The stands of the Santiago Bernabéu shake. One more time. As always and as never. There are a few moments left for the semi-final series against Manchester City to end with an exciting 6-5 aggregate. Dramatic. Unforgettable.
Real Madrid is once again a Champions League finalist . The winner of the competition (13 titles) will play his 17th definition. The last 7 he starred in, he won them all.
The joy was great, after returning from Manchester confident, after a 4-3 defeat that left all the Madridistas with some optimism.
On May 28, at the Saint Denis stadium in Paris, they will face Liverpool. They will reissue the final of the 2017/2018 edition. Interestingly, the English team was the last to win a Champions League final against Madrid. It was in 1981, when the competition was called the European Champions Cup.
But the white team this year is spectacular. He left three big favorites on the way: PSG (with Messi, Neymar and Mbappé), current champion Chelsea and now Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
In all three cases they were with dramatic, electrifying, unforgettable definitions. When it seemed that it was eliminated, there arose the lineage, the hierarchy, the job of Madrid.
Benzema celebrates and Messi suffers, during Real Madrid’s win over PSG (GABRIEL BOUYS/)
Blow to PSG
An individuality by Kylian Mbappé allowed PSG to win the first leg in Paris 1-0 , for the round of 16. It was a very tough and very even game, which only the young French crack could unlock.
In the second leg, PSG had everything under control. At 16m of the complement he won 1 to 0 and let time pass without any surprises. But it got complicated on its own, and Real did not forgive. A rude mistake by Donnarumma served Karim Benzema the 1-1 partial on a plate.
That goal upset everyone in the team led by Mauricio Pochettino. Messi was fading and the nerves seized the visitors. Benzema smelled blood and there it was: two goals in two minutes to complete his extraordinary performance with a hat trick and define the pass to the quarterfinals .
Farewell to the champion
The 3-1 scoreline achieved in England allowed Madrid to wait for revenge with confidence . Although Chelsea was going to sell its elimination dearly .
This is how the reigning champion stomped at the Bernabéu and went 3-0 with a great performance . But 9 minutes into regulation time, a magical pass from Modric made Rodrygo count down and the series went back to extra time. There, Benzema reappeared to establish the 2-3 that put Real in the semifinals.
How fantastic this party
The series against Manchester City is much fresher in the collective memory. In a real match, the team led by Pep Guardiola won the first leg on English soil 4-3. It was a local exhibition, a soccer party. But the few chances he had, Madrid did not waste them.
What happened this Wednesday will be written in the history of the Champions League. Because of how it happened, but also because it became a constant for the white team in this edition.
City took the lead 17 minutes from the epilogue. With the global 2-0, it seemed like a doomed thing. But no. There were still more reactions and surprises. At 90 and 91, Rodrygo made it possible for Madrid to go up 2-1. And that took the definition to lengthen.
There, Benzema created a penalty that seconds later he converted with a cornered and accurate shot. Unassailable.
With the 3 to 1, Real Madrid also left Pep’s City on the road . And he got into the Champions League final once again, after five years of absence in the great European definition.