Manchester City were just minutes away from securing a place in a second consecutive Champions League final, but capitulation in the 90th minute and extra-time led to defeat
Image: ESPN Star)
City were minutes away from reaching a second Champions League final in as many seasons in Madrid after Riyad Mahrez gave City a 1-0 lead on the night and a 5-3 lead on aggregate in the final 20 minutes of the tie at the Estadio Bernabeu .
However, Brazilian winger Rodrygo scored twice in the dying minutes to win the second leg tie 2-1 and take Real into extra-time, with the score tied at 5-5 on aggregate. Just five minutes into extra-time, Karim Benzema converted from the spot for his 15th Champions League goal of the season in 11 appearances to seal a place in the final for Real.
City’s capitulation was reminiscent of the defeat it 2016. Wednesday’s loss was the six-year anniversary of when a Fernando own goal led to City losing 1-0 on aggregate away at Real in the Champions League semi-final, seeing them missing out on what would have been a first ever Champions League final.
Aguero, who played in that 2016 defeat, was watching the game live on ESPN Star with former City and Argentina teammate Carlos Tevez and Aguero did not hid his frustrations when the Sky Blues’ exit was confirmed as Benzema converted from the spot.
“Nooooo,” Aguero shouted as Dias bought down Benzema in box before Benzema converted an extra-time penalty to seal Real’s win over City.
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City’s defeat to Real ended their hopes of reaching a second ever Champions League final and their second in as many seasons. In Porto last season, Kai Havertz’s first half sealed a 1-0 win for English rivals: Chelsea: and their second ever Champions League title.
Pep Guardiola’s side are still in the hunt to win the: Premier League: this season. If they do, it will be their sixth Premier League title and their fourth under Guardiola, who also helped City to win it in the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2020/21 seasons.
City are contesting the title in a fierce toe-to-toe rivalry with: Liverpool:. The Sky Blues currently sit a point above the Reds with just four games remaining in the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are chasing an unprecedented quadruple. The Reds have already won the Carabao Cup, are in contention of winning the league and are in the finals of the FA Cup: and Champions League this month.