Karim Benzema scored an extra-time penalty as Real Madrid pulled off one other astonishing comeback within the Champions League to stun Manchester City 3-1 on Wednesday and guide a showdown with Liverpool within the closing. City regarded sure to undergo when Riyad Mahrez put them 1-0 up and 5-3 forward on combination however Rodrygo, on in its place, scored an unimaginable late double, his targets within the ninetieth and 91st minutes sending the tie to additional time.
With City nonetheless reeling, Real Madrid landed the knock-out blow as Benzema earned after which transformed a spot-kick to grab a 6-5 win on combination, with one other outstanding fightback on the Santiago Bernabeu added to the membership’s lengthy listing of magical European nights.
This season, Madrid had already carried out the unlikeliest of rescue acts to defeat each Paris Saint-Germain within the final 16 and Chelsea within the quarter-finals however, given the stakes and the way shut they have been to defeat, this one in opposition to Manchester City was certainly essentially the most dramatic.
Like PSG and Chelsea earlier than them, City will marvel how they emerged as losers from a match they largely managed and there will probably be recent scrutiny too on coach Pep Guardiola, who, for all his success, goes one other yr with out main City to the European glory they so crave.
City’s collapse would have been nearly inexplicable had it been in opposition to anybody aside from Real Madrid, who advance to their seventeenth closing within the competitors. They are a victory in opposition to Liverpool away from lifting a 14th European Cup.
“Another magic night from the kings of Europe,” learn a banner draped over the stand at one finish earlier than kick-off however for many of regular time, this match did not stay as much as the seven-goal thriller on the Etihad Stadium final week.
Real Madrid have been the extra assertive early on, with Benzema given a few tough alternatives that solely he, in his present kind, may need anticipated to transform. Instead, he headed over and fired excessive.
In between, Luka Modric and Rodri clashed over a Casemiro problem after which City stepped ahead, squeezing Madrid into errors as Kevin De Bruyne hit Thibaut Courtois from distance earlier than the goalkeeper needed to make a sensible response save from Bernardo Silva.
Real Madrid survived after which improved earlier than the break, Modric inflicting a roar of satisfaction when he outsprinted De Bruyne to chop off a counter.
City have been on the again foot as area opened up for Modric within the field however a poor contact made his end tough. A sloppy Kyle Walker cross set Casemiro unfastened however the weaving Vinicius was unable to discover a approach via.
– Mahrez strikes –
An damage to Walker checked Madrid’s momentum and when the sport discovered its rhythm once more, City struck, Ilkay Gundogan‘s cross slicing via Madrid’s midfield and discovering Silva, who danced via to the sting of the field.
Silva formed to shoot however as an alternative wedged the ball proper to Mahrez, who smashed it onerous, early and previous Courtois.
Modric went off and with the Croatian appeared to go a few of Madrid’s perception.
Jack Grealish, on in its place, might have made it two for City however one way or the other Ferland Mendy cleared off the road, earlier than one other Grealish shot flashed previous the put up.
It felt inconsequential as a result of Madrid regarded useless and buried however one way or the other, out of nowhere, they discovered a approach again.
It was the ninetieth minute when Benzema cushioned a ball brilliantly throughout for Rodrygo to feather in on the close to put up and the cheer for the aim was solely somewhat louder than for the stadium announcer then saying there can be six minutes of added time.
Madrid solely wanted one as City, for therefore lengthy so compact and composed, have been immediately sprawled and all it wanted was for Carvajal to swing a cross into the field, the place the diminutive Rodrygo headed in.
When play resumed, Madrid emerged the stronger and 4 minutes in, they’d a penalty, Benzema tumbling over the drained, lunging leg of Ruben Dias earlier than ignoring City’s makes an attempt at distraction by rolling the spot-kick into the nook.
City pushed as Fernandinho got here up simply brief on the again put up when Courtois parried away. A late flick from Dias into the field floated harmlessly into the arms of Courtois, City’s closing try coming to nothing.
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