05 May 2022 | 13:09 | Football
Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Jose Breton / Pics Action / NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Real Madrid make another unbelievable Champions League battle beat Manchester City 3-1 after extra time on Wednesday and finished 6-5 overall.
The Spanish champions will take on Liverpool in Paris on May 28, repeating the 1981 and 2018 finals.
AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from a classic semi-final:
Pep Guardiola’s reign in Manchester is only four games away from being able to bring home four Premier League titles in the past five years.
But the one title they really wanted remained elusive as another Champions League shot spectacularly exploded in their face.
It’s now been 11 years since Guardiola last lifted Europe’s biggest prize as Barcelona manager.
The defensive fragility and psychological fragility of his first seasons at City in this competition appeared to have been washed away by the club’s first final last season.
For 89 minutes, they looked like a grown-up team in the intense limelight of the latter stages of the Champions League.
But that will only make this fall more painful.
Man City will look back on wasted opportunities to kill the Spanish giants in both legs as four times they slipped to a two-goal lead in the draw.
Now, they must bounce back quickly to prevent that pain from increasing as they watch Liverpool snatch the Premier League title away.
The former keeper of Karim Benzema and Luka Modric is largely credited for Real’s revival as they beat Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea only to reach the last four.
However, the introduction of Rodrygo and Eduardo Camavinga also contributed to helping the home team get the second leg at the Bernabeu.
Rodrygo scored twice all season until sending Chelsea into extra time last month.
With Man City leading 1-0 tonight thanks to Riyad Mahrez and 5-3 on aggregate, the Brazilian transformed the game by scoring twice in 88 seconds as the game entered stoppage time. .
Camavinga made a powerful dribble past the tired legs of Man City’s midfield then sealed the victory when Benzema lured Ruben Dias into the penalty area.
Carlo Ancelotti has always kept faith with the veterans throughout the season.
But there are only so many times the Italian can be rescued with his young guns from the bench.
Camavinga and Rodrygo have every right to believe they deserve to start against Liverpool.
A tradition of 13 European champions hasn’t stopped Madrid from becoming the biggest supporters of a breakaway Super League.
Behind their reasoning is the fear that they can no longer compete financially for the best players in the world in the face of state-backed riches like PSG and Man City, or even billionaire-backed club like Chelsea under Roman Abramovich.
However, they knocked out all three in a remarkable match up to the 17th European Cup final.
“We are the kings of Europe” resounded throughout the Bernabeu stadium after Benzema successfully hit the crucial penalty.
For all the billions of dollars thrown into this rivalry between PSG and Man City, they still don’t have a European Cup between them.
Madrid’s tradition of success is something money can’t buy.