“The night of Real resurrection. The pure white shirts have shimmered spectacularly once again and Real Madrid are Paris bound. Real Madrid will play the big game again,” said English commentator Peter Drury who could not have narrated any better the magical events that transpired at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Up until the 90th minute in the game, Man City were looking set to meet Liverpool in the final following Riyad Mahrez’s second-half strike. Madrid had not yet managed a single shot on target at Ederson.
But Carlo Ancelotti brought on super-sub Rodrygo from the bench who notched a quick-fire brace in the 90th and 91st minute, to bring Real back from the dead and into the tie.
Pep Guardiola and his City players much like the rest of the footballing world watching would have been expecting another all-English final for this season. But the Bernabeu faithful never gave up, nor did Los Blancos who forced the tie to extra time, where their star striker Karim Benzema scored from the penalty spot to complete yet another miraculous comeback in the Champion’s League this season.
They did it against PSG, against Chelsea and now defending English champions Man City. While the Madridistas have witnessed such great comebacks in the club’s long history and will always expect the team to fight until the final whistle, to do it three times on the trot against top European sides is something unnatural even for Madrid.
Wednesday’s comeback was so unexpected that even Lionel Messi could not believe it.
While watching the crunch game between Madrid and his former side, Sergio Aguero streamed his reaction to the events on Twitch alongside another ex-City player Carlos Tevez.
It was heartbreak for Aguero to lose to Chelsea in last year’s final as he hoped to win the competition before signing off from the Manchester side. But the Argentine was devastated once again as Benzema slotted in his penalty to complete the comeback against their former side.
Furthermore, Aguero was spotted telling Tevez that Messi had just texted him privately expressing his own disbelief at the incredible comeback for the Spanish giants. “Stop f**king around idiot, this cannot be,” commented the PSG star to Aguero.
Los Blancos started their run of comebacks against Messi’s own PSG side in the Round of 16 where the little magician endured another premature end to the UCL despite being a part of the Parisians super team.
But such as been the mentality showcased by Real Madrid, who have taken out three teams with the most expensive line-ups currently in Europe.
With a rematch of the 2017/18 Champions League final set for Paris, Liverpool seems to be the favourites still for many in the final. But as Madrid has shown time and again in their illustrious history, you can never count them out until the final whistle.