Following Bayern Munich’s 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Real Madrid on Tuesday, Arjen Robben claimed that Carlo Ancelotti’s side will win the Champions League irrespective of whom they play against in the final. On Wednesday following Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, David Luiz was less forthcoming.
Chelsea were many people’s favourites heading into their semi-final second-leg clash at Stamford Bridge. A goalless draw in the first leg in Madrid had put the Blues in a privileged position, and given how defensive Jose Mourinho’s side have been in key games this season, there were suggestions that they would play for a 1-0 win.
Indeed, after 36 minutes when Fernando Torres scored against his former club, it did seem that Chelsea were on their way to the final. However, Diego Simeone’s side staged a comeback thereafter and eventually clinched the contest 3-1.
After the match, Luiz admitted that the La Liga leaders were the better team, but stopped short of saying that they are the favourites to win the competition. Perhaps the fact that Atletico will be taking on their city-rivals Real Madrid - who have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in full flow at the moment – was playing on the Brazil international’s mind.
‘They were the better team and deserved to win’, Uefa.com quotes the 27-year-old as saying. ‘We tried our best – we hit the post and [Thibaut] Courtois made one or two very good saves. We controlled the game in the first 40 minutes, but we conceded a goal at the end of the first half and they created a plan again to wait and wait and play on the counter-attack.
‘Then we conceded a penalty and they scored a second goal. That's the Champions League – both big teams and big players. Atletico were strong on the [small] details and in the big games the details make the difference. We gave everything and were unlucky in some moments, but that's football – you cannot win every game. I would have liked to play the final in Lisbon, but I leave with my head held high, having done my best on the pitch. Unfortunately it wasn't enough.
‘We must congratulate Atletico, who have a great team and a great philosophy to play football. They deserve to be in the final. There is no favourite [for that match]. A final is a final – anything can happen’.