Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid routes to Champions League final

Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid routes to Champions League final

MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid routes to Champions League final

A man looks at the Eusebio monument at Luz stadium in Lisbon May 22, 2014. The Champions League final match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid takes place at the stadium on Saturday. REUTERS Photo

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid clash in the first ever Champions League final between two sides from the same city in Lisbon on Saturday.
Here, AFP Sports looks at how nine-time European champions Real and recently crowned La Liga winners Atletico got to the final:               

Group Stages       

Both Madrid sides were the standout teams in the competition from the group stage on as they dropped just two points apiece in easing their way into the last 16.
On their return to the competition for the first time in four years, Atletico were the first side in the competition to seal their passage into the knockout stage as they beat Zenit St Petersburg 3-1 and Porto 2-1 in matchday one and two respectively before routing Austria Vienna 3-0 away and 4-0 at home.
Only an uncharacteristic error from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois denied Diego Simeone's men a 100 percent record as the Belgian's mistake handed Zenit an equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Russia before they finished off the group by beating Porto 2-0 at home.
Real on paper had a harder task as they faced Italian champions Juventus and last season's quarter-finalists Galatasaray.
However, a 6-1 thrashing of the Turks in Istanbul set Real on the way for a record-equalling tally of 20 goals in the group stage.
Home victories over FC Copenhagen and Juventus followed and Real sealed their place in the last 16 with a 2-2 draw away to Juve on matchday four.
Another 4-1 trouncing of Galatasaray followed at the Santiago Bernabeu despite the hosts playing the majority of the game with 10 men and they finished the group with a comfortable 2-0 victory in Copenhagen.
Last 16       

Atletico faced the former might of seven-time winners AC Milan in the last 16 and needed Courtois to be in fine form in the early stages of the first leg as he kept the Italians at bay.
However, the visitors were to come away from the San Siro with a precious 1-0 win when Diego Costa headed home at the back post seven minutes from time.
In the return at the Vicente Calderon it was more comfortable for Atleti as two more goals from Costa along with Arda Turan's deflected effort and Raul Garcia's header sealed a 4-1 win on the night.
Real continued their free-scoring form of the group stages in Gelsenkirchen against Schalke with a stunning 6-1 win in the first leg thanks to two goals each from Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.
With the tie effectively over, Ronaldo struck twice more in the second leg as Real won 3-1 on the night and 9-2 on aggregate.

Atletico faced Barcelona in an all-Spanish affair in the last eight and prevented the Catalans reaching the semi-finals for the first time in seven years with a 2-1 aggregate win.
Two fine goals by Brazilians Diego Ribas and Neymar left the scores level after the first leg at the Camp Nou, but Koke booked Atletico's place in the last four with the only goal of the game back at the Calderon.
Real also progressed by a one-goal margin as they overcame Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate.
Carlo Ancelotti's men looked well set for the semis after a 3-0 win at home in the first leg thanks to goals from Bale, Isco and Ronaldo.
However, without the injured Ronaldo in the return leg, they were made to suffer by two first-half strikes by Marco Reus before holding out to reach the semi-finals for a fourth consecutive year.

Both sides faced familiar foes in the semi-finals as Atletico took on Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, while Real were drawn against former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich.
After an uninspiring 0-0 draw at the Calderon, Atletico were forced to come from behind at Stamford Bridge as their former hero Fernando Torres put Chelsea in front.
The Spaniards responded in fine style, though, to book their place in the final for the first time in 40 years thanks to goals from Adrian Lopez, Costa and Turan.
It was surprisingly straightforward for Real to avenge their 2012 semi-final defeat to Bayern as, after a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Bernabeu thanks to Benzema's solitary goal, they inflicted Bayern's worst ever home defeat in Europe as they romped to a 4-0 win at the Allianz Arena.
Ronaldo scored twice to break the record for goals in a Champions League season with 15, while Sergio Ramos also notched a brace.