Real Madrid Defeat Atletico To Claim 11th European Title | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Real Madrid Defeat Atletico To Claim 11th European Title

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos celebrates with the trophy after the Champions League final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, May 28, 2016. Real Madrid won 5-4 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 after extra time.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Posted: May 28, 2016 at 11:27 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Real Madrid were crowned European champions for an unprecedented 11th time when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty in a 5-3 shootout victory over Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The Champions League final had finished 1-1 after extra time with Sergio Ramos having bundled the ball home to give Real the lead in the 15th minute.

Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty at the start of the second half for Atletico when he fired his shot against the bar.

Atletico, beaten in their two previous final appearances, including the most recent against Real in 2014, suffered a series of let-offs before substitute Yannick Carrasco rifled in the equaliser in the 79th minute to send the game into extra time.

After seven successful spot-kicks in the shootout, Juanfran struck the post with Atletico’s fourth penalty and Ronaldo calmly converted to seal victory for Real.

“The penalties are always a lottery, you never know what will happen but our team showed more experience and we showed it by scoring all the penalties,” Ronaldo said. “A fantastic night for us.

“It is the end of the season and people are not fit, we have to rest and we have to go for the Euros.”

The challenges came in thick and fast early on and Atletico gave away two free kicks in dangerous positions.

They got away with it the first time when Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak made a brilliant save on his line to block Casemiro’s shot from a Gareth Bale free kick.

But there was no let-off when Bale headed on a Toni Kroos free kick and Ramos prodded the ball over the line.

The second half began dramatically when Pepe clumsily caught Fernando Torres’s ankle in the area to give away a penalty.

But Griezmann fired his spot-kick against the underside of the bar, possibly distracted by Keylor Navas jumping along his goalline.

Oblak, who had a made a brilliant one-on-one save from Karim Benzema, made a another superb stop from Cristiano Ronaldo and Stefan Savic cleared Bale’s shot off the line.

Atletico immediately went down the other end where Griezmann lifted the ball to Juanfran, who volleyed a cross for Carrasco to fire home from close range.

Neither side looked like breaking the deadlock in extra-time.

“What an amazing feeling,” Bale said. “We showed resilience and what we are made of. It was a war of attrition. I cannot describe how it feels.

“The boys gave everything and we deserve it. It was a final and you have to win,” the Welshman added.