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Bale leads Real over Atletico in CL final
Lisbon, Portugal (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Madrid secured its 10th Champions League title on Saturday, needing extra time to get a 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid.
Atletico led for much of the match thanks to Diego Godin's 36th-minute strike, but a Sergio Ramos header in the 90th minute forced two periods of extra time.
Real took control of the final from that point forward as goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo put an exclamation point at the end of a flattering scoreline.
It is the first Champions League crown for Real Madrid since 2002 and the third for manager Carlo Ancelotti, who won the competition with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.
The victory looked out of reach for Real Madrid when Atletico took the lead shortly before the halftime interval. Real failed to clear its lines following a corner kick, and a searching ball into the box was met by Godin, who took advantage of Iker Casillas' poor positioning to head home the delivery from the center of the box.
Real Madrid dominated the second half and eventually found an equalizer in the third minute of stoppage time when Ramos sent a glancing header past Thibaut Courtois, the defender's sixth goal in his last eight games across all competitions.
The goal sent the match into extra time, and after a scoreless opening period, Real Madrid seized control of the final thanks to three goals in the span of 10 minutes.
The go-ahead strike came in the 109th minute of the match when Angel Di Maria navigated his way through traffic to lash a shot on target from the side of the box. Courtois parried the attempt away, but Bale, who had spurned a host of scoring chances throughout regulation, made amends by nodding the rebound into the upper corner.
Marcelo effectively secured the win nine minutes later when he exploited a massive gap in the Atletico defense to fire home a shot from the top of the box. Courtois got his hand to the attempt but was unable to keep it out of the net.
Ronaldo added insult to injury for Atletico late in the match when he drew a penalty under a foul from Godin. The Portuguese star made no mistake with the ensuing spot-kick, slamming home his 17th Champions League goal of the campaign.
It capped a strong comeback for Real Madrid, which managed to collect the two pieces of silverware (Champions League and Copa del Rey) despite a third-place finish in La Liga.
05/24 20:10:47 ET
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