Hernandez settles Madrid derby

Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal as Real Madrid came through the Champions League quarter-final with Atletico Madrid.

Hernandez netted in the 88th minute after he was set up by Cristiano Ronaldo, settling a destructive tie that was tense through both legs.

Arda Turan was dismissed with 15 minutes to go for a second yellow card and Atleti, playing for penalties, had no comeback when Madrid went in front.

Sergio Ramos was moved into midfield in the absence of Luka Modric, with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale also out injured and Marcelo suspended. Atletico went with Jesus Gamez at left-back, Tiago Mendes in midfield for the banned Mario Suarez.

Madrid monopolised possession in the early going, Atletico happy to sit back and invite the hosts to break them down.

James Rodriguez and Javier Hernandez combined to open up Atleti for the first time but the Mexican’s near-post shot found only side netting amid a lack of other options.

Cristiano Ronaldo then sparked into life when he found space on the edge of the penalty area but he could only drag a left-footed shot wide of the goal.

Atleti came more into the game but both sides struggled to create chances. The visitors were at least able to end Madrid’s dominance of the ball, though, and impose themselves on the match a little.

James sent a free-kick over the bar, Gamez, capitalising on a James mistake, stung Iker Casillas’ gloves and Juanfran had to be alert to stop Hernandez meeting James’ cross as the game kicked into a higher gear.

Ronaldo tested Jan Oblak with a free-kick from distance and was foiled one-on-one late on by the goalkeeper, Madrid ending the half on the front foot.

They started the second in the same way, Isco engineering the best chance of the match to that point for Hernandez with a through ball behind the Atleti defence, but the shot was screwed wide.

Hernandez was an increasing thorn in Atletico’s side, Miranda at one point taking more of the on-loan Manchester United than the ball to deal with a cross of a dangerous trajectory.

Raphael Varane called Oblak into action with a header into the ground but it was easily held, Madrid controlling the early part of the second half much as they did the first.

Atleti forced a few corners but Madrid created the chances, Ronaldo’s cross finding Ramos but the header was straight at Oblak. Ronaldo was soon favouring his knee after twisting to scuff a shot on goal.

Koke put a header tamely at Casillas as Atleti counter-punched but their recovery was checked by Turan’s red card.

Madrid stepped up the pressure again with another chance for Hernandez, who turned Godin but was denied again by Oblak, Oblak this time rushing out smartly and smothering the attempt.

There was no denying the Little Pea late on when James and Ronaldo linked up and, rather than take the shot himself, Ronaldo laid off to his better-placed colleague.

Madrid saw out the tie with little trouble against the 10 men, booking their place – along with Barcelona – in the final four.

Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid [1-0 on aggregate]

Hernandez 88

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Coentrao (Arbeloa 91); Ramos, Kroos, Isco (Illarra 93); James, Chicharito (Jese 91), Ronaldo

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Gamez; Arda, Tiago (Gimenez 86), Koke, Saul (Gabi 46); Griezmann (Garcia 65), Mandzukic

Referee: Brych [Germany]

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