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Late Joselu brace sends Real Madrid to the Champions League final against Dortmund

Late Joselu brace sends Real Madrid to the Champions League final against Dortmund

Madrid,
Wednesday, 9 May, 2024
McCreadie Andias

Joselu scored a late dramatic brace as Los Blancos beat German giants Bayern Munich 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-final, extending their unbeaten run to 21 games across all competitions while they booked their 18th UCL Final against Dortmund on Wembley.

Real came into this clash in jubilant mood after sealing a 36th LaLiga crown with a 3-0 win over Cádiz, while Thomas Tuchel’s side faced a season-defining game after continuing their disappointing domestic campaign with a 3-1 defeat to Stuttgart.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side began brighter and came close to breaking the deadlock when Manuel Neuer made a brilliant double save to tip Vinicius Junior’s shot onto the post, before denying Rodrygo on the follow up.

Despite an injury to Serge Gnabry that forced a reshuffle, the visitors threatened soon afterwards, as Harry Kane almost made his mark on this contest with an outstanding first-time volley which was going just wide, but Andriy Lunin was taking no chances and parried the ball behind. Neuer was called into action again to make another superb save to tip away a Vinícius effort which looked destined for the bottom corner, keeping honours even at the break.

Vinícius was gaining plenty of joy down the left-hand side and giving the Bayern defence a torrid time as he picked out Rodrygo, who shot wide under pressure from Eric Dier.

The Bavarians had an opening of their own when Kane forced Lunin into another save at his near post, but it was mostly one-way traffic from the Spaniards at the start of the second half. A Real Madrid opener seemed inevitable, with Neuer forced into two more fine saves to keep Rodrygo’s free-kick and superb sole effort from Vinícius.

However, it was Bayern who struck first courtesy of an absolute rocket of a strike from Davies. The Canada international was picked out by Kane, cut inside off the left flank and unleashed an unstoppable strike past Lunin to score his first UCL goal in some style.

Ancelotti’s side thought they had immediately restored parity when Nacho fired home from Luka Modric’s corner, but the Real skipper saw his effort ruled out as he had shoved Joshua Kimmich in the build-up.

Neuer was having an exceptional match, but inexplicably gifted the hosts an equaliser in the 88th minute when he fumbled a tame Vinícius effort, with super-sub Joselu slotting the loose ball in to send the Bernabéu into raptures.

Joselu’s heatmap against Bayern Munich
Joselu’s heatmap against Bayern Munich
AFP, Opta by StatsPerform
Quite remarkably, The Espanyol loanee scored again in stoppage time to complete another trademark Real comeback with a superb instinctive finish from Antonio Rudiger’s cross, with the drama heightened after the goal was initially ruled out for offside.

VAR intervened, and the goal was given, sparking jubilant scenes and setting up a meeting with Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on June 1st, and presenting Los Blancos with the opportunity to win a record-extending 15th UCL title.

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