On 4 May 2022, Real Madrid went head-to-head with Manchester City and the footballing world was left in absolute awe by how things transpired at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Manchester City were the winners in the first leg at the Ethiad Stadium, a 4-3 classic in its own right. City were looking to exorcize their Champions League demons - a loss in the final the previous season, before their loss in the quarter-finals in back-to-back previous years.
Real Madrid are figuratively the owners of the Champions League trophy - a record-breaking 14 Champions league trophies in their cabinet. However, they had to work very hard for number 14. Los Blancos were off the back of a two-goal comeback against PSG in the Round of 16 followed by bagging the winner in extra time in the quarterfinals against Chelsea.
It was clear to everyone that magic was happening at the Bernabeu. It had happened twice, but could it happen a third time? Let's find out.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City - An instant classic
Real Madrid's hopes of reaching the final in Paris took a hit after Riyad Mahrez had beaten Thibaut Courtois at his near post. It was almost completely over for Los Blancos when Jack Grealish was denied on the goal-line by Ferland Mendy. The aggregate score remained at 5-3 in favor of City at this point.
In the 89th minute a cross-field pass was taken down by Karim Benzema, who played the ball near to City goalkeeper Ederson. However, substitute Rodrygo got there first to net home and Los Blancos believed at this point.
Dani Carvajal was the assister for one of the most famous goals in Champions League history (Cristiano Ronaldo's bicycle kick vs Juventus). This next assist easily topped that as Carvajal put the ball in the City box. It took a slight knick off Asensio before falling to Rodrygo again just a minute later. He slotted the ball into the corner of the net and Los Blancos' sheer desire leveled things on the night right at the death.
Marcelo went right away to his manager Carlo Ancelotti to celebrate. To nobody's surprise, the Italian stayed calm throughout, as several Madrid players went to the corner flag to join in on the goal celebrations.
The game went into extra time just like the quarter-final. In only the second minute of extra time, Ruben Dias took down Benzema and a penalty was awarded. Benzema had scored a penalty in the first leg and made no mistake in this one as he sent Ederson the wrong way. The grand comeback was now finally complete!
After some close chances with Fernandinho, the full-time whistle was blown. Los Blancos had completed the most famous of comebacks in the dying embers. The classic, very aptly, is sure to be regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in the competition's history.
City went on to win the Premier League title on the final day in dramatic fashion. Real Madrid would beat Liverpool in the Champions League final after some heroics by Courtois and the winning goal by Vincius Junior. The greatest comeback in Champions League history had deservedly wielded a trophy!
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