Champions League Final 2014: Atlético v Real Madrid Preview

by SteveRogerson

For the first time ever, two clubs from the same city will meet in the Uefa Champions League Final when Atlético take on Real Madrid on Saturday 24th May 2014.

Atlético and Real Madrid are set to go head-to-head in the final of the 2014 Uefa Champions League at Benfica’s Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, on Saturday 24th May 2014. This is the first time two clubs from the same city have met in the final and only the fifth time for two clubs from the same country.

Estádio da Luz in Lisbon will host the final
Estádio da Luz in Lisbon will host the final
Photo by Alvesgaspar

Not only is this season’s Champions League Final an all-Spanish affair but it is also an all Madrid affair as Atlético take on Real Madrid on Saturday 24th May 2014 at Benfica’s Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. Both clubs already have a trophy in the cabinet this season, and both at the expense of fierce rivals Barcelona.

Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Ray Final in April and Atlético drew 1-1 away at Barcelona in the final match of the season to clinch top spot in La Liga, three point clear of second-place Barcelona and third-placed Real Madrid.

Despite drawing two and losing one of their last league matches, Atlético come into this game on a roll as those two points proved enough to win the title. Real Madrid won their last game in La Liga but drew two and lost one of their previous three matches, a poor run that ultimately cost them the title.

This will be the first time two clubs from the same city have met in the final though it is the fifth time with both from the same country. Real Madrid have made it to the final twelve times before and have won nine of them. Atlético have only reached this stage once before, in 1974 when they lost to Bayern Munich. This season, Atlético are the only unbeaten team in the competition.

Both teams have had successes in other European competitions. Real Madrid has won the Uefa Cup twice, the Cup Winners Cup once and Uefa Super Cup once. Atlérico have won the Europa League twice, the Cup Winners Cup once and the Uefa Super Cup twice.

 

Atlético’s route to the final

There were no problems for Atlético in the group stages as they won five and drew one of their six matches to finish ten points clear of second-placed FC Zenit. A 1-0 away win at AC Milan got the Round of 16 off to a good start and they followed that up by beating the Italian team 4-1 at home. This brought up possibly the toughest tie of the quarter finals with Barcelona, and they took the lead early in the second half of the away leg but Barcelona equalised 15 minutes later. An early goal from Koke in the second leg was enough to secure victory.

After the first leg of the semi-final against Chelsea in Spain failed to produce a goal, Atlético were left with a potentially nervous visit to London, and it all looked to be going wrong when Chelsea took a first half lead, but an equaliser just before half time and two second-half goals saw them through to the final 3-1.

 

Real Madrid’s route to the final

Real Madrid also topped their group comfortably, and also won five and drew one of their six matches to finish nine points clear of second-placed Galatasaray. They then went onto to slaughter Schalke 9-2 on aggregate in the Round of 16 after winning the away leg 6-1.

They also looked to be cruising in the quarter finals after winning the home leg 3-0 against Borussia Dortmund; the Germans though fought back in the second leg but failed to add to their two first half goals. Semi-finals are meant to be tough and on paper they didn’t come much tougher than Bayern Munich, but in the end it was easy following up a 1-0 home win with a 4-0 thrashing of the Germans on their home soil.

 

Previously for Atlético vis Real Madrid

Atlético won 1-0 away at Real Madrid when the two clubs met in the league in September with Diego Costa getting the only goal in the tenth minute. The return game saw the two sides draw 2-2 with Real Madrid taking an early lead through Benzema before goals from Koke and Gabi put the home side in front. A late equaliser from Cristiano Ronaldo meant the points were shared.

The sides also met in the semi-final of the Copa del Ray, but this time Real Madrid dominated winning the home leg 3-0 with a little help from Atlético as two of the three goals were own goals; Jese got the other. Any hopes of a second leg revival for Atlético were killed early in the game thanks to two first half penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo to make the aggregate score 5-0.

The clubs met in the semi-final of the European Cup in 1959 when the two-legged game produced a 2-2 draw. In those days, they had replays and Real Madrid came out 2-1 winners. Under current regulations, Atlético would have won on the away goals rule.

The two teams have also met five times in the Copa del Ray final with Atlético winning four of them, the most recent of these being last season.

 

Football betting odds for Real Madrid vs Atlético

The bookmakers have Real Madrid odds on favourites though only marginally below evens with 20/21 and 19/20 both being available for a win in ninety minutes. For Atlético to do the same, most have gone for 3/1 though 10/3 is available. The odds for a draw in ninety minutes range from 5/2 to 13/5.

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Updated: 05/18/2014, SteveRogerson
 
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