'That' Ramos goal is two years old

It’s exactly two years today since that Sergio Ramos goal. An impeccable header, preceded by a magnificent leap that allowed for a powerful connection with the ball to guide it in off the lower part of the upright, out of the reach of the great Courtois. That goal kick started twenty long minutes of mesmerising Madrid play, which coincided with the entrances of Isco and Marcelo and seemed to give no let up, especially on the left side of the pitch. Atlético, who were affected by the injuries to Arda Turan and Diego Costa, their two lynchpins in attack, found a goal through Godín and from then on set about defending their lead. And that’s how the rest of the game panned out. That is until Ramos rose to meet that corner.

It was an important goal, the most decisive of any I can think of from the long and coloured history the two Madrid clubs share. That goal opened the floodgates for another three in extra-time, which even then seemed like a foregone conclusion. Even though they couldn’t carve out any opportunities, faith kept Atlético going. However, that faith was shattered by Sergio Ramos’ brutal hammer blow which, more than just conjuring up images of Schwarzenbeck for the Rojiblancos, condemned them to a period of extra-time they didn’t have energy enough to face. And, unsurprisingly, they fell to pieces. It was a similar situation to forty years earlier when Atlético fell apart against Bayern Munich.

A lot of players have stayed on at the two clubs since that final. It was only two years ago after all. What emotions must that goal produce from one player to the next? The job on Simeone's hands this week is to wipe away that painful memory and hone in on the fact that his lot have made it this far, getting past Bayern and, before that, dumping Barcelona out of the competition. They made it through those two tests. Now they can tell Madrid that while they may have lost in Lisbon, that defeat didn't prove fatal. They're in the final again. We're used to saying that Real Madrid have a habit of bouncing back, but now it's Atlético who have mastered that art.