Real Madrid through to Champions League final against Liverpool after dramatic comeback against Manchester City – The Athletic

Real Madrid advanced to the Champions League final after Karim Benzema’s extra-time penalty completed a dramatic 6-5 win on aggregate against Manchester City.

City took the lead through Riyad Mahrez in the 73rd minute, giving them a two-goal advantage in the tie, but two goals in two minutes from Rodrygo took the match into extra time.

Real then took the lead for the first time across both legs when Benzema placed his spot kick into the bottom right corner.

Fernandinho almost equalised at the back post but Thibaut Courtois’s fingertip save was enough to put off the midfielder.

Real will face Liverpool in the final in Paris on May 28. Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Villarreal 5-2 on aggregate.

The two sides last met in the final in 2018 when Real beat Liverpool 3-1.

“I didn’t think it was over, I don’t have time to think like that,” Carlo Ancelotti said. He will oversee a record-breaking fifth Champions League final at the end of the month. “Liverpool will be an unbelievable challenge, we are really happy to be there. It will be a fantastic game for football.

“I can’t say we are used to living this kind of life but I think it happened also tonight, what happened against Chelsea and also against PSG. This is the biggest history of this club which helps us to kick on also when it seems we are gone.

“The game was close to finished and we managed to find the last energy we had. We played a good game against a strong rival. When we are able to equalise we had a psychological advantage in extra time. I have no time to think about this (losing the game). It was difficult as City had control of the game but the last opportunity we were able to go to extra time.”

City manager Pep Guardiola, speaking to BT Sport, said: “We were close. We were close. But in the end we could not reach it.

“It is simple. In the first half we did not have game, we were not good enough. But we did not suffer much. After we scored the goal we were better. We found our tempo and our game and the players were comfortable. It is not like in the last 10 minutes they attack and attack and you suffer. It didn’t happen. They put a lot of players in the box, with Militao, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Benzema and they put in crosses and scored two goals.

“We didn’t play our best, but it is normal, a semi-final, the players feel the pressure and wanting to do it. Football is unpredictable, it is a game like this. We have to accept it.

“Now we need to process that and come back, with our people at home and the last four games we have.”

(Photo: Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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