Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Experience sees Real through Atletico cauldron and into final

Frederick Owens | 12 May, 2017, 04:27

Two goals in the opening 16 minutes gave Atletico Madrid a 2-0 lead and real hope of clawing back a 3-0 first-leg deficit.

"It was an extraordinary game, there was huge nobility from a lot of players in our team".

Ramos, who is hoping to guide Real Madrid to back-to-back UCL titles, has warned his old friend he will not be getting any favours from him in the final.

Preparations for the game were rocked on Monday by the news that French left back Theo Hernandez, who is on loan at Alaves from Atletico, travelled to Madrid to undergo a medical with Real Madrid.

Madrid's players returned to the Calderon pitch 15 minutes after the final whistle, diving together across the slippy surface towards their own crowd high in one corner of the Estadio Vicente Calderon before unused substitute Nacho spread a Madrid flag on the ground.

Meanwhile Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann will look to provide the spark in attack that was missing a week ago.

Ramos and Higuain were team-mates at the Bernabeu for six seasons, during which time they helped Real win three LaLiga titles, but they will be on opposing sides at the Millennium Stadium and the Spain worldwide has assured no quarter will be given.

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Houston looked to have moved clear when Ryan Anderson's three-pointer put them ahead with 47.6 seconds on the clock. Leonard had 22 points and 15 rebounds in 38 minutes before leaving the game with an injured right ankle.


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A close range goal from Isco three minutes before the half-time was crucial as Real entered the summit clash on 4-2 aggregate after a brilliant start by their rivals on Wednesday. "I'm convinced we can, if I wasn't I wouldn't say so".

Navas had two make two hard consecutive saves in the 66th on a shot by Yannick Carrasco and a header by Kevin Gameiro, and Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal disallowed for offside in the 69th.

The Frenchman told Real's website: "We knew we were going to suffer, especially at the beginning".

However, Zidane claimed Bale is expected to recover in time for the final and could make the line-up as Real Madrid "are a better team" when the Welshman plays.

Real are now chasing a first league and European Cup double since 1958 and could become the first team to defend the Europe's biggest prize in the Champions League era, which began with the change in format in 1992. "I thought we were excellent in the first half".

"I'm proud of this team for showing character when we were 2-0 down and go looking for the goal".

"It's been wonderful. This is not over, we have three more games in La Liga and then we have to think about the final".

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