Real Madrid 2-1 (4-3 agg) Bayern Munich: Joselu stuns Bayern Munich to send los Blancos to the UEFA Champions League final

Super sub Joselu sensationally secured Real Madrid’s passage to the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium following an unbelievable 2-1 victory (4-3 aggregate) over Bayern Munich. Similarly to what los Blancos did to Manchester City at this very stage of the tournament in 2022, Carlo Ancelotti’s side stunned their opponents with two late goals to seal progression.

As it happened

Record-holding 14-time European Cup/UEFA Champions League winners, Real began on the front foot as Bayern captain Manuel Neuer brilliantly turned Vinicius Jr.’s effort onto the post before blocking the rebound from Rodrygo.

In response to their hosts’ electrifying start against the backdrop of the scintillating Spanish capital, the visitors threatened the game’s opening goal through Harry Kane, as the England captain’s instinctive volley forced Andriy Lunin into a smart save at his near post.

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Neuer denied Vinicius Jr. again with the half-time whistle close to referee Szymon Marciniak’s lips with an expertly outstretched palm, as with how things stood (still 2-2 on aggregate) extra-time and penalties would be on the Santiago Bernabéu’s savoury menu.

Looking the more likely of the two sides to break the deadlock throughout the first half, Real showcased a carbon copy of the opening 45 minutes as Rodrygo’s shot flew inches wide of the post. The Brazilian international came even closer to the back of the net not long after, as again, Neuer emerged victorious in his personal head-to-head battle. Inspired to assist in his side’s progression to the final at Wembley Stadium at the start of June, Bayern’s captain produced one of the saves in the UCL this season as he somehow pushed Vinicius Jr.’s fearsome strike out for a corner.

However, against the run of play, Alphonso Davies sent the Bernabéu into a stunned silence in the 68th minute, after coming on as a substitute in the first half for the injury-struck Serge Gnabry, as he unleashed a rocket in the top corner for his first-ever goal in the UCL at the 40th attempt of asking.

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Controversially, Real were denied an equaliser almost immediately from the restart as VAR took centre stage to recommend that Matthijs de Ligt’s own goal should be disallowed after Nacho had pushed Joshua Kimmich in the chest in the build-up.

Harrowingly for Neuer, he gifted Real an equaliser with only two minutes left in regulation time, as second-half substitute Joselu capitalised on the German uncustomarily dropping a routine effort from Vinicius Jr to fire emphatically into the back of the net.

Unbelievably, VAR, this time, was on the side of Ancelotti’s men, as the Espanyol loanee was deemed to have stayed millimetres onside as he swept Antonio Rüdiger’s cross home to metaphorically lift the closed roof off the Santiago Bernabéu, and secure his side’s progression.

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The lineups

RMA: Lunin; Carvajal, Nacho, Rüdiger, Mendy; Tchouaméni, Kroos, Valverde, Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr.

BAY: Neuer; Kimmich, de Ligt, Dier, Mazraoui; Laimer, Pavlović; Musiala, Gnabry, Sané; Kane