Two of our players out on loan suffered late heartache on the big stage today (Saturday).
Thibaut Courtois and Atletico Madrid were beaten 4-1 after extra time in the Champions League final by city rivals Real having led until the third minute of added time.
Diego Godin opened the scoring for Atletico after 36 minutes, with Diego Simeone’s side not looking in any real danger until the final 15 minutes.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema lining up in attack for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, Courtois will have expected to be worked regularly throughout the game, but Real struggled to find any rhythm early on.
Atletico worked tirelessly to limit their opportunities, with former Chelsea midfielder Thiago outstanding in midfield during the initial 90 minutes.
Courtois was called upon on occasions and saved well from a Ronaldo free-kick just before the hour.
The best of the Real chances fell to Bale, who fired wide from good positions in each half, but as the game game wore on they began to threaten. Bale and Isco had both gone close before a teasing Angel Di Maria delivery rolled dangerously across the face of the goal.
It looked as though Atletico had just about done enough until the third minute of added time when Sergio Ramos rose highest to expertly head an equaliser beyond Courtois from a Luka Modric corner.
Bale then gave Real the lead nine minutes from the end of extra time.
Courtois had done brilliantly to thwart the marvellous Di Maria, who had eased past two defenders with a lovely piece of skill, but Bale reacted quickest and headed home from close range.
Substitute Marcelo made it 3-1 when he was allowed to advance unchallenged, and while Courtois got a hand to the defender’s strike the power took it beyond the goalkeeper and into the roof of the net.
Atletico’s – and Courtois’s – misery was compounded in the dying minutes when Ronaldo made it 4-1 from the penalty spot.
Patrick Bamford, meanwhile, suffered disappointment in the Championship play-off final as Derby County were beaten by QPR in cruel circumstances at Wembley.
Derby had been the better side for much of the game, and played the majority of the second half with a one-man advantage after Gary O’Neil was sent off.
Harry Redknapp’side, however, secured promotion back to the Barclays Premier League right at the death when Bobby Zamora curled a left-footed strike into the back of the net in the 90th minute.
Bamford started on the bench for the Rams, and while he was sent on by manager Steve McClaren after they’d fallen behind, there was little time for the youngster to make an impact on proceedings.