HOLY CRAP!!!! We did it!!
I don’t really have words. We aren’t undeserving, but I think we could have played better. I’m just super stoked that we made the final. After such a low point in my confidence in the team, they pulled this out.
Let’s get into it!
Pre-Match Social Media:
Paul Burgess (The guy that keeps our pitch in tip-top shape) was eager to show us his work:
Sergio Llull was there and that makes me happy as usual:
And Marcus Slaughter is still a Madridista!!
Karim posted this photo of the pre-match huddle. I love this so much. As an athlete, I love this moment. It brings back memories for me. It’s a bit indescribable. I love these little looks into the locker room.
I also keep thinking to myself “Oh! I was standing right there!”
The mothership posted a video of the Cantera, from the little ones to the B squad, doling out high fives as our called up players borded the bus at Valdebebas. You can view it here. I absolutely love the little ones all going “GUUUUUUHHHHH” as Cris walks through. And did anyone else spot the little girl? Real Madrid has had girls in the cantera for years but we still have no women’s team. Me and The Peez need to have a talk. I’ll save my rant since this is a celebratory post!
My favorite moment is actually when Zizou gets a pat on the back. I thought it might be Luca but I think he looks too young to be Luca. It’s hard to tell from that angle.
As the bus pulled up to the stadium this is what it looked like outside the bus:
And this is what it was like inside the bus. That noise that sounds like thunder is the sound of fans pounding on the bus as it drives by:
My energy level is high just watching that. If I was in that bus I would be SO pumped!
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Isco; Gareth Bale, Jese, Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City: Joe Hart; Bacary Sagna, Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi, Gael Clichy; Fernandinho, Fernando; Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure, Kevin De Bruyne; Sergio Aguero
I love the way that Crispy’s mascot is looking at him as he rocks back and forth.
The Bernabeu was SO loud. I remember how loud it was during the Clasico and this was rivaling that. It was incredible.
We enjoyed the early possession after City got the match kicked off. It looked a bit like both teams were just trying to figure out what their best way forward was going to be. Push forward and see what the other team did before taking any real chances.
Jese earned a corner in the 5th minute and Pepe tried to get it in but it fell to Bale and then DBL Joe Hart collected it easily.
Vincent Kompany went down in the 8th minute. It looked like he pulled a muscle in his right thigh. There was no contact, just a strain or something. I feel for him. He’s had a lot of muscle injuries this season.
He was replaced by Eliaquim Mangala.
Our first chance was in the 13th minute when Dani put a cross in and Cris got his head to it. Unfortunately his header was quite high and a bit wide.
City were having a hard time keeping the ball, which is fine for us! I noticed though when we had it in their defensive half their response was to collapse three or four players on the ball. I think we can learn from that because think that’s what Atleti will do in the final.
Modric was clipped just outside the box in the 19th minute but the ref didn’t make the call. He was actually clipped twice and neither drew a call.
No worries, though because in the 20th minute Gare Bear made a lovely run that Dani timed his pass perfectly for. His shot took the most minuscule of deflections off Fernando and into the far corner.
It ended up being ruled an own goal but couldn’t we give that to Gareth?! It was barely a deflection! I’ve watched it multiple times and barely see it. FABOD told me she’d watched it twice and didn’t see it.
Hearing the Bernabeu cheer him is a far cry from when he had his car attacked by “fans,” no?
Cris was hacked down to the left of the box in the 26th minute and won a free kick. Sagna earned a yellow card for his challenge on Crispy. Toni took the free kick but DBL Hart did really well to get up and punch the ball away.
De Bruyne picked up a yellow card in the 30th minute for clipping Marcelo after losing possession to our Sunshine.
Sergio, The Pony, whacked Sergio, Aguero, in the face in the 32nd minute. It was accidentally so there was no card but City did earn a free kick. Then they earned a corner shortly after when Dani stuck a foot out to block a cross heading straight for Aguero.
Kroos was blocked off the ball pretty hard in the 35th minute and stayed down for a moment clutching his chest.
#ToniLive played the free kick in and the ball was in the back of the neck after Pepe and Sergio had a touch. But Pepe was offside and the goal was disallowed.
But it was the right call.
City had a corner in the 41st minute but K-Nav came flying out to say “BACK OFF BITCHES! IT’S MINE!”
DBL made a good save on a shot from G-Money in the 44th minute. The shot had power so it was a bit disappointing for me.
Fernandinho hit the post in the 44th minute as well. Talk about a heart attack!
We had a corner in the 2nd minute of added time but Sergio couldn’t get to it and it was out for another corner. That corner was wasted.
The whistle was blown shortly after and the half ended Real Madrid 1 – 0 Manchester City.
As the first half had cut to commercial they showed Cristiano sit down on the pitch after that last corner. He was holding his knee and wincing. Not good!
As usual, neither team made any changes at the half.
Our pretty boys kicked off the half and attempted to pick up where they’d left off.
The first chance we had was in the 46th minute. #ToniLive played the ball over the top to Dani who’d made a great run into the box. Dani then made the pass to Sir Tans-A-Lot but he was called offside.
Jese made a great run in the 48th minute but his ball into the box was quite awful and DBL (Hart) collected it easily.
In the 50th minute, Bale played a ball over the top to Cris but our Tanned Wonder couldn’t get a good foot to it and it was straight at DBL.
LORDY JESE! In the 51st minute he had a WONDERFUL chance but Otamendi put him off and the ball rose over the crossbar. I wanted a Jese goal so bad!
Hart made a brilliant save against Modric in the 52nd minute. Modric was in the perfect position but honestly, Hart was amazing.
It has to be said that at this point I was at work watching a Brazilian feed of the match. The Brazilian commentators were killing me. They were very excitable and I only understand a small amount of Portuguese so I was basically having to latch onto words as I attempted to act calm. It was torture!
Cris had another good header in the 55th minute but again Hart was there to make another good save.
Zizou made his first sub in the 55th minute. We got my new favorite Lucas Vazquez for Jese. I love me some Jese but I think that if Benz isn’t available for the final, we need to play Vazquez. He’s a difference maker and I pray to all the soccer gods and the spaghetti monster that we don’t lose him over the summer.
Again, DBL stopped a shot from The Crispy One in the 59th minute.
Cris was called for a foul in the 61st minute even though Otamendi had hold of his shirt. Then City made their second substitution with Raheem Sterling replacing Yaya Toure.
In the 64th minute, Bale hit the post with a gorgeous header. Then as the ball came back, Cris decided to put both hands up and throw it into the net. I’m not exaggerating. He grabbed the ball with his hands. He was offside, so I think that may be the only reason he escaped a card.
Carvajal went down in the 66th minute, clutching his knee. I was on a conference call and didn’t see it at first. I thought I was going to die. But only because I thought Dani was dying.
In the 67th minute, we got a little bit of Juggy James for Isco. The Bernabeu were on their feet for our bow-legged, bearded beauty.
Manchester City’s last sub was to bring in Iheanacho for Jesus Navas in the 70th minute. I think I like Iheanacho. It’s sad that he plays for City.
I was hearing “Como No Te Voy A Querer” VERY loudly throughout the match but it seemed to be extra loud in the 70th minute. I was a nervous wreck, however.
Fernando picked up a yellow card in the 71st minute for wrapping his arms around Modric as our Croatian was about to break away.
We started sitting back, which I hate. Especially knowing that all City needed was to bring it even. They’d have gone through on the fact that they had an away goal. The City fans were also a bit louder than ours at that point as well.
In the 77th minute, Marcelo went down when stepped on by Fernando. Then Fernandinho took out #ToniLive and our German stood up and had a bit of something to say about it. The ref showed no cards but he had some strong words after orginally thinking it was De Bruyne that was involved.
Also… Since when is The Pony our peace keeper?!
Cris was not looking at all at 100% but he was still out on the pitch. I hope we rest him for the rest of our Liga matches.
It was starting to get tense. The Brazilian commentators were really excitable, like Ray Hudson in Portuguese, and I just wanted the match to be over because City seemed a bit more up for it than we did for the last 10 minutes.
Vazquez picked up his booking in the 83rd minute for going in on Sterling. When Sterling first came in I was a bit worried. He’s not quite as quick as G-Money, but he’s faster than Pepe and Sergio.
The free kick was just outside the box but he thankfully put it into the side netting.
In the 86th minute, Bale was hacked to the ground by Fernandinho, but the referee said no foul.
In the 88th minute, Zizou decided to give Modric a rest and we got our other Croatian. I like Kovacic much.
In the 89th minute, Sergio Aguero hit the ball out of nowhere. From just outside the 18, I think it would have beat K-Nav. Luckily it hit the top of the net. Because what a goal it would have been. But oh how it would have broken our hearts.
In the 90th minute, Keylor came out to clear, then head clear again. but somehow injured his ankle. He had to be treated for quite a while and I was horrified when I heard the commentators say there would be 4 added minutes.
In the 3rd minute of extra time, DBL was out to beat James to a pass. We’d gone on a very good counter attack but unfortunately James isn’t as fast as a healthy Cris or G-Money.
Otamendi picked up a yellow card in the 4th added minute for a challenge on Kylo Ron.
We started trying to keep possession then James couldn’t finish an excellent #ToniLive cross. Cris had a shot blocked out for a corner. Was anyone else screaming “BLOW THE WHISTLE!!!”
There was no time for the corner.
After 7 extra minutes, WE DID IT!!!
Real Madrid 1 – 0 Manchester City
“Tonight we must enjoy the moment all together and with the fans”, added the coach.
it was a perfect night for Zinedine Zidane. He has just passed the four-month mark as Real Madrid coach and his team are now through to the Champions League final. The Frenchman had the following to say about his team reaching the final in Milan: “I’m happy, not just for myself; it was a team effort. I’m happy for the players because what they did tonight was fantastic. We suffered because that always happens in semi-finals, but we’ve got through to the final and that is what is important for us”.
“I’m happy to be leading this great team. I’m happy to be able to enjoy this opportunity that the club has given me, to train these players. We must all keep working together and think about the great things we can achieve if we work together as a united team. We saw that tonight and now we can enjoy the final”.
Dreaming of the eleventh European Cup title
“Yes, obviously. But tonight we must enjoy the moment all together and with the fans, who were phenomenal. We haven’t won anything yet and it will be a difficult game on the 28th May. We need to rest up well for Sunday. That is the good thing about football, thinking about what is in front of you”.
Favourites in Milan
“There are no favourites. It is a final; We both deserve to be there. As always at the start of a game, it will be 50/50”.
“We had a tough game. Our opponents made it difficult for us. I don’t think City were weak, I saw a focussed team who presented us with difficulties. They played and defended well. The result shows that it was difficult for us. Perhaps we deserved a second goal but it is a semi-final and we suffered right up until the end”.
“We won the game 1-0 and that shows that we had to dig in against a very strong side. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and can say that City didn’t do anything in the game. I think that they did a lot. We hardly allowed them any chances because we defended well and got things right tactically”.
His part in the success
“I’m the coach of this team. For sure, I’m doing something right. But, it’s not just me, it’s down to everyone who works alongside me. The most important ones are the players, it’s them who allow us to enjoy the football. I love football and when I see them doing what they do, I’m happy. I suffer a bit more as a coach than I did as a player. I feel tense during the games. We’ve got to enjoy these moments”.
“He’s fine now, he’s played 90 minutes and he’s fine. I see him as being 100% fit and he’ll continue to play. I’m happy with his performance, as I am with that of all of the players”.
Casemiro and Benzema
“If they’re fine tomorrow or the day after, they’ll train with the group. We’re not going to hold off until the final, we’ve got important games coming up now. At the same time, we won’t be taking any risks. We’ve got enough players to keep on going”.
Jesé playing as the central striker
“Because Cristiano is a wide player, as is Gareth. When Karim is playing, he plays centrally. In the game we saw how they swapped around. We needed to be making lots of movement. I put my starting XI out and then made the changes. I take the positives away with me from what was a hard-fought game, but one in which we achieved what we wanted”.
“Atletico have shown what it is to be a big team and they have our full respect”, stated Marcelo.
Cristiano Ronaldo analysed the Champions League semi-final win against Manchester City: “It was a busy game. The team did well, we controlled the game and had more opportunities. We could have killed the game with a second goal and 1-0 is a small result but it is sufficient. We are in the final, which was our aim. We knew we needed to score and in the first game in Manchester we deserved to. Today as well, we were the better team and it is fair that we are in the final”.
“It is a final. We are facing Atletico again and I’m happy. This shows the quality of La Liga. I am very happy to be in the final and we still have a chance in La Liga”.
“Zidane is doing a fine job. He is helping us and we are happy with his work. I admire him as a coach and as a person, and I hope that he stays with us. We have always been with him. He is a humble person, he likes to learn and listen to the players and it is very easy in this sense”.
Message to the fans
“Thank you for all the support you have given us, it was really important. See you at the final and Hala Madrid!”.
“In the press there were doubts whether I would recuperate. This was not the case, I worked hard and recovered well. As Zidane said, I was back to 100%”.
Marcelo: “We are going into the end of the seasson strong”
“In the Champions League there is always a lot of tension, they are tough games. In every competition we play in, we try to do the best we can. It is difficult because they are tough competitions, but we are in the Champions League final and we have a very difficult game ahead of us. We are going into the end of season strong”.
“You can see when the whole team are fighting. Today we worked hard, we defended and played a great game. There are no favourites in the final. Atletico have shown what it is to be a big team and they have our full respect. We are focussed on La Liga already because we can’t relax for a second: we will fight to the last”.
Jesé: “We deserve to win something big”
“Last time I wasn’t in the final and now I have the good fortune and opportunity to be there and help the team. This year we deserve to win something and I’m happy. All madridistas want to win the Champions League and important things and now we have the opportunity. It is the product of months of work and in the final we have to fight till the last”.
“Unity is the most important thing to achieve that. We also have to thank the fans for how they were today. The unity between the team and the fans is unbreakable. We have to give 200% to win it. It is a final and both Atletico and ourselves are big teams. It will go to a big team and hopefully it will be us. We are one big family and together we can achieve great things”.
Modric: “I am proud of the team and the fans”
“It was a spectacular night. I am happy and proud to be in the final, both for the team and the fans. They were incredible today and helped us in tough moments. When you look at the two knockout ties you can see we deserve to be in the final”.
“it’s two years since we played them in the final and we know how difficult it was. We can expect the same kind of game and hopefully the same result. Now we have two La Liga games to prepare for and then we can think about the final”.
Carvajal: “The fans were spectacular”
“It is a Champions League semi final and we knew it wouldn’t be easy. We could have killed the game off earlier but the good news is that we will be in the final in Milan. The fans were spectacular, they stepped up tonight and we have to thank them for their help. I hope it will be the same in the final and that we can win our eleventh European Cup”.
“It was tough. City deserved to be in the semi-finals, but looking back on both legs, we are deserving winners. It was warm out there today and both teams felt it. We were breathing heavy by the end, but we had some chances to have put the tie to bed earlier on”.
“It’ll be another derby, and that’s good for Spanish football and for the Community of Madrid. One of the key factors behind us reaching the final is the fact that we didn’t concede. I recall in the Décima year that we conceded very few goals at home and that helped us greatly. Both Atlético and ourselves deserve to be champions, but I hope that it goes in our favour”.
Kroos: “We deserved to get through”
“We created more goalscoring opportunities in the second half, that’s true both of the game in Manchester and this one, but today we didn’t get the second goal and we had a tough time of things. In any event, we deserved to go through. They didn’t create any chances in 180 minutes”.
“We know that the final against Atlético will be tough. They performed well against Barcelona and Bayern, but we’ve got more quality and we’ve got to go out and show that we’re the better side. There is no favourite, it’s 50-50. I’m not surprised that Atlético are in the final”.
Post-Match Social Media:
Our boys (and some famous friends) celebrated with us on social media!
Former Cantera baby Derek:
Guti is all of us:
Iker tweeted his congratulations to the club he still loves:
Jese said “We go together. Incredible team and fans” (There’s a better translation for “vamos todos juntos” but my brain won’t function at this point. It’s late.
Benz said something. I’m not sure. I’m too busy checking out those visible-through-the-white-shirt muscles:
Not sure G-Money knows they credited that goal as an own goal:
Luka gave us this shot from inside the dressing room:
I adore that #ToniLive chose to give a photo of the team thanking the fans:
He also tweeted this:
“To do it in San Siro…” Do it with Nando? Never change, Sergio. Never change.
Isco said “We have earned the right to play another final! But we have not won anything yet, one last effort! Together, nothing is impossible”
From San Keylor “Thanks to God, a big step and now closer to the cup. Proud of my team and of the great madridista fans”:
Nacho gave us this one:
Borja (and his luscious locks) gave us this:
Karim posted this photo of him jugging James, and I love it:
Casemiro’s grin gives me life:
I think Isco had a wonderful game. He was lively and he was consistently involved in good build up. It may have been Isco’s best match of the season.
Dani was also fabulous going forward. City didn’t crowd his side, they seemed to prefer going down our left against Marcelo.
Here’s to the Sernando final of our dreams! (Which obviously means that we earn La Undecima!)
The Champions League final is 28 May in Milan. I’ll be running up to NYC so I can cry (win or lose) with my partner in footie crime, Lozil.
Our next match is Sunday at home against Valencia.
¡A por la undecima!
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!