Chicharito Hernandez became the unexpected hero as Real Madrid end a seven-game victory draught against Atletico de Madrid to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Diego Simeone men focussed on defending and they kept Real away from their box for a long time. However, Arda Turan was sent off in the 76th minute and Los Blancos took the chance to score the winner thanks to a great collective play that Chicharito sealed with his goal.
Carlo Ancelotti surprised everyone lining-up Sergio Ramos in midfield alongside Toni Kroos, with Raphael Varane and Pepe in the centre of defence.
Los Blancos dominated possession from the start, but Atletico defended with their lines tightly close and Real barely shot on target a couple of times before the break.
Ronaldo had the best chance of the first half when Saul Niguez lost the ball near the edge of the box. James Rodriguez sent a precise pass to the Portuguese but his shot into the bottom corner was brilliantly blocked by Jan Oblak.
Los Blancos started the second half with more intensity and soon they had a big opportunity to score. Isco sent a superb assist into the box and Chicharito’s effort was just wide off the post.
Atletico seemed to start getting tired, but still Real were unable to find spaces. Yet, everything changed when Turan was shown his second yellow card following a challenge on Ramos.
With 15 minutes to go, Real moved a step forward. Chicharito was close to making it 1-0 after receiving a pass from James and avoiding Diego Godin’s tackle. The Mexican sent a powerful shot but was denied by Oblak, who saved his team for the billionth time in this tie.
Chicharito was by far the most active and threatening Real Madrid player in the game, and he got his reward in the 88th minute. Ronaldo and James combined brilliantly in the edge of the box and the Portuguese ended up squaring to the Mexican, who netted from the penalty spot.
Atletico didn’t have time to react and Los Blancos earned a hard-fought ticket for the next round, after a very tough tie that was decided with one single goal in 180 minutes.
real madrid is the best team ever
Chicharito is a boss
Chicharito really showed what he can do with an opportunity.
Madrid I want barca at semi final