Champions League 2021-22: Real find a way again, reach finale
Real Madrid found a way once again to come from behind and beat a top side in the UEFA Champions League 2021-22 season. This has been Real's story in the knockout stages this season. In a crucial semi-final second-leg tie versus Manchester City, Los Blancos made an astounding comeback to reach the final. Carlo Ancelotti's men will face Liverpool in the final.
After a 0-0 show in the first half, City upped the tempo and Riyad Mahrez put them ahead in the 73rd minute. City went 5-3 ahead in the contest. However, Rodrygo changed the scenario. The Brazilian substitute turned home Karim Benzema's ball from close range in the final minute. 90 seconds later he leveled the tie. Benzema scored a penalty next in extra-time.
- In the round of 16, Real were 2-0 down against PSG before earning a 3-2 win on aggregate.
- Against Chelsea in the quarters, they were 4-3 down before scoring twice and sealing the tie 5-4 on aggregate.
- Against Man City, they were 5-3 down and got the job done with three goals just when the former were on the verge of making progression.
Pep Guardiola has now suffered six eliminations at the semi-final stage of the UEFA Champions League (also 2009-10 and 2011-12 with Barcelona, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 with Bayern Munich). This is the joint-most of any manager, along with Jose Mourinho. Ancelotti has reached his fifth UCL final (2003, 2005, 2007 with Milan; 2014, 2022 with Real), highest by any manager in UCL history.
As per Opta, since 2003-04 when the round of 16 was introduced, Real Madrid are the first team to lose a match in the last 16 (0-1 vs PSG), quarter-final (2-3 vs Chelsea), and semi-final (3-4 vs Man City) in a season and still reach the Champions League final. Real have reached the European Cup/Champions League final for a record 17th time.
As per Opta, Rodrygo is the first player to score twice in the 90th minute of a Champions League knockout match. Mahrez has bagged 24 goals in all competitions for City this season. Only Mohamed Salah (30) has netted more for a Premier League team in 2021-22. As per Squawka, since 2019-20, Mahrez has 20 goals involvement for his side in the Champions League.