Atletico Madrid have made their first ever Champions League final (and their first European Cup finals since 1974) following their 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge where they will face city rivals Real Madrid.
Chelsea went into the second leg at home with the smallest of advantages following a goalless first leg. However much will be made of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s ultra-defensive lineup.
The Portuguese, who have been criticized recently for his pragmatic – yet successful -approach last week at both Atletico in the Champions League and Liverpool in the English Premier League, selected six defenders in his starting eleven, three of which were full-backs. The idea was clearly to defend as much as possible and take their chances on counter attacks.
His plan seemed to be working once again, when Fernando Torres put the home side ahead in the first half. But Atletico were able to equalize just before half-time when, ironically, poor Chelsea defending allowed Adrian Lopez to give Atletico their all important away goal.
More poor defending would hurt Chelsea in the second half when fifteen minutes in, substitute Samuel Eto’o brought down Diego Costa in the penalty area. The big striker would be booked for taking too long to place the ball, before converting to put his side ahead.
Now, needing two goals to advance, the home side came close to an equalizer when David Luiz’ header off a free kick struck the post. But it was the visitors who were the more aggressive side throughout the second half, and Arda Turan rounded off the scoring in the 72nd minute.