed to respond, and after a poor challenge from Varane, Atletico were given a penalty just minutes later. Unlike Milan, Griezmann didn’t miss this time, and just like that Real’s first-leg lead was nearly gone. Upon further review, the penalty probably should not have counted, as the ball hit both of Griezmann’s feet before leaving the spot.
The game then became extremely chippy, with the referee losing control of the match altogether. Hard tackles became almost as normal as passes.
This is an incredibly challenging game to referee.— Mike L. Goodman (@TheM_L_G) May 10, 2017
The match settled down, and right at the end of the half, a brilliant move by Benzema gave Real its first goal from an Isco rebound, and Los Blancos had breathing room once more.
The second half was much more tame. Real Madrid possessed the ball for the majority of the second half, and didn’t give Atleti many opportunities to get back into the game. The match ended in a loss, but ultimately Madrid are going to Cardiff!
Keylor Navas: 7.5
Should have done so much better on Griezmann’s penalty after getting a hand to it. However, was brilliant for the rest of the match, including a stunning double save to keep Real’s lead comfortable. Strong showing with the exception of the penalty kick.
Bless Keylor Navas. Want nothing in life except him performing at a world class level week in week out.— Mr.Darkside ® (@unitedforlife1) May 10, 2017
Given a huge opportunity to impress in the absence of Dani Carvajal, and the Brazilian put in a mixed performance. Was given an early yellow card after a high boot on Luis. Showed the inconsistency that has frustrated many Madridistas. Did well going forward and breaking through pressure, but had poor moments defensively, including one that required a Navas double save. Made a crucial intervention in the 79th minute to stop Griezmann from going through on goal.
Raphael Varane: 6
Made an incredibly reckless and bone-headed challenge to gift Atleti their second goal. Not his best day at the office by any means. Did well in possession, and like his teammates played much better in the second half.
Sergio Ramos: 7.5
Struggled during the first half hour to clear the ball at times. Was given a yellow card for protesting a blatant foul by Godin on Ronaldo. Played much better in the second half, and avoided a second yellow that would have kept him out of the Champions League final. Made a key interception that might have reached Gameiro had it not been cleared.
Bombed forward well, and was a menace on the left flank. Continued to show the unpredictability that makes stopping him so difficult.
Poor performance from the Brazilian. Made a reckless challenge on Griezmann that should’ve made him see yellow. Was consistently victimized by Atletico’s press, but was typically good defensively.
Luka Modric: 9
Genius. Dribbled out of pressure like it was nothing, and was essential for Real Madrid to weather the first half storm. Much of the same in the second half, as the Croatian pulled all the strings and dominated the midfield. Unquestionably Man of the Match.
Unbelievable Modric. 7 successful take-ons, 5 interceptions, just 5 misplaced passes. Doesn't even show how instrumental he was. pic.twitter.com/hLwTIa1MTU— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) May 10, 2017
Toni Kroos: 7.5
Overshadowed by his central midfield partner Modric, but the German still turned in a typical cyborg-like performance, completing 96% of his passes. Kroos did well defensively as well, and was essential in Real taking control of the game in the second half.
Put Real Madrid on the scoresheet after knocking home a rebound from Kroos’ shot. Did extremely well to help ease Real out of Atleti’s ferocious pressure. Like Modric was instrumental in breaking Atleti’s press. His influence towards the end of the match decreased, and as a result was replaced with Morata late in the match.
Karim Benzema: 7.5
When Real Madrid desperately needed someone to step up, the ridiculed Frenchman stepped up and delivered with a ridiculous run on the byline moments before Real Madrid made it 2-1. Was excellent in linking up with teammates, and even made another marauding run that nearly resulted in Real’s second of the night.
KARIM BENZEMA YOU FUCKING GOAT TOOK OUT 3 PLAYERS LIKE LIONEL MESSI BENZEMA BE MY HUSBAND OH MY GOD— O.Dembélé fanboy (@OmVArvind) May 10, 2017
Cristiano Ronaldo: 5.5
Not the best performance from the dark invader. While his heroics in the first-leg won Madrid the tie, he was not nearly as influential in the second. Was offside by a very small margin on what would have been a goal. Should have passed to Alvaro Morata who was in space towards the end of the match.
Lucas Vazquez (Substitute): 6
Did Lucas Vazquez things to help Madrid close the match, but not much else.
Marco Asensio (Substitute): 6
Not as influential as he has been in the past.
Alvaro Morata (Substitute): N/A
Came on too late to make an impact, but probably would have scored if Ronaldo had passed him the ball at the very end of the match.
Man of the Match: Luka Modric
Zidane: "Luka has impressive calm on the ball, we know that he never gets nervous in possession. His experience was fundamental."— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 10, 2017