Real Madrid v Atlético Madrid: Champions League semi-final first leg – live!
This is the fifth time Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have met in the European Cup. Madrid have won all four previous ties. ¡Oh Atleti!
The teams first met in continental competition in the 1958-59 European Cup semi. Madrid won the first leg at the Bernabéu 2-1, goals from Héctor Rial and Ferenc Puskás wiping out Chuzo’s early opener. Enrique Collar secured a 1-0 win for Atlético in the return at the Estadio Metropolitano de Madrid. In the days before away goals, that meant a replay six days later at La Romareda in neutral Zaragoza. Alfredo Di Stéfano scored first, Collar equalised, and Puskás scored the winner which took Real into their fourth successive final.
Spool on 55 years, and the teams met for the 2014 final in Lisbon. Atlético, recently crowned as champions of Spain, took the lead through Diego Godín’s 36th-minute header, and that looked to have been enough. But Sergio Ramos made like Bayern Munich’s Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck back in 1974, whipping the trophy out of Atlético’s hands with a last-minute equaliser that led to a complete collapse. Real won 4-1 in extra time, just as Bayern prevailed 4-0 in a replay all those decades ago.
A year later, Real came out on top yet again, in the quarter-finals this time, Javier Hernández heading the only goal of the tie with a couple of minutes to go in the second leg at the Bernabéu. And then there was last year’s final, Antoine Griezmann missing a penalty in the second half, Juanfran suffering a similar fate in the shoot-out, Cristiano Ronaldo securing Real’s 11th European Cup.
Atlético are still looking for their first. They’ll be hoping their luck against Real will finally change this year; their recent domestic run of five wins, four draws and just one loss against Real in their last ten matches will give them succour. Better to concentrate on that than all those European Cup defeats, anyway. In that sense, this tie is delicately poised. It’s another chapter in a long-running city saga. It’s the European Cup semi. It’s on!
Kick off: 7.45pm UK time, 8.45pm at the Bernabéu in Madrid.