We’ll have an actual city derby in the Champions League final this season after Atletico Madrid pulled off a massive away win at Stamford Bridge, beating Chelsea 3-1 following the goalless draw in the first leg, coming back from behind through goals from Adrian Lopez, a Diego Costa penalty and a finishing touch by Arda Turan, leaving Jose Mourinho with another failed attempt to take the Blues all the way.
The second leg was nothing like the first one – both teams did play slow football without allowing too much space on either end, with both defenses starting without making too many mistakes, but there wasn’t one team trying to ruin the match, waste time and pull off every cynical trick in the book in order to get away with a result they’re pleased with.
Chelsea actually took the lead first. One stunning play by Willian on the wing was the first and only time we saw an actual breakdown in the Atletico defense, resulting in Fernando Torres arriving unmarked in the box to connect with Cesar Azpilicueta’s assist, clipping Mario Suarez on the way to make Courtois move in the wrong direction.
But that was one of the last times we saw Chelsea getting any kind of chance without a set piece help. Jose Mourinho didn’t pull all of his soldiers back, but there seemed to be some confusion within the ranks as to what to do next. An awful mistake – terrible coverage by Eden Hazard on the left side resulted in Atletico Madrid having two players completely open in the box, and Juanfran arriving completely alone to set up the equalizing goal for Adrian, as Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole and John Terry simply watched.
Chelsea didn’t recuperate from that goal in the second half. They got one chance from a Terry header that forced Courtois to make his only real save of the match and later on a ball hit the post, but Atletico controlled the pace and looked organized, aggressive and dominating defensively. A foolish foul by Samuel Eto’o inside the box gave Diego Costa a chance to waste time and put Atletico ahead with two away goals.
The finishing touch came from Arda Turan, maybe the best player on the pitch and one of Atletico’s biggest stars this season. Once again Eden Hazard completely missed his man and left too much space for Juanfran once again. Schwarzer stopped the first attempt, but Turan scored off his own miss to start the exodus of Chelsea fans into the West London night.
Justice? There’s no such thing in football. But some might say Mourinho got what he deserved for “ruining” the first leg. He talked slightly arrogantly before the match about going to the final anyway, trying to motivate his players. It didn’t work, and it didn’t seem that the “master” of in-game adjustments had any answer to the team forged to resemble everything Diego Simeone is about as a coach and was as a player.