In a stunning reversal of fortune, Real Madrid has claimed the Champions League title for a 10th time by scoring late in regulation stoppage time and scoring three times in overtime for a 4-1 victory over crosstown rival Atletico Madrid on Saturday in Lisbon.
Atletico, which won the Spanish league title this season, was only minutes away from claiming its second trophy in two weeks when Sergio Ramos put in a header to give Real the equalizer in the third minute of stoppage time.
"It's the most important goal I've ever scored," said Ramos, a World Cup winner with Spain in 2010 who scored twice in the semifinals against Bayern Munich and has six in his last seven games. “We made history against a great rival."
Real Madrid took the lead in the 110th minute when Gareth Bale headed in a shot by Angel Di Maria that had been deflected high into the air in front of the goal by Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Eight minutes later Real had a two-goal cushion when a counter-attack produced a close-range shot for Marcelo, whose drive was also deflected by Courtois but still went into the net.
From there, Cristiano Ronaldo put the finishing touch to the victory with a penalty kick after he was taken down in the 18-yard box.
“The hardest thing was to tie the game because it was so tough for us at that point,” said Real Coach Carlo Ancelotti, who tied a record with his third Champions League title. “They suffocated the space and were doing it so well. The goal gave us strength.”
Atletico, which was seeking its first Champions crown, opened the scoring in the 35th minute by taking advantage of a mistake by Real keeper Iker Casillas, who had wandered too far off the goal line and Diego Godin knocked a header over Casillas.
Atletico was hampered early when striker Diego Costa had to leave the game in the ninth minute after aggravating his right hamstring injury. Costa exited last week's 1-1 draw with Barcelona that clinched the league title. Coach Diego Simeone took the blame for starting him Saturday.
"No doubt the fact Diego played was my responsibility and I made a mistake," Simeone said. "He was obviously not in playing conditions."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun