Champions League 2017 : Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid Road to Semifinals

Real Madrid will face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, while Juventus take on AS Monaco. The first legs of the semi-finals will take place on May 2 and 3, with the return legs coming on May 9 and 10.

Real Madrid , who beat Atletico in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals, are bidding to win their 12th European Cup.

Read the journey of both the teams how they made it to the semifinals of Champions League 2017.

Real Madrid

The Champions are supposed to start with a bang, but we saw real struggle against Portuguese outfit sporting who had kept them at bay while leading by a goal for almost till the end until Ronaldo popped up with a goal towards the final minutes and Morata sealed the points in the injury time. Dortmund was next on cards who came back twice to share the points while having a better game against the Galacticos. Polish champions Legia Warsaw were on the receiving end of five goals where the only consolation for them was a penalty. The return leg in Poland was another six goal thriller draw where Bale’s first minute goal and Benzema’s thirty fifth minute strike indicated another thrashing before Legia took the lead with three goals only for Kovacic to equalize minutes later. The return leg in Portugal against sporting saw the same score line as the first game where Adrien Silva’s penalty nullified Varane’s goal only for Benzema to seal the points in the dying minutes. The more touted game against Dortmund saw Madrid lead the game by two Benzema  goals wither side of the halves until Aubameyang and Reus scored in the sixtieth and eighty eighth minutes respectively to share the spoils.

The knock out stages saw Madrid drawn against Napoli where Madrid went on to win by three goals to one after Napoli took the lead in both the rounds to win 6-2 on aggregate and set up a meeting with Bayern Munich in the quarters. The German giants went on to lose the first exchange at the Allianz arena after Vidal’s opener was rendered futile by two second half Ronaldo goals. Bayern pushed the Galacticos to the extra time as Lewandowski opened the charts with a penalty and Ramos put it into his own net right after Ronaldo’s equalizer. But a red card to Vidal proved to be fatal for the Bavarians as Real went on to score three more in the extra time where Ronaldo went on to become a UCL centurion in terms of goals scored while scoring a hattrick in the process while Asensio all but stamped Real’s authority over the semi final spot.

Atletico Madrid

After the final loss to their city rivals second time in three years, Atleti were pooled in the same group with Bayern Munich and a tricky trip to Rostov was on the cards. A group which also had the likes of PSV was always going to be tricky. After having won the opening fixture by a solo goal against PSG they were up against mighty Bayern, who had a bulk of possession yet went on to lose to a goal by Carrasco. Simply put Atletico showed why they have the best defense. A long trip to Russia in Rostov was settled again by Carrasco. The return leg saw Rostov put up a fight until the last minute until Griezmann showed his class to settle the game in the injury time before the whistle. Atletico once again proved too good for PSV as Gameiro and Griezmann all but pushed them into the knock out stages. The trip to Bayern so Atletico lose for the first time to the team that was favorite to lead the table going into knock out stages.

Atletico were firm favorites against Leverkusen where Torres settled all any nerves adding a fourth after Levekusen reduced the deficit to a single goal twice, first when  Bellarabi scored after Niguez and Griezmann had put Atletico ahead and later through a Savic own goal after Gameiro penalty. Torres goal all but set a mountain to climb for the German outfit that had to beat a two goal deficit away from home against defense like Atletico’s. The away game was goal less where Leverkusen tried hard but was unable to break the defense.

The last season’s finalists were then pit against last season’s wonder team and English champions Leicester who had a turnaround of sorts under new manager Shakespeare. Greizmann’s penalty was the only time we saw the net bulge where Atletico dominated the entire game, while the return leg saw Atletico advance to semis despite a fight from Leicester with the game settled at one all where they are to face their rivals once again who have kept them off the trophy twice in three years now.

 

 

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