Football

Published: Thursday May 1, 2014 MYT 5:12:04 AM
Updated: Thursday May 1, 2014 MYT 5:12:04 AM

Inspired Atletico ease past Chelsea to set up Madrid final

LONDON (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid produced an inspired display of counter-attacking football to beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday and set up an all-Spanish final against city rivals Real.

Goals from Adrian Lopez, a penalty from Diego Costa and Arda Turan gave Atletico a 3-1 aggregate victory after last week's goalless draw in Madrid and put them into the final of Europe's elite competition for the first time since 1974.

Chelsea took the lead after 36 minutes when former Atletico favourite Fernando Torres scored with a deflected shot, but the goal inspired the La Liga leaders who will meet their neighbours in the first European final to feature two clubs from the same city in Lisbon on May 24."The truth is the team was brilliant," Atletico forward Costa said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus. "We have done everything possible to get to the final. Both Real Madrid and us are deserved finalists."

Chelsea midfielder Willian started the move that led to the opening goal and turned his marker wide on the right before Cesar Azpilicueta, playing in an unfamiliar midfield role, set up the chance for Torres who clipped the ball home via a deflection off Mario Suarez.

Atletico took advantage of poor defending for the equaliser a minute before halftime when the home team failed to clear a floated cross from Thiago to the unmarked Juanfran who stole in at the far post.

He crossed for Adrian Lopez whose shot bounced down on its way into the net.

Veteran Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer rolled back the years at the start of the second half with a stunning two-handed reflex save from Turan who took advantage of more poor defending to rifle in a blistering angled shot. Atletico, who held the away goal advantage with the score at 1-1, refused to sit back and were rewarded after an hour when Samuel Eto'o, who had replaced Ashley Cole, fouled Costa to concede a penalty. Costa blasted the ball past Schwarzer to make it 2-1 before Turan sealed a glorious victory with the third goal as Chelsea collapsed at the back. David Luiz hit the post for Chelsea but they were totally outplayed in the second half and Atletico ran out deserved winners.

"The game until a certain minute was very equal," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"The first half was more ours than them, but the second half one minute changes everything. One minute the Atletico keeper makes a very good save, the same minute it was a penalty, after that, 2-1 against Atletico is almost impossible. "After that there was only one team. One team with morale high, knowing they had the result under control."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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