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Real Madrid battles to third straight UCL final


Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema (R) heads the ball to score a goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on May 1, 2018.JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

Karim Benzema scored twice at the Bernabeu yesterday to lift Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich and 4-3 on aggregate on a night filled with drama and all that makes football the beautiful game.

Yesterday’s win took the defending champions to their third straight final in the competition in which they hold the records as the most successful club. But it was not an easy night for the Zinedine Zidane side.

Bayern Munich came into the game determined to right the wrongs they committed in the first leg, which they lost 1-2 at home in Munich. And they gave their fans a lot of hope in the third minute when Joshua Kimmich opened scores for the Bavarians.

However, Benzema drew Madrid level eight minutes later through a powerful header that left goalkeeper Sven Ulreich floundering.Ulreich made a monumental mistake in the 46th minute that gifted Benzema a second goals and one leg ion the final.

James Rodriguez, whom is on loan from Real Madrid, restored parity, but Bayern could not find the one more goal they needed to end Madrid’s two-year reign as European champions.

The German giants were left to rue a string of errors and missed chances over the two legs as they were dumped out of the competition by Spanish opposition for the fifth year in a row, while Madrid will now have the chance to become the first team since Bayern themselves in 1976 to win the trophy three years in a row when they face either Liverpool or Roma in the final.

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