Real Madrid have progressed to the Champions League final after a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu saw them through with a 4-3 aggregate victory, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
Zinedine Zidane’s team came into the game with a 2-1 aggregate lead after their clinical performance in Germany. Bayern, who were wasteful with their chances in the first leg, knew they needed a big performance if they were going to reach the final.
Jupp Heynckes’ men got off to the perfect start. The ball was played to Thomas Muller down the right-hand side and he whipped in a dangerous cross which bounced off both Sergio Ramos and Corentin Tolisso before landing at the feet of Joshua Kimmich. The young defender rifled his shot past Keylor Navas and Bayern were 1-0 up after just three minutes.
It did not take the defending Champions long to hit back. After a long period of possession, Mateo Kovacic switched the play, finding Marcelo with a long ball. The defender then whipped his cross to the back post, finding Karim Benzema who made no mistake with his header, 1-1 after 11 minutes.
Bayern then came closest to scoring the next goal. Navas produced a good save off a Robert Lewandowski shot, the ball fell to James Rodriguez who somehow missed the target from close range.
It was 1-1 at half-time in an extremely open and exciting game.
One minute into the second half and a dreadful error from Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich gifted Madrid the lead. Tolisso played a blind back pass to his goalkeeper who inexplicably tried to pick the ball up before realising he couldn’t and then tried to kick it. In the end, he did neither and the ball squirmed past him, leaving Benzema with a tap in, 2-1 to the home side who were now 4-2 up on aggregate.
The German Champions pushed forward in search of a goal and after being brilliantly denied by Navas on a couple of occasions, James got their equaliser with 63 minutes gone. The Colombian’s initial shot was blocked but he reacted quickest to the rebound before slipping his shot through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Bayern had a lot of the ball while Real were happy to sit back and look to catch their opponents off the counter.
Bayern were then denied by another fantastic Navas save, who was having a great game.
Real Madrid managed to see out the remainder of the game and will now have a chance to win an unprecedented third successive Champions League crown.
Photo: Emilio Naranjo/Backpagepix
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