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Rediff.com  » Sports » PICS: Real Madrid see off Bayern to reach Champions League final

PICS: Real Madrid see off Bayern to reach Champions League final

Last updated on: May 02, 2018 02:54 IST

Defending champions win semi-final 4-3 on aggregate after second leg ends 2-2.

Karim Benzema scores

IMAGE: Karim Benzema scores Real Madrid’s first goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, in Madrid, on Tuesday. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters

Holders Real Madrid reached the Champions League final for a third year in a row after taking advantage of Bayern Munich’s carelessness in attack and defence to draw 2-2 in their semi-final second leg on Tuesday, and winning 4-3 on aggregate, at the Santiago Bernabeu, in Madrid, Spain.

 

Bayern defender Joshua Kimmich put them in front in the third minute but Karim Benzema levelled with a free header in the 11th and a goalkeeping howler from Bayern’s Sven Ulreich allowed Benzema to tap in Madrid’s second at the start of the second half.

James Rodriguez, on loan from Madrid, hit a deserved equaliser for Bayern in the 63rd to set up a gripping finale but despite waves of pressure from the visitors, the Spaniards clung on, becoming the first team since Juventus in 1998 to reach the final for three years in succession.

They will meet either Liverpool or AS Roma in the final in Kiev on May 26, where they will be bidding to become the first side since Bayern in 1976 to win the competition three years in a row.

James Rodriguez

IMAGE: James Rodriguez, No. 11, scores Bayern Munich's second goal. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Madrid had ridden their luck to win the first leg in Munich 2-1 after Bayern had missed a slew of chances and Zinedine Zidane's side made the most of their few opportunities.

Madrid fans unfurled a giant banner before kickoff stating "We will defend the throne, we will capture glory", but Bayern launched an early assault on their kingdom as David Alaba came rushing forward only to pass into the hands of keeper Keylor Navas.

Bayern came back down the other flank and landed their first punch when Sergio Ramos failed to clear a cross and Kimmich gleefully knocked home from close range.

It was the third consecutive home game in the knockout stages that Madrid had fallen behind, but they kept their composure and soon found an equaliser.

A superb crossfield ball from Luka Modric was controlled by Marcelo who delivered the perfect cross for Benzema to nod calmly in at the back post.

Karim Benzema scores Real Madrid's second goal

IMAGE: Karim Benzema celebrates scoring Real Madrid’s second goal. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

An end-to-end game ensued, with midfield frequently being bypassed by long balls up to the forwards. Bayern could have re-taken the lead when striker Robert Lewandowski was foiled by Madrid goalkeeper Navas and Rodriguez sent the rebound flying over the bar from close range.

Bayern finished the half strongly but were left fuming at a failed penalty appeal when a shot from Kimmich struck Marcelo’s arm.

Kaylor Navas

IMAGE: Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Keylor Navas thwarts a fine effort from Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters

They sealed their own demise, though, when Ulreich lost his footing as he tried to control a backpass from Corentin Tolisso, allowing Madrid's much-maligned striker Benzema to tap in what proved to be the killer blow.

Bayern still created chances before and after Rodriguez's goal.

Navas denied the Colombian and Mats Hummels headed wide from a corner in stoppage time, sealing Bayern’s fifth consecutive Champions League exit to a Spanish side, and their third to Madrid in that time.

Source:
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