Real Madrid shock a stubborn Manchester City to step in their 17th UCL final!

How blessed is Real Madrid? Back-to-back Champions League comebacks have taken place at the Santiago Bernabeu this season. The pattern started with Real Madrid’s thrilling quarterfinal victory over PSG, in which they came back from a 2-0 deficit to advance.

Following slipping into a losing position after a terrible first half, they recreated their heroics against Chelsea weeks later.

When Manchester City came to the Bernabeu with a one-goal aggregate lead, many anticipated Ancelotti’s team to take advantage of home tie and complete a comeback.

Nacho at centre-back and Federico Valverde over Rodrygo in the attack were two new faces in the starting lineup for the newly crowned La Liga winners.

Pep Guardiola’s team gained command of the game right away. Karim Benzema got a half-chance in the fourth minute, but the Premier League side enjoyed the better and more frequent chances.

Kevin de Bruyne cut in and struck from the distance for Manchester City’s first significant chance of the night in the 15th minute. The ball was expertly struck, but it went straight into Courtois’ hands.

The Bernabeu held its breath when Los Blancos had a great chance to equalise in the 18th minute. Vinicius Jr received Ruben Dias’ clearing and attempted a direct shot on goal. Unfortunately, his effort was insufficient. 

In the 82nd minute, Ederson saved Benzema’s offside effort, and Los Blancos’ chances of pulling off a comeback began to wane. City began to grow as Real Madrid became increasingly under strain.

When Grealish put a shot past the Belgian international, the visitors almost scored a second goal of the night. Ferland Mendy, on the other hand, cleared from off the line to keep his team in contention.

Karim Benzema’s excellent pass found Rodrygo inside the box in the 90th minute, providing a ray of hope. Real Madrid were within touching distance of a comeback when the Brazilian sent the ball past Ederson. 

The hosts completed another stunning comeback seconds later. Rodrygo scored again after Daniel Carvajal delivered a cross into the box. The score was 5-5, and the game had come back to life.

In the first minute of extra time, Benzema attempted a goal but was unable to put enough strength behind his effort.

Despite this, the Frenchman did not give up and won a penalty for his team barely a minute later. Before being hauled down by Ruben Dias, he won the ball cleanly in the box.

He struck the ball as clean as a whistle into the bottom right corner from the spot. The scoreboard showed 6-5 as Real Madrid took the lead for the first time in the game. 

The game on Wednesday started tighter than the back-and-forth first leg in Manchester. Still, City eventually took the lead when Mahrez scored with a firm left-footed one-timer from inside the area after a pass from Bernardo Silva. He attracted the Madrid defenders before feeding the ball to his teammate.

In the second leg of City’s quarterfinal against PSG last season, Mahrez scored both goals. The Algerian became the first City player in Champions League history to score seven goals in a single season.

Madrid had scored 22 goals in its previous eight games across all competitions, but it had trouble breaking through the City defence. 

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