Real Madrid 2-2 Bayern Munich (Agg 4-3): Karim Benzema sends Champions League holders into third straight final

Trailing 2-1 after the first leg in Germany, Bayern Munich needed a win at the Bernabeu to reach the final but reigning European champions Real Madrid squeezed into their third successive Champions League final as they edged out Bayern Munich in a thrilling 2-2 draw semi-final second leg, going through 4-3 on aggregate.

Joshua Kimmich scored early on for the German champions from close range, before Karim Benzema headed in for Real from Marcelo’s fine left-wing cross eight minutes later and put Real Madrid back in control of the tie.

It was 2-1 just after the break as goalkeeper Sven Ulreich’s nightmare error from a back pass allowed Karim Benzema to tap into an empty net, but James Rodriguez, on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid, converted from a tight angle to make it 2-2 on the night and 4-3 to Real on aggregate.

Score to his parents club makes James Rodriguez as the 7th player in Champions League history to both score for and against Real Madrid, as well as Beckham, Morata, van Nistelrooy, Morientes, Robben and Zamorano.

Bayern Munich had chances to win it, but Corentin Tolisso and Thomas Muller’s efforts were saved by Keylor Navas and Mats Hummels headed wide as the Spanish side held on.

Real Madrid, who have won the last two Champions League finals, will now play either Liverpool or AS Roma – who face off at the Stadio Olimpico in the second semi-final match on Thursday. And this is their 16th European Cup/Champions League final, makes them more than any other side.

Under Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid have never been knocked out in the Champions League, progressing in all nine of their two-legged Champions League ties as well as winning the two finals they’ve appeared in. He is also the first manager to reach three consecutive Champions League finals since Marcello Lippi between 1996 to 1998.

(Photo source: The guardian.com)

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