Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich committed a huge blunder as holders Real Madrid edged into the Champions League final at the German club’s expense.
Ulreich missed a backpass to gift a vital second goal to Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu Stadium, and the Frenchman’s double in a pulsating 2-2 draw ensured Real progressed 4-3 on aggregate.
Bayern had led early through Joshua Kimmich and a strike from James Rodriguez – who is on loan at the Bundesliga club from Real – set up a tense finish but the hosts withstood considerable pressure to keep their bid for a third successive title on track.
Stop blocking everything!— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 1, 2018
Bayern frustration as Real withstood considerable pressure in the second half was evident.
Bayern may rue mistakes in both legs of this tie but Benzema also played a key role in their defeat. The France forward pulled Real level on the night with a superb header and, although there was an element of good fortune about his second goal, he was in the right place at the right time to score it.
Ulreich’s howler, which came on the biggest of stages, will take some living down. Admittedly the keeper was played into a difficult position by an ill-advised backpass from Corentin Tolisso, but he appeared to realise only too late he could not handle it. He tried too late to correct himself, lost his footing and Benzema took full advantage.
9 - Under Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid have never been knocked out in the Champions League, progressing in all nine of their two-legged Champions League ties as well as winning the two finals theyâve appeared in. Invincible. pic.twitter.com/Ahw2AzIS4L— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 1, 2018
Real, the 12-times champions, are through to their 16th European Cup final, more than any other club. Closing in on a third successive title, they have still not lost a knockout tie under Zinedine Zidane. Since the Frenchman took charge, they have won nine two-legged ties and two finals.
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas 8 (out of 10), Lucas Vazquez 7, Raphael Varane 7, Sergio Ramos 7, Marcelo 7, Luka Modric 8, Mateo Kovacic 7, Toni Kroos 6, Marco Asensio 6, Karim Benzema 8, Cristiano Ronaldo 6.
Substitutes: Gareth Bale (for Benzema, 72) 6, Casemiro (for Kovacic, 73) 6, Nacho (for Asensio, 88) 5.
Bayern Munich: Sven Ulreich 4, Joshua Kimmich 7, Niklas Sule 8, Mats Hummels 7, David Alaba 7, Thiago Alcantara 8, Thomas Muller 7, Corentin Tolisso 7, James Rodriguez 8, Franck Ribery 7, Robert Lewandowski 6.
Substitutes: Sandro Wagner (for Tolisso, 74) 6, Javi Martinez (for Rodriguez, 84) 5.
Barcelona v Real Madrid (LaLiga, May 6)
Cologne v Bayern Munich (Bundesliga, May 5)