Real Madrid set another UEFA Champions League record as they drew 2-2 with Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night to reach a seventh final.
Bayern got off to a dream start in the semi-final, second leg as Joshua Kimmich opened the scoring three minutes in, but they were pegged back just eight minutes later by Karim Benzema’s header.
After a mistake from Sven Ulreich gifted Benzema with his second goal on 46 minutes, James Rodriguez kept the Reds’ hopes alive with a 63rd-minute equaliser.
Real had Keylor Navas to thank for seeing them over the line as he pulled off a few fine saves when they came under late pressure.
Both teams looked to attack from the get-go and it was the visitors who drew first blood after just three minutes.
Sergio Ramos failed to clear Thomas Muller’s cross from the right and Kimmich side-footed home from close range on the rebound.
Bayern were almost caught napping moments later when Benzema was played in on the right with a quickly-taken free-kick in the seventh minute, but Cristiano Ronaldo steered his cutback wide at the bear post.
But they went to sleep once more on 11 minutes and were made to pay as Benzema placed a free header past Sven Ulreich at the back post from Marcelo’s cross on the left.
The Bundesliga champions looked dangerous as the first half wore on and Franck Ribery made a strong run into the box before squaring for Muller, whose low shot on the turn was saved by Keylor Navas on 32 minutes.
Mats Hummels then surged forward out of defence moments later and played in Robert Lewandowski, but the striker was unable to beat Navas with left-footed strike and James lifted the rebound over the crossbar.
Ulreich was called into action on 39 minutes as he parried Ronaldo’s left-footed shot around the right post, with Ramos heading the resulting corner into the side-netting at the far post.
The Bavarians finished the half strongly as Corentin Tolisso curled an effort wide of the right post from 20 yards out in the 45th minute after finding a pocket of space, before Hummels glanced a header wide of the left post from a corner in stoppage time.
But a blind back-pass from Tolisso at the start of the second half presented the lead to Real, as Benzema slotted into an open net after Ulreich slid in to challenge the striker and missed the ball.
Navas was alert to the danger on 51 minutes when David Alaba lined up a right-footed strike from 18 yards out that took a deflection and was parried away by the keeper, while at the other end Luka Modric went close with a shot from the edge of the box on the right that curled just beyond the far post two minutes later.
Ronaldo should have extended the hosts’ lead within a minute, but he got under Marcelo’s clipped cross from the left and cleared the bar from six yards out.
The miss soon came back to bite them as James equalised for Jupp Heynckes’ men. The Colombian’s initial volley was blocked by Raphael Varane, but he reacted quickest to beat Navas from an acute angle on the right in the 63rd minute.
The Reds piled on the pressure in the final quarter of the match as Los Blancos looked to play on the counter. Navas kept the defending champions ahead in the tie with a sharp save from Tolisso’s volley on 74 minutes and he had to scramble to keep out Muller’s header from Alaba’s cross on the left five minutes later.
Hummels had a late chance to take Bayern through to the final, but he failed to direct his header on target from a corner in stoppage time.
Real Madrid 2 Bayern Munich 2
- Kimmich (3′) levels semi-final tie
- Benzema (11′) quickly hits back for Real
- Benzema (46′) pounces on Ulreich error
- James (63′) equaliser gives Bayern hope