Champions League

Twitter reacts as Real Madrid somehow snatch Man City's UCL final place

Krishan Davis
Karim Benzema was the hero once again
Karim Benzema was the hero once again / Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages
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HOW ON EARTH DID THAT HAPPEN?!!!!!!

Somehow, Manchester City were dumped out of the Champions League semi-finals by Real Madrid on Wednesday night, despite leading 5-3 on aggregate in the 90th minute at the Bernabeu.

Substitute Rodrygo was the hero for Los Blancos, netting in the 90th and 92nd minutes after Riyad Mahrez had given City the lead on the night with just 16 minutes to go, before Karim Benzema's extra-time penalty sent Real to the final in the most extraordinary circumstances.

The first bit of entertainment came pre-match, with Pep Guardiola caught on camera reacting to something his counterpart Carlo Ancelotti had said in a pre-match interview on a monitor next to him, although no-one was quite sure what he'd heard...

There were no major surprises in the team news for City, with full-backs Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker returning from suspension and injury respectively.

As for Real Madrid, the big news was that David Alaba had not recovered from a knock in time to start, although Casemiro did return - and the gravity of his selection was not lost on fans and pundits alike.

While Man City had the aggregate advantage, the home side were backed by a raucous 12th man roaring them on at the Bernabeu. It was some atmosphere.

The first flashpoint came just eight minutes in, with Aymeric Laporte and Luka Modric clashing after Casemiro had taken Kevin De Bruyne out with a crude challenge.

Neither player covered themselves in glory - especially not Laporte. Both went into the book for the incident.

Although City dominated the ball, the opening exchanges were characterised by both sides giving it away and a couple of half chances, with the first clear-cut opportunity coming 20 minutes in.

Thibaut Courtois saved from Bernardo Silva, but it was all about De Bruyne's creativity in the build-up.

Casemiro then escaped what could easily have been a second yellow card when he dragged Phil Foden down by the collar of his shirt.

The Brazilian injured himself in the process and somehow got away without a booking again.

Walker's running battle with Vinicius Jr was one of the interesting sub-narratives, with the Englishman coming out on top initially.

Straight from kick-off in the second half, Vini Jr finally got away from Walker but missed an absolute sitter when he met Dani Carvajal's cross in the box. He was fortunate to have his blushes saved by an incorrect flag.

The match continued in a cagey manner, with Real barely laying a glove on their visitors.

Walker was eventually forced off as he went down awkwardly on his ankle, moments before Riyad Mahrez whipped City into the lead with a wicked whipped finish.

Tie over...right?

City seemed to be cruising towards the Chamoions League final - but out of absolutely nowhere, Real Madrid substitute Rodrygo found not one but TWO last-minute goals.

The first was a tap-in from a Karim Benzema cut-back, and the second was a sublime header from a Carvajal cross in the 90th and 92nd minutes. Cue pandemonium in the Bernabeu and on Twitter.

Real Madrid had forced extra time.

If things weren't absolutely awful enough for City, they conceded a penalty right at the start of extra time and Karim Benzema - who had been anonymous for 89 minutes - slotted home from the spot.

Insanity.

City's frenzied attacks didn't yield a chance until the very last second of stoppage time at the end of the first half, but it fell to the wrong man.

The ball reached Fernandinho at the back post, but he was unable to finish with the goal at his mercy - on his birthday no less.

Real saw out the remainder of extra time with minimal fuss, and it is Carlo Ancelotti's side - somehow - who will face Liverpool in the Champions League final on 28 May.

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