Report: Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid
Champions League quarter-final second leg, Santiago Bernabeu
Javier Hernandez arrived in the nick of time to steer an injury-hit Real Madrid through to the semi-finals of the Champions League and end a seven-match winless run against Atletico Madrid in dramatic fashion.
The Manchester United loan man ended months of frustration on the Bernabeu bench by being handed a rare start and netting the winner three minutes from time as Madrid finally ended their derby hoodoo at the eighth time of asking.
Arda Turan saw red for a second bookable offence after a challenge on Sergio Ramos, deployed in a rare midfield role, and Madrid took the momentum to keep their hopes of becoming the first club to successfully retain the Champions League alive.
Carlo Ancelotti made a bold move in his starting eleven when he picked Ramos ahead of Asier Illarramendi, Sami Khedira and Lucas Silva in the middle. Pepe and Raphael Varane started as the centre-back pairing and Javier Hernandez led a front three alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez.
Madrid dominated much of the first leg without finding a way through the brick wall that was Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak and the opening exchanges at the Bernabeu followed suit. Madrid had plenty of the ball but didn’t carve out too many chances.
When they did, Chicharito fired into the side netting following a neat pass from James Rodriguez and Ronaldo fired wide from distance.
The Colombian was the most creative player on the pitch and he had a chance of his own from a free-kick only to fire just over the Atleti bar.
The best chance fell to Ronaldo, however, when he surged towards goal and only had Oblak to beat but the Slovenia international spread himself brilliantly to deny the Portugal star and keep the scores level.
Simeone’s side did have their chances at the other end but they were few and far between as Madrid controlled long spells of the opening 45 minutes.
Madrid kept their foot on the gas in the second half and Chicharito was handed another good chance only to blaze an effort wide of the far post with the imposing figure of Oblak doing enough to put off his stride.
As the minutes ticked away it seemed extra-time was on the cards but Turan’s dismissal changed the game. The Turkish international was handed a second yellow card for a high challenge on Ramos and was given his marching orders.
With Antoine Griezmann off the pitch Atleti looked blunt in attack but it was their defence that gave way with just three minutes left. Ronaldo wriggled free inside the area and passed for Hernandez, who fired into an open goal before weaving away in celebration.
Madrid: Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Coentrao, James, Ramos, Kroos, Isco, Chicharito and Cristiano.
Atletico: Oblak, Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Gámez, Tiago, Koke, Saúl, Arda, Griezmann and Mandzukic