Javier Hernandez proved to be the hero for Real Madrid as his goal booked a place in the Champions League semi-final after a 1-0 victory against their bitter rivals Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
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The on-loan Manchester United star broke the deadlock with just two minutes remaining to seal a first win for Los Blancos against their locals rivals in eight attempts this season.
The hosts will now join Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus in the final four of the competition, with the draw set to take place on Friday.
Real Madrid went into the game without four key players as Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema were all unavailable through injury while first choice left-back Marcelo was suspended.
After a tight first-half with very little in terms of goal attempts, Cristiano Ronaldo was denied right on the stroke of half-time thanks to a terrific save from Atleti keeper Jan Oblak.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were the better team throughout and almost went ahead early in the second half but Hernandez fluffed his lines as he scuffed an effort wide from close range.
Arda Turan was then shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Sergio Ramos with 14 minutes left and that incident gave the hosts the initiative and they went on to take full advantage.
After Turan’s red card, it appeared that Atletico Madrid were already playing for penalties, as Diego Simeone left very little outlet up top.
Real Madrid had dominated possession for much of the game, and had even more of the ball with an extra man.
The first moment of genuine quality won them the game.
With time ticking away and the possibility of extra-time and penalties looming, James Rodriguez combined with Ronaldo, who then unselfishly squared the ball for Hernandez to tap into an empty net and seal the passage into the semi-finals once again for the holders.
With all eleven players on the pitch, Atleti’s banks of four were too much for their city rivals to break down.
Turan’s red was the turning point though, and Real Madrid remain on course to defend the UEFA Champions League trophy.