Karim Benzema scored an extra-time penalty as Actual Madrid pulled off one other astonishing comeback within the Champions League to stun Manchester Metropolis 3-1 on Wednesday and ebook a showdown with Liverpool within the closing. Metropolis regarded sure to undergo when Riyad Mahrez put them 1-0 up and 5-3 forward on mixture however Rodrygo, on as an alternative, scored an unbelievable late double, his targets within the ninetieth and 91st minutes sending the tie to further time.
With Metropolis nonetheless reeling, Actual Madrid landed the knock-out blow as Benzema earned after which transformed a spot-kick to grab a 6-5 win on mixture, with one other outstanding fightback on the Santiago Bernabeu added to the membership’s lengthy listing of magical European nights.
This season, Madrid had already carried out the unlikeliest of rescue acts to defeat each Paris Saint-Germain within the final 16 and Chelsea within the quarter-finals however, given the stakes and the way shut they have been to defeat, this one towards Manchester Metropolis was absolutely essentially the most dramatic.
Like PSG and Chelsea earlier than them, Metropolis will marvel how they emerged as losers from a match they largely managed and there can be contemporary scrutiny too on coach Pep Guardiola, who, for all his success, goes one other 12 months with out main Metropolis to the European glory they so crave.
Metropolis’s collapse would have been virtually inexplicable had it been towards anybody apart from Actual Madrid, who advance to their seventeenth closing within the competitors. They’re a victory towards Liverpool away from lifting a 14th European Cup.
“One other magic night time from the kings of Europe,” learn a banner draped over the stand at one finish earlier than kick-off however for many of regular time, this match didn’t reside as much as the seven-goal thriller on the Etihad Stadium final week.
Actual Madrid have been the extra assertive early on, with Benzema given a few tough alternatives that solely he, in his present kind, might need anticipated to transform. As an alternative, he headed over and fired excessive.
In between, Luka Modric and Rodri clashed over a Casemiro problem after which Metropolis stepped ahead, squeezing Madrid into errors as Kevin De Bruyne hit Thibaut Courtois from distance earlier than the goalkeeper needed to make a wise response save from Bernardo Silva.
Actual Madrid survived after which improved earlier than the break, Modric inflicting a roar of satisfaction when he outsprinted De Bruyne to chop off a counter.
In all probability their finest probability got here inside seconds of the restart as Dani Carvajal discovered area down the appropriate however Vinicius Junior shot broad on the again publish.
Metropolis have been on the again foot as area opened up for Modric within the field however a poor contact made his end tough. A sloppy Kyle Walker cross set Casemiro free however the weaving Vinicius was unable to discover a manner via.
– Mahrez strikes –
An damage to Walker checked Madrid’s momentum and when the sport discovered its rhythm once more, Metropolis struck, Ilkay Gundogan’s cross chopping via Madrid’s midfield and discovering Silva, who danced via to the sting of the field.
Silva formed to shoot however as a substitute wedged the ball proper to Mahrez, who smashed it exhausting, early and previous Courtois.
Modric went off and with the Croatian appeared to go a few of Madrid’s perception.
Jack Grealish, on as an alternative, might have made it two for Metropolis however someway Ferland Mendy cleared off the road, earlier than one other Grealish shot flashed previous the publish.
It felt inconsequential as a result of Madrid regarded useless and buried however someway, out of nowhere, they discovered a manner again.
It was the ninetieth minute when Benzema cushioned a ball brilliantly throughout for Rodrygo to feather in on the close to publish and the cheer for the purpose was solely a bit louder than for the stadium announcer then saying there could be six minutes of added time.
Madrid solely wanted one as Metropolis, for thus lengthy so compact and composed, have been out of the blue sprawled and all it wanted was for Carvajal to swing a cross into the field, the place the diminutive Rodrygo headed in.
When play resumed, Madrid emerged the stronger and 4 minutes in, that they had a penalty, Benzema tumbling over the drained, lunging leg of Ruben Dias earlier than ignoring Metropolis’s makes an attempt at distraction by rolling the spot-kick into the nook.
Metropolis pushed as Fernandinho got here up simply brief on the again publish when Courtois parried away. A late flick from Dias into the field floated harmlessly into the arms of Courtois, Metropolis’s closing try coming to nothing.
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