Karim Benzema Nets Brace To Earn Champions League Final Place

The victorious home side join hands and celebrate in front of their supporters after reaching another European final

Real Madrid reached their third consecutive Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Bayern Munich — but what hope they gave Liverpool.

Real Madrid hosted Bayern Munich in an enthralling Champions League semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

Real, who are attempting to win the European Cup for the third consecutive year, had the advantage after beating Bayern 2-1 in the first leg at the Allianz Arena last week.

If Jurgen Klopp’s team can finish the job in Rome on Wednesday night then they can go to Kiev without fear. Madrid owe their place in the final to Bayern Munich keeper Sven Ulreich’s second-half slip in his six-yard box, to favourable penalty decisions, and to their own shot- stopper Keylor Navas.

If they win in Ukraine it will be their 13th European Cup.

Bayern Munich started with so much urgency to their game that it appeared as though Real Madrid took too long to organise themselves.

Joshua Kimmich opened the scoring after 3 minutes when the initial shot was blocked by Ramos but not cleared and, as the ball came back to the six-yard area, Kimmich was there to fire into the far corner.

It was Karim Benzema who got Madrid back into it. Marcelo crossed from the left and the much-criticised French forward rose unmarked to head Madrid 3-2 ahead on aggregate.

Both sides were defending woefully. Bayern had allowed Madrid to play from one side of the pitch to the other ahead of Benzema’s equaliser. Madrid were suffering without holding midfielder Casemiro, who was surprisingly dropped by Zidane. The hosts should have extended their advantage just before the half-hour when Marcelo got to the byline but could not find Cristiano Ronaldo with the pull-back.

Benzema could not believe his good fortune. He had put Real Madrid into the lead and two clear on aggregate with a tap in after a mix up in the Bayern Munich defence.

Rodriguez, on loan from Real Madrid at Bayern Munich, fired past goalkeeper Keylor Navas to make it 2-2.

Sure, Real Madrid showed all the true grit that makes them serial winners but they defended like a team who will struggle to cope with Mo Salah and company.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Ulreich can only watch as Benzema latches onto the loose ball after he failed to clear it

Luka Modric gestures to the Real Madrid fans in the stands as the home side celebrate Benzema's second goal of the game

 

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