In pictures: The moments that mattered in Real Madrid’s win over Atlético

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source: AP

9′ – Diego Costa comes off – Diego Simeone took a chance by putting his 36-goal man into the starting XI, but after passing pre-match fitness tests, Diego Costa seemed ready to go. After eight minutes in Lisbon, however, it was clear the Spanish international couldn’t continue. Jogging straight to the locker room, Costa gave way for Adrían Lopez, with Atlético making the earliest European final substitution in 29 years.

source: Getty Images

32′ – Gareth Bale’s shocking miss – In one of Atlético’s few moments of weakness, Gareth Bale was able to carry the ball to the middle of Atleti’s penalty area, giving him an open look at Thibaut Courtois’s right post. After Miranda slid across his line to goal, Bale had the room he needed to pick out the opener. Instead, perhaps inadvertently scooping the ball instead of curling it, Bale put his shot wide of the post, leaving him to marvel in disappointment at his inability to put El Real in front.

source: Getty Images

36′ – Iker Casillas’s big mistake – Testing the limits of a defense’s organization, the second ball in off a corner is one of the most dangerous moments in soccer. On Saturday, however, it was Real Madrid’s goalkeeper who faltered, abandoning his goal while trying to read a ball headed back in by Juanfran. Diego Godín, winning an aerial duel with Sami Khedira, was able to push his header over an out-of-position Iker Casillas, giving Atlético a 1-0 lead.

source: AP

59′ – Carlo Ancelotti makes his move – Unable to dent Atleti, Real Madrid finally changed things up. Marcelo came on for Fabio Coentrãõ, giving Carlo Ancelotti a more attacking presence at left back. Isco replaced Khedira, leaving the midfield without a destroyer in the middle.  The tweaks helped Real Madrid dominate possession over the match’s final hour, even if chances remained scarce.

source: Getty Images

90+3′ – Sergio Ramos salvages El Real’s decima hopes – Three minutes into stopper time, Real Madrid had yet to truly stress Courtois, with the two or three threats the team was able to muster (mostly from Gareth Bale) flying wide of goal. Off Luka Modric’s late corner, however, Spanish international Sergio Ramos — Real Madrid’s best player over the first 90 minutes — delivered. Meeting a near-post corner roughly 12 yards out, Ramos redirected his shot just inside Courtois’s far post, giving the lanky Belgian little chance to prevent the Merengues’ equalizer.

source: AP

110′ – Gareth Bale delivers title No. 10 – For nearly two hours, Bale’s biggest contributions were a series of near misses that looked set to inspire what ifs. Yet after Ángel Di María broke through the right side of Atlético’s defense, the most expensive player in soccer history capitalized on his chance to deliver. Heading into a goal vacated after Courtois’ challenge on Di María, Bale secured Real Madrid’s decima, heading into the upper-right hand corner to give El Real a 2-1 lead. Late goals from Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo piled on for the champions’ 4-1 result.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

whufc.com
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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.