UEFA Champions League: Chelsea 1 Atletico Madrid 3 (1-3 agg)

Chelsea's hopes of reaching a third Champions League final in six

years were ended as Atletico Madrid produced a stunning

counter-attacking display at Stamford Bridge to set up a final against

city rivals Real.

Jose Mourinho's side went ahead in the tie

when Fernando Torres put Chelsea in front

with a goal against his former club nine

minutes before half-time.

But Chelsea allowed Atletico back into the

match just before the interval, as Adrian Lopez

scrambled home.

With Atletico ahead on the away goals rule

following a goalless first leg, Chelsea needed to

score to reach the Lisbon final but it was the

Spaniards who struck again, Diego Costa

putting them in front from the penalty spot

before the excellent Arda Turan added a third

with 18 minutes remaining.

At the final whistle, the visitors danced in

front of their fans as John Terry stood in the

centre circle and shed tears. It is the first time

Atletico have reached a European Cup final

since 1972.

For Mourinho and Chelsea, this had been an

opportunity to exorcise the spirits of semi-

finals past, not create more. To "ghost" goals,

penalty shootouts, high-profile rows with

Norwegian referees, add this painful defeat.

Mourinho had reached this stage of the

competition in each of the past five seasons,

but in that time has only managed to reach the

final in 2010, when he won it with Inter Milan.

The script appeared to have been written for

the Portuguese to return to Lisbon to face Real

Madrid, the club he left with accusations of


Atletico had other ideas and a fairytale of their

own to write. Central to their victory was the

performance of their goalkeeper Thibaut

Courtois, on loan from Chelsea. During a

frantic second half, he denied Terry and David

Luiz just as it seemed Chelsea might find a way

back into the tie.

There had been early warnings signs for

Chelsea, even though for much of the opening

40 minutes they had looked in total control.

Koke's fourth-minute cross drifted onto Mark

Schwarzer's crossbar, but in the early

moments it was Chelsea who threatened.

Torres led the line with purpose from the

outset, playing with the kind of vim and vigour

that he had in making his name in the red and

white of Atletico. Willian curled a free-kick

over the bar, before Luiz produced an

acrobatic overhead kick that went wide.

Atletico came into the game on the back of a

ninth successive La Liga win, with a sixth

successive clean sheet. It took a former idol to

break that streak as Torres fired Chelsea in

front after 36 minutes following fine work by

Willian and Cesar Azpilicueta wide on the right.

Torres raised his hands as if to apologise to

the travelling supporters who once idolised


But within eight minutes Atletico were back in

the tie, as Chelsea switched off with half-time

approaching. Tiago floated a ball to the far

post, where an unmarked Juanfran pulled it

back across for Lopez to stroke into an empty

net. It was the classic sucker-punch.

Worse was still to come for Chelsea. Substitute

Samuel Eto'o collided with Costa in front of

the referee. The Spain international stepped up

and buried the spot kick to silence Stamford


With Chelsea needing to push for a goal of

their own, wide open spaces began to appear

for Atletico and they took full advantage.

This was a counter attack as decisive and

devastating as the ones perfected by their city

neighbours at Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Koke's cross from wide on the right found

Turan charging at the back post. His initial

header was tipped onto the bar but the Turk

followed up to ram home the rebound and put

the result beyond doubt.

Mourinho turned to his staff, knowing the

game was up.


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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