May 5 (IndiaToday) – On another magical night of Champions League football, Real Madrid pulled off what looked improbable as they came back from behind to stun Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu and reach the final of the premier European club competition. Trailing 1-0 and 5-3 on aggregate at the 90th minute of the semi-final 2nd leg, even the most ardent Real Madrid fans would have given up hopes but not the 11 men on the pitch and the man who was overseeing proceedings from the touchline.
Two goals by substitute Rodrygo in the 90th and 91st minutes at the Bernabeu turned the match around as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was watching the turn of events with shock. City’s meltdown in the final minutes of the game allowed Real to pull of something special after having been on the brink of elimination.
Karim Benzema scored from the penalty spot in extra time as Bernabeu erupted in joy. Real Madrid were able to hold onto the slender lead until the final whistle as they book a date with Liverpool in the Champions League final after scripting a remarkable comeback.
“The game was close to finish and we were able to find the last energy we had. We played a good game against a really strong rival,” Ancelotti said after becoming the first manager in the history of the game to reach five Champions League finals.
“When we are able to equalise the game of course psychologically we were better in extra time.”
“No (thought of losing?), I have no time to think about this. It was difficult at that moment when City had a good control of the game but at the last opportunity, we were able to go to extra time,” he added.
Real Madrid have refused to go down in the knockout stages. Ancelotti’s side pulled off similar comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea before ousting Manchester City in the semi-final.
‘STILL AN EVERTONIAN’
With the stunning victory, Real Madrid have also given themselves a chance to win the Champions League for the fifth time in the last 9 years.
“The greatness of this club is this. It is a club that does not allow you to lower your arms when it seems that everything is over,” Ancelotti said, beaming with pride.
Real Madrid will face Liverpool in Paris on May 28 and Ancelotti, the former Everton manager, said he has some personal equations to take care of when they head to the French capital for the biggest football night of the season.
“I’m very happy to participate in another final against a great team, I played against them as a player and as a coach. I’ve lived in Liverpool for two years, for me it’s like a derby, I’m still an ‘Evertonian’ so it feels personal to me.”