Real Madrid have beat Manchester City to the Champions League final vs Liverpool after the frantic tie ends 6-5 on aggregate.
After the first leg thriller at the Etihad Stadium ended 4-3 in City’s favour, the second spot to fight for the beloved Champions League trophy was up in the air for either team to grab. The fixture was a must-watch as the tensions in the city of Madrid were higher than ever.
All was well for City, who had a goal to their advantage from the first leg, which they doubled after 73 minutes played in the reverse tie thanks to Riyad Mahrez scoring a rocket into the top right corner. After the goal, it appeared as though there was no coming back for Madrid, who were still 2 goals away from equalising after 89 minutes.
Then, the unthinkable happened.
Even after the game was seemingly out of Madrid’s reach, they never really lost their sparkle, continuing to play so well that the City defence couldn’t handle it. Brazilian winger Rodrygo (who came from the bench), pulled a goal back in the 90th minute before scoring a sensational header just a minute later to send the tie into extra time. The scenes across the Bernabéu were nothing short of breath-taking and you could only dream of being there in that moment.
The hearts of the blue side of Manchester were then further shattered in the 5th minute of extra time, as Ruben Dias brings down Real Madrid’s star man of the season Karim Benzema for a penalty, who then guides the ball to the corner of the goal. A well taken penalty under the immense pressure of the evening.
Following the astonishing events, Man City’s star-studded squad were shaken and shocked, struggling to regain their composure for a few moments before eventually dusting themselves off and searching for the equaliser just minutes after being 2 goals to the good. Unfortunately for the 5 times premier league winners, they didn’t have another goal in them.
The closing of this great fixture was largely filled with small injuries and cramps from the Real Madrid players, as well as 3 minutes added on at the end, where the game began to die down as Ancelotti’s Madrid took control and earned themselves the Champions League final spot where they seek to win their 14th title.
They now face Liverpool on the 28th May. A massive game for both sides which won’t be easy for either, especially with the recent history between the 2 clubs where they played the same tie back in 2018. This ended a bitter one as Liverpool’s Egyptian Mohammed Salah was substituted early due to injury while goalkeeper Loris Karius had 2 massive blunders leading to a Gareth Bale brace.
Benzema made a promise to the Madrid fanbase after the first leg semi-final defeat, stating that ‘we never lay down our arms, we are all in this until the end.’ He also encouraged the attending faithful to not lose hope in the legendary club, ‘we will need our fans like never before and we are going to do something magical, which is win.’
A disheartened Pep Guardiola made comments after his team were thrown out of the competition, saying ‘we were close but again we could not reach it.’ When asked about the heartbreak, he claimed that ‘we weren’t good enough [in the first half] but we didn’t suffer much.’ Also adding that after the first goal in the match, his players ‘found their tempo’ up until the quick-fire comeback.
Now Manchester City need to quickly regroup and move on as they continue their charge for their second title in as many years, facing Newcastle united next as they hope to retain top spot in the Premier League. Real Madrid, however, have already sealed their 35th La Liga title, meaning they can comfortably play their remaining fixtures before the big clash at the end of May.
A game that will go down in the history books and will be remembered by all who witnessed the true beauty of football on this night.