LISBON, Portugal – Real Madrid’s record 10th European title will be recorded as a 4-1 victory over Atletico Madrid. In reality, “La Decima” was a lot harder to come by.
Atletico was minutes away from its first UEFA Champions League title Saturday when Sergio Ramos tied the score for Real with a header in injury time. Real then broke down Atletico with three goals in the last period of extra time in the matchup of teams from Spain.
“It’s the most important goal I’ve ever scored,” Ramos said. “We made history against a great rival.”
Gareth Bale snapped the tie with a header in the 110th minute, Marcelo scored in the 118th and Cristiano Ronaldo polished off the victory with a penalty kick at the end.
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“Madrid was better,” said Atletico manager Diego Simeone, who lost his temper toward the end after failing to complete a La Liga-Champions League title double. “They were able to get out on the break, and that hurt our chances.”
Diego Godin put Atletico ahead when his 36th-minute header looped into a Real goal left vacant by goalkeeper Casillas’ unwise rush out.
Atletico — which had to substitute striker Diego Costa early in the first half — simply wore out in extra time, failing to follow up on the Spanish-league title it secured last weekend.
Had Atletico held on Saturday, Ronaldo and Bale would have shared some of the blame for a series of missed chances in the 90 minutes.
Instead, the star forwards added to their storied team’s illustrious history in club soccer’s most prestigious competition.
“I’ve learned from past experiences to keep going, to forget about the chances you miss and keep persevering,” Bale said. “The celebrations of the crowd meant everything to me.”
Real’s Carlo Ancelotti tied the competition record with three victories as a manager, after winning in 2003 and 2007 with AC Milan of Italy.
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• Patrick Mullins and Diego Fagundez scored and Eastern Conference-leading New England extended its unbeaten streak to seven with a 2-1 victory over visiting D.C. United.
• Real Salt Lake stretched its unbeaten streak to 12 (6-0-6) when it played to a scoreless draw with visiting FC Dallas. In other matches, host Columbus beat Chicago 2-0 to end an eight-match winless streak and Dillon Powers scored twice as Colorado routed visiting Montreal 4-1.
• Landon Donovan, who holds several U.S. career records, discussed being left off the 23-man roster for the World Cup in Brazil by coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
“I respect the decision,” said Donovan, 32. “I just feel in my heart that I deserve to be there, and that’s the pill that’s hardest to swallow.”