REAL wins 10th CL TROPHY!!!


Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid win their 10th European Cup as they finally overwhelmed arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in a compelling Champions League final in Lisbon.
The emphatic scoreline after extra time does no justice to the drama that unfolded at Estadio da Luz as Atletico stood moments from winning the trophy for the first time only to end exhausted and well beaten.
Diego Godin capitalised on an error from Real’s veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas to give Diego Simeone’s newly crowned La Liga champions a first-half lead, one they protected with fierce intensity until 90 seconds from the end of five minutes of stoppage time when Sergio Ramos headed in Luka Modric’s corner.Atletico wilted visibly after that, and Real ruthlessly completed the job of becoming the first club to claim the trophy 10 times, an achievement known as “La Decima” (the 10th).
Bale, who had wasted earlier chances, headed in from an acute angle after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blocked Angel Di Maria’s shot with 11 minutes left. This was effectively the match-winning moment.
The Welshman kept going despite not being at his best and this was the sort of contribution that he and Real had in mind when he made his £86m move from Tottenham last summer.
Substitute Marcelo added a third with a shot Courtois should have saved before Cristiano Ronaldo salvaged something from a disappointing personal performance, scoring his 17th goal of this Champions League campaign from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Gabi.
It was all too much for the combustible Simeone, the game ending amid chaotic scenes when he raced on to the pitch to confront Real’s Raphael Varane and was sent off.
In contrast, the calm figure of Real coach Carlo Ancelotti was able to enjoy his own place in history alongside Bob Paisley, joining the former Liverpool manager as the only men to win the trophy three times as a coach having previously secured the crown twice with AC Milan, and twice as a player.
Real ultimately deserved the victory for their greater attacking intent but Atletico came so close to delivering another spectacular affirmation of their progress under Simeone.
The fitness of striker Diego Costa was a central topic of debate in the build-up, with the Spanish striker using horse placenta as part of his treatment for the hamstring injury he suffered when Atletico clinched La Liga for the first time in 18 years with a draw at Barcelona.
It was only nine minutes before the answer was delivered as a clearly unfit Costa signalled to the bench that he could not continue and was replaced by Adrian Lopez.
Ancelotti gambled on the fitness of Sami Khedira as a starter even though the German midfielder had only played an hour in six months after a knee ligament injury.
He had little chance to make an impact as the intensity of Atletico’s approach – which also carried the occasional over-physical edge – offered no time and space for their creative players.
Real’s best chance in the first half fell to Bale after 32 minutes when he was carelessly presented with the ball by Tiago but, after showing typical pace to surge into the area, he placed his shot inches wide.
Atletico took advantage and went ahead four minutes later, the responsibility for the goal lying predominantly with veteran Real and Spain goalkeeper Casillas.
He was indecisive as he rushed out recklessly to claim Juanfran’s header back into the box, allowing Godin to nudge the ball over him as he desperately tried to recover his ground.
Ronaldo, who had also been an injury doubt with a hamstring problem, had been marginalised but finally got in on the action early in the second half with a free-kick that was turned away by Courtois.
He was then only inches away from getting his head on a cross from Ramos as Real looked to their talisman to haul them back into contention.
Ancelotti made his move with a double change just before the hour, sending on Marcelo for Fabio Coentrao and Isco for Khedira.
Bale had opportunities to bring Real back into the game but he was off target from the edge of the area and was wide again with an angled finish when his pace took him into the area.
Atletico’s defending was becoming increasingly desperate but they showed great resilience, only to be denied deep into stoppage time as Ramos rose magnificently to direct Modric’s corner past Courtois.
During the break before the restart, Atletico’s drained and disappointed players were stretching out on blue mats laid out on the turf while the revived Real side gathered in a huddle to galvanise themselves once more.
It was a clear indication of how the momentum had shifted so significantly and those three goals in the second period of added time wrote another chapter in the history of this tournament’s most successful club

Suarez Dismisses Treansfer Speculations


Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has dismissed
speculation linking him with a move away from
Anfield this summer.

The 27-year-old Uruguay international signed a new four-and-a-half year contract in December and denied that a clause allows him to join Real Madrid or Barcelona this summer.

“There is no clause that suggests a priority for a specific team,” he said. “My head now is focused on the World Cup. My agent tells me what’s there. It’s more speculation than reality.”

Suarez, who joined Liverpool from Ajax for £22m in 2011, wanted to leave the club last summer, with Arsenal making an offer of £40m plus £1 in the belief it would trigger a clause in his contract which they thought existed for any Champions League club. Suarez stayed and had a superb season after missing the first six matches of the campaign to complete his ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

Liverpool challenged for their first league title since 1990, before eventually finishing second, two points behind champions Manchester City.
Suarez scored 31 times in 33 league games and was named the Barclays Player of the Season, the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year.

Liverpool were top of the table just three weeks ago but lost to Chelsea before squandering a 3-0 lead in the final 11 minutes of their next match at Crystal Palace to be held to a 3-3 draw.
Suarez buried his face in his shirt after that draw at Selhurst Park and said: “I was so angry on the inside. A week before we had real hopes of winning the league and after the Palace game, we knew that it had gone.

“We had lost the chance. I felt frustration and rage at the fact that the opportunity had been lost.

“I covered my face because I was so hurt and frustrated. I preferred people not to see me.”

Records broken in 2013/14 Champions League season

Image


This season’s Champions League will finally conclude at
The Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on Saturday 24
May when Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid face off to
be crowned the European Champions.
While Real have their sights set on La Decima, Atletico
are hoping to win their first ever Champions League.
#La Decima: If on the 24th of May, against Atletico
Madrid, Real come out victorious, it will mark their record
10th European Cup, and in the process making them the
only team ever to do so.
Now, that would be a remarkably amazing feat in itself,
but we will have to wait till the 24th to witness the
final and the records that will be broken with it. But
here are the records that have been broken so far in
this season’s Champions League.

#12 Olympique de Marseille join an infamous list with 0 points
16 – Olympique de Marseille joined an
infamous list of teams to have finished with
0 points in the group stages, becoming the
16th team to do so.
They scored 5 goals but conceded 14 in 6
games!

#11 Napoli and Benfica were knocked out on tie-breakers
Benfica and Napoli join a unique list of teams
to have been knocked out on tiebreakers,
after both lost on head-to-head.
Benfica were up against Olympiacos, while
Napoli lost out to Borussia Dortmund and
Arsenal. This was the 20th and 21st time in
the history that a team has been knocked
out on tie-breakers.

#10 Barcelona’s impressive run of consecutive semi-finals came to an end
6 – FC Barcelona hold the record for most
consecutive semi-finals in the Champions
League, with six appearances.
The run began in 2007-08 and came to an
end after their loss to Atletico Madrid in the
quarter-finals of this season’s competition.

#9 Manchester City with 15 points fail to win the group; Napoli with 12 points fail to qualify
12 – Napoli now hold the joint record for
most points collected in the group stages
and still get knocked out of the tournament.
Paris Saint-Germain had also racked up 12
points in 1997-98.
15 – With 12 points under their belt,
Arsenal and Napoli follow Manchester City,
who managed 15; and became the team to
have collected the most points in the group
stage and still not win the group. Bayern
Munich won Manchester City’s group, while
Borussia Dortmund were the winners of the
group involving Arsenal and Napoli.

#8 Specialist in Failure?
8 – Jose Mourinho has now managed in eight
Champions League semi-finals with four
different teams and has made it to the
finals on only two occasions.
He has managed Porto (2004), Chelsea
(2006, 2007, 2014), Internazionale
(2010) and Real Madrid (2011, 2012 and
2013).

#7 Zenit make the knock-outs with just 6 points
6 – Zenit St. Petersburg are 2nd in a rather
unique list of teams to have managed the
least points in the group stages and still
being able to make it to the knockout stages
with just 6 points. Only Milan in 1994-95
have qualified with a worse point tally of 5,
when they had 2 points deducted.
7 – Galatasaray also feature in the list at
9th position, while becoming the 7th team
to have qualified after having achieved only
7 points.

So that’s the first part, ill be back soon to give you the top 6 records, before then, stay tuned to Afronotion

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