Sports Desk, May 4 (EFE).- Manchester City led Real Madrid 5-3 on aggregate entering the 90th minute of Wednesday’s Champions League second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, but they conceded two goals in as many minutes to send the match to extra-time before giving up a penalty that Karim Benzema converted to put the hosts in the final.
The Blancos will be playing for a record-extending 14th title in the world’s most prestigious club competition when they face Liverpool on May 28 in a reprise of the 2018 final, which ended in a 3-1 victory for Real Madrid.
Starting the night with a 4-3 edge after the explosive first leg at the Etihad, City dominated the first half and would have added to that margin if not for some fine stops by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to deny Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden.
Vinicius Jr. squandered a tremendous chance to level the tie in the first minute of the second half.
Riyad Mahrez’s brilliant goal in the 73rd minute to stretch City’s lead to 5-3 looked as if it would suffice to send Pep Guardiola’s men to their second straight Champions League final.
City kept up the pressure. Joao Cancelo tested Courtois in the 86th minute and Jack Grealish forced some goal-line heroics from Blancos defender Ferland Mendy a minute later.
Those interventions proved to be crucial, as Rodrygo scored in the dying seconds of regulation to narrow the deficit and then added a second goal in the first minute of stoppage time to level the tie at 5-5.
A little more than two minutes into the first extra time, Benzema drew a penalty from Ruben Dias and converted the penalty with authority to put the home side ahead.
What would turn out to be City’s last charge came in the 105th minute, when Courtois stopped a Foden header and Fernandinho missed the target on the rebound. EFE rmm/dr