Hernandez sends Los Blancos through

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Published: Wednesday 22nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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Javier Hernandez netted a late winner as Real Madrid reached the last four of the Champions League following a 1-0 win over 10-man Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu.

The striker, on loan from Manchester United popped up in the 87th minute to finish from close range 11 minutes after Arda Turan saw red after picking up two yellow cards.

Hernandez, only playing due to an injury to Karim Benzema, missed a host of chances in what was a typically tight game, but could not miss after he was played in by Cristiano Ronaldo to keep the La Undecima dream alive for Los Blancos.

Since last season’s final defeat, Atletico went into the game against their city rivals unbeaten in the previous seven matches they had played this season.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti was forced into a host of changes with Benzema, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale all absent meaning starts for Hernandez, Fabio Coentrao, Rafael Varane and Isco starting, with Pepe starting in the centre of midfield.

It meant that January signing Lucas Silva and Asier Illarramendi had to be content with a place on the bench.

By contrast, Atleti’s only absentee was Mario Suarez.

And it was Hernandez, Benzema’s replacement, who had the first chance of the game, but after he was played in Rodriguez he shot tamely into the side netting.

It took almost half an hour for either goalkeeper to be tested but Jesus Gamez’s weak effort was easily held by Iker Casillas.

Jan Oblak, Atletico’s hero in the first leg, got down smartly to keep out Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick.

Oblak was called into action a minute before the half again to deny Ronaldo again. This time he leapt from his line to block the shot from the Portuguese.

Real should have taken the lead three minutes after the break when a wonderful reverse pass by Isco found Hernandez who through on goal shot wide of Oblak’s far post with the Slovenian closing.

However, Real, playing narrow were struggling to create against a compact Atletico outfit, led, typically by ever-reliable skipper Diego Godin.

Real were forced to shoot from distance as Oblak kept out a Ronaldo effort before Koke headed straight at Casillas.

Atletico were looking comfortable, but the game turned moments later when they were reduced to 10 men.

Turan needlessly went high on Sergio Ramos, leaving referee Felix Brych little option but to show him a second yellow card.

The Turkish international was in no rush to leave the field, but shortly after he finally exited Hernandez went close again after spinning his defender he was in on goal, but Oblak was again on hand to deflect the effort wide.

However Hernandez was not to be denied with two minutes left after Ronaldo burst through and drawing a defender and Oblak, playing in the Mexican who rolled the ball into the empty net from close range.

Published: Wednesday 22nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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