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Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich: Joselu sends Bernabeu into raptures

Real Madrid pulled off an epic late comeback to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu and reach a record-extending 18th final. 

Following an enthralling 2-2 draw in Munich, both managers deployed a more cautious approach from the outset, although Madrid enjoyed more possession without creating anything meaningful. 

Bayern had the first chance as Serge Gnabry picked up the precise through ball inside the box and fired a thunderous shot a whisker wide of the right post.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side replied in the 13th minute, taking advantage of Szymon Marciniak’s indecisiveness to muster a glorious opportunity for Vinicius Junior.

The Brazilian picked out the far bottom corner, yet his effort rattled off the bar, only to fall nicely for Rodrygo, who should’ve done better from point-blank range. Manuel Neuer was up to the task.

It was Bayern’s turn to threaten Los Blancos’ goal again around the half-hour mark as Harry Kane volleyed the ball goalwards from the edge of the box.

Andriy Lunin made a stunning diving save to thwart the ball out for a corner.

Kane’s attempt was the last noteworthy moment of the first half, with both teams refusing to take any risks before half-time.

Madrid got the second half off to a flying start, but Neuer superbly denied Rodrygo’s free-kick before making another outstanding save to fingertip Vinicius’ shot over the crossbar. 

Los Merengues continued to dominate possession and flirt with an opener. Little did they know a cold shower was waiting in the wings. 

Kane dispatched Anthony Davies into space with a perfect diagonal ball, with the Canadian using his speed to get rid of Antonio Rudiger before hammering the ball into the right side of the goal.

The record-time European champions thought they had grabbed an immediate equaliser when Federico Valverde’s deflected effort finished in the back of the net.

But after consulting with the side-pitch monitor, Marchiniak blew the whistle for Nacho’s bizarre foul on Joshua Kimmich in the lead-up to the goal. 

Neuer must have jinxed his net. Even when he had no business reacting to Vinicius’ close-range effort, the Madrid star couldn’t hit the target from a few yards out. 

When it looked like Bayern would weather the storm, Neuer fumbled a relatively simple ball straight into Joselu’s path. 

The Spaniard tapped it home to level the score just before the 90th minute. Dramatic moments were yet to come. 

Joselu pounced on Antonio Rudiger’s low cross to turn the game on its head. Although the linesman’s flag went up, Marchiniak pointed to the centre after a VAR check. 

Despite being given 12 minutes in stoppages, Bayern had nothing more to offer as Madrid booked a final date against Borussia Dortmund.

Player ratings

Real Madrid (4-3-1-2)

Andriy Lunin (8/10) – Although Bayern rarely tested him, the Ukrainian goalkeeper averted every danger inside his penalty area in another impressive performance.

Dani Carvajal (7/10) – He fared far better than Lucas Vasquez in the first leg, but despite holding up his end of the bargain defensively, he was almost useless in attack.

Antonio Rudiger (8/10) – The experienced defender fought valiantly for every ball against Kane and always looked to be on the front foot versus one of the best forwards in Europe.

Nacho (6/10) – There was no need for the Madrid captain to throw Kimmich to the ground. Otherwise, he did well when asked to defend against Kane. 

Ferland Mendy (7/10) – After a nightmarish first-leg showing, the Frenchman seems to have learnt his lesson, keeping Leroy Sane at arm’s length all game.

Toni Kroos (8/10) – The decorated playmaker wasn’t as decisive as he was in Munich, but he barely put his foot wrong tonight, finding his teammates around the pitch with pinpoint precision. 

Aurelien Tchouameni (6/10) – The defensive-minded midfielder was Kroos’ bodyguard, but he was nowhere to be seen in Madrid’s build-up play.

Federico Valverde (/10) – Following a lively start to the game, the Uruguayan’s performance descended into disarray, highlighted by numerous wasted passes.

Jude Bellingham (6/10) – Madrid fans must have expected more from the highly-rated Englishman, but he wasn’t at his best, spending most of the match in ‘stealth mode.’

Vinicius Junior (8/10) – The lightning-fast forward was undoubtedly the most exciting home player to watch as he came close to beating Neuer twice in the first half.

Rodrygo (5/10) – Apart from squandering a golden chance to break the deadlock early, the Brazilian had a quiet game by his standards. 


Luka Modric (6/10) 

Eduardo Camavinga (6/10) 

Brahim Diaz (5/10)

Joselu (10/10) *MOTM*

Eder Militao (N/A)

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1)

Manuel Neuer (7/10) – Bayern’s first-half hero slammed the door shut, denying every Madrid effort to break the tie. He continued to amaze after the interval until his blunder helped the home team level the score.

Joshua Kimmich (6/10) – Deployed as a right-back again, the German struggled to cope with Vinicius’ pace and couldn’t impact proceedings from the back.

Matthijs de Ligt (8/10) – His dominant aerial presence was crucial to defending set-pieces, but he was equally impressive with the ball at his feet.

Eric Dier (8/10) – Like his defensive colleague, Dier pieced together an exceptional showing, making numerous vital clearances. 

Noussair Mazraoui (7/10) – The Moroccan had a field day on the left as Carvajal and Valverde couldn’t produce anything worth mentioning on his side. 

Konrad Laimer (7/10) – Trusted to provide additional cover to his backline by Tuchel, the Austrian excelled defensively. That inevitably took its toll on his attacking contribution.

Aleksandar Pavlovic (6/10) –  Perhaps the size of the occasion got the better of the youngster. He seemed afraid at times and unwilling to participate in the build-up.

Serge Gnabry (5/10) – The German winger was arguably Bayern’s most determined attacker before an early injury forced him off.

Jamal Musiala (5/10) – He was at the thick of every attack in the first leg, but things didn’t go his way tonight, with Carvajal teaching Vasquez how to handle the prodigy.

Leroy Sane (5/10) – Like Musiala, the ex-Manchester City ace couldn’t gain a foothold in the game. Frustrated with a lack of possession, he made several sloppy passes on either side of half-time. 

Harry Kane (7/10) – Though the Champions League joint-top scorer had one half-chance the whole game, he was instrumental with a delightful cross-field pass to Davies for the goal. 


Anthony Davies (8/10) 

Kim Min-jae (5/10)

Thomas Muller (4/10)

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (3/10)

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