Extra joy for Real

Madrid posts comeback win over City to enter Champions League final
Extra joy for Real

MADRID: Real Madrid took its Champions League comebacks to another level as the Spanish giant notched up a stunning, come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Manchester City in the second leg here on Wednesday and set up a final meeting with Liverpool.

Behind 3-5 in the tie at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real rallied late with two Rodrygo goals in as many minutes to force extra time and eventually clinch the semi-final 6-5. Karim Benzema, Real’s hero in its previous CL comebacks this season, converted a penalty kick in extra time to send the La Liga club into the title decider.

Real, which went down 3-4 to City in the last-four first leg, had pulled off comebacks at home against Paris Saint Germain in the Round-of-16 and Chelsea in the quarter-finals. “The history of the club helps us to keep going when it seems like we are gone,” said Real manager Carlo Ancelotti post the thrilling win.

The home team looked defeated close to the end of regulation time, but super substitute Rodrygo (90’ & 90+1’) helped it roar back into the tie with goals in successive minutes. While Benzema set up Rodrygo’s first goal from inside the box, Marco Asensio flicked Dani Carvajal’s cross for the Brazilian to head the ball past City goalkeeper Ederson.

A few minutes before Rodrygo’s opening strike, left-back Ferland Mendy saved Real from conceding a second goal on the night, which could have sealed City’s qualification. Some moments later, Real custodian Thibaut Courtois used his feet to prevent City substitute Jack Grealish from finding the back of the net.

In the 73rd minute, Riyad Mahrez had opened the scoring for City by finding the top right corner with a brilliant first-time finish. Bernardo Silva made the telling pass to Mahrez after beating a few Real defenders close to the area.

RESULT: Semi-finals: Second leg: Real Madrid 3 (Rodrygo 90 & 90, K Benzema 95(P)) bt Manchester City 1 (R Mahrez 73) (Real won 6-5 on aggregate after extra time)

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