Champions League, Football

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: Hero Joselu sends Real to Wembley final after 2 late goals

Joselu, a former Stoke City striker, was Real Madrid’s hero as his incredible late double sealed a 2-1 comeback victory over Bayern Munich, sending the team to the Champions League final on a 4-3 aggregate score.

Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern believed they would advance to the Wembley final after Alphonso Davies’ stunning second-half goal gave them the lead until 88 minutes. However, Manuel Neuer, who had earlier in the game made four incredible saves, surprisingly let Vinicius Junior’s shot cross into substitute Joselu’s path to equalise.

When the pressure mounted at Santiago Bernabeu, Joselu converted Antonio Rudiger’s cross from close range in the 91st minute, after Tuchel had substituted Harry Kane with the score at 1-0 for Bayern. The winner was ultimately awarded following a VAR review of a close offside ruling on the striker.

But there was late controversy as Matthijs De Ligt’s half-volley goal deep into stoppage time denied Bayern what appeared to be a clear equaliser. Referee Szymon Marciniak had already blown for offside, but replays seemed to indicate Bayern’s attackers in the move may have been onside.

“It’s a disastrous decision from the linesman and from the referee. It feels almost like a betrayal in the end because of that decision,” said Tuchel.

“The linesman said sorry, that does not help at this level. To raise the flag in a decision like this, and a close decision in the last minute.

“The referee as well, he does not have to whistle. He sees that we win the second ball and get the shot away to whistle. It’s a very, very bad decision and it’s against the rules and it’s a bad decision. It’s a disaster. Tough to swallow. But it’s away.”

As a result of the incredible yet classic Real Madrid comeback, England captain Kane will not have won a trophy in his first season at Bayern and while the serial Champions League winners face Borussia Dortmund in the Wembley final on June 1.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti to TNT Sports:

“We played well. To be honest, we had opportunities and control of the game. And we had the strength to go up when they scored. It happened again here. It’s quite useful. The Bernabeu, with the support of our supporters, we can do something that is unexpected.

“To believe. We put fresh legs on the pitch. Joselu did a fantastic job, he’s a fantastic striker. We knew we could use the wings more to put crosses. We had a lot of energy at the end of the game.

“We are going to enjoy it now until the final. We have fantastic days ahead to celebrate the title and this win.

“I’m really grateful to the players. They worked really hard in a fantastic atmosphere. They are humble and generous. This is the best squad I’ve had in my career.”

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel to TNT Sports:

“We were almost through, almost there. It was a very unusual mistake of our best player for the equaliser. Then we conceded in a very narrow decision, the second one in stoppage time.

“You are never fully sure because it’s in Madrid. We were not clinical enough in our counter attacks, we could have scored if we were more clinical and calm. Part of the story is we start with the front four and all four players need to go out because of injuries and cramps. It’s too much at that level.

“If you are through in the 88th minute, you see the end of the tunnel. It wasn’t our very best match but we said before that we didn’t need to be perfect, we just needed to be good enough this evening. The team have everything, we did it together. Then with player out for cramps, we conceded a goal we never concede with our goalkeeper.

“The good situation is we gave everything. That’s the most important thing, then in sport you accept the result.”

Real Madrid and England midfielder Jude Bellingham to TNT Sports:

“At Wembley, against Dortmund – I can’t believe it. I’m so looking forward to it.

“At this point in the competitions, anyone who’s still in it deserves to be there. Hopefully it will be a great game.

“In the changing room, I was looking around and thought I couldn’t be in a better position with better people. Where else would I rather be?

“I was seven at Birmingham, dreaming of nights like this. I’m so happy. You come here and it’s all they talk about – they’ve had the 14th [Champions League title] but they want the 15th.

“That’s why I love being here – you can never be settled. You’re always in a dangerous position when you’re relaxed and you’re comfortable. Here, they don’t give you that chance.”

Real Madrid, the La Liga winners, will visit Granada on Saturday in a match that has the potential to drop the 19th-place team.

On Sunday, Bayern Munich will play their return match in the Bundesliga against Wolfsburg.

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