Madrid Derby in Champions League final as Real eliminate Man City
The decisive moment came in the 14th minute as a rejuvenated Gareth Bale attacked down the hosts’ right, with his cross deflected by Fernando and looping over a helpless Joe Hart into the visitors’ net.
The strike went down as a Fernando own goal and added insult to injury after City skipper Vincent Kompany had limped out of the clash in the first 10 minutes with another suspected calf knock.
Superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo returned to fitness and started the game for Zinedine Zidane’s men, with the Premier League side struggling to shackle the Portuguese and the Madrid attack.
The Santiago Bernabeu outfit had multiple chances to add to the scoring and their failure to do so made the home crowd nervy, due to the knowledge that a City away goal would take them through to the final.
However, Manuel Pellegrini’s men put in a tame performance and were noticeably second best, with key players such as Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero quiet.
Madrid’s progression means his year’s final in Milan will be a repeat of 2014’s version, where Los Blancos claimed La Decima against Diego Simeone’s men in Lisbon.
The clash with City was Real’s 27th appearance in a European Cup semi-final, while the game at San Siro later this month will be their 14th outing in the final – both records.
For City it is a return to the drawing board, with Pep Guardiola replacing Pellegrini this summer and changes expected in the playing personnel.
Madrid will go into the final as favourites, but Atletico have a positive head-to-head record against their rivals since Simeone took over at the Vicente Calderon.