Real Madrid were two goals down on aggregate in the final minute of normal time. Manchester City, who have the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, seemed in control. Until they weren’t.
There’s no tactical explanation for Rodrygo’s two goals in two minutes followed by Karim Benzema’s match-winning penalty in the fifth minute of extra-time. The only way to explain what happened at Santiago Bernabeu tonight is history.
City’s history of spending big every summer and faltering under the pressure. Pep Guardiola’s history of not lifting the iconic trophy without Lionel Messi. Carlo Ancelotti’s history of succeeding in the competition with different clubs. And Los Blancos’ history of dominating the European nights.
We have bottled this.
— City Chief (@City_Chief) May 4, 2022
Man City should know that the first rule of playing Real Madrid is that you can’t just hurt them a bit and think it’s alright. If you don’t completely bury them, they always have a chance of doing some magical shit. The spirit of the Champions League runs in them.
— Zito (@_Zeets) May 4, 2022
This whole knockout stage has been classic Real Madrid. You have to appreciate their ties to this trophy. Unique relationship, Madrid and the Champions League. Amazing run so far.
Is Man City the better team? Probably. Doesn’t matter, they’ll be watching the final from home.
— Michael (@CholoColcho) May 4, 2022
11 years since Guardiola won the Champions League despite having spent billions.
Clough, 2 in 12 months.
Paisley 3 in 4 years.
Zidane. 3 in 3 years.
Klopp. Chance for 2 in 3 years.
An almost impossibly bad record for the spend. But hey, someone will still spin it as genius.
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) May 4, 2022
Carlo Ancelotti 👑
– The first manager to win all of Europe's top five leagues.
– The first manager to reach five Champions League finals.
— BlameFootball (@blamefootball) May 4, 2022
Real will face Liverpool in the final, in what would be a repeat of the 2018 showdown.
The Reds have plenty of Champions League pedigree of their own, but history once again favours the LaLiga champions. Spanish teams are unbeaten in 16 European finals against non-Spanish teams since 2001.
Meanwhile, after a night of immense drama Guardiola and his players will return to Manchester and switch their focus on not blowing their lead in the title race. City are a point ahead of Liverpool with four games to go.