Thursday 19 September, 2019

Real Madrid reach 3rd straight Champions League final

Karim Benzema celebrates a goal against Bayern Munich.

Karim Benzema celebrates a goal against Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid conceded early again but held on to a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich on Tuesday to reach their third straight Champions League final 4-3 on aggregate.

Joshua Kimmich scored for Bayern in the third minute to set the stage for another comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu, like the one Juventus nearly pulled off in the quarterfinals. But the hosts reacted quickly this time, with Karim Benzema equalizing early in the first half and scoring again just after halftime after an embarrassing mistake by Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich when trying to meet a back pass into the area.

Bayern came within a goal of eliminating the European champions when former Madrid player James Rodriguez scored in the 63rd, but it was not enough to avoid their third straight elimination against the Spanish club.

The Germans, eliminated in the Champions League semifinals in four of the last five seasons, pressured until the end but couldn't keep alive their hopes of a treble.

By successfully defending their 2-1 win from the first leg last week, Madrid stayed on track for a third consecutive European title, and fourth in five seasons.

Europe's most successful club with 12 trophies, Madrid will play the final against either Liverpool or Roma, who play Wednesday in Italy. Liverpool won the first leg 5-2 at home.

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