Late goals by Joselu propel Real Madrid to Champions League final

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Joselu

9th May 2024 – (London) Real Madrid secured their spot in the Champions League final with a stunning comeback, as substitute Joselu scored two late goals to overturn Bayern Munich’s 1-0 lead on Wednesday.

In the 88th minute, Bayern appeared to be heading for victory after substitute Alphonso Davis found the net. However, an unexpected mistake from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer allowed Joselu to equalize, capitalizing on a spilled effort from Vinicius Jr. Just two minutes later, Joselu struck again, taking advantage of Bayern’s failure to clear a corner and converting a cross from Antonio Rudiger to secure a 2-1 victory on the night, resulting in a 4-3 triumph on aggregate.

The match presented a different dynamic compared to the first leg in Munich, with Bayern opting for a more defensive approach. They sat back, organising three lines to absorb Real Madrid’s pressure. This strategy allowed Madrid to have more possession, but it limited the spaces for Rodrygo and Vinicius to exploit Bayern’s defence. Rodrygo came close to connecting with Dani Carvajal’s low cross in the early minutes, while Vinicius had a chance to give his side the lead in the 13th minute, but his shot struck the post and was then saved by Neuer.

Serge Gnabry was forced off the pitch due to a muscle problem in the 26th minute, making way for Alphonso Davis. Shortly after, Harry Kane tested Andriy Lunin with a shot, but Real Madrid continued to dominate the attacking play. Neuer had to make a crucial save to divert Vinicius’ dangerous cross, and the second half started with Vinicius causing trouble for Bayern’s right back, Joshua Kimmich.

Vinicius created opportunities for his teammates, setting up Rodrygo for a close miss and testing Neuer with a powerful shot. Neuer also denied Rodrygo from a free kick, while Kane and Jamal Musiala forced saves from Lunin.

In the 68th minute, Davis shocked the Bernabeu crowd by cutting inside and unleashing a powerful shot into the far corner, giving Bayern hope of a memorable victory. However, the introduction of Joselu proved decisive for Real Madrid. His brace turned the tide in favor of the Spanish side, securing their place in the final.

Real Madrid will now face Borussia Dortmund in their quest for a record-breaking 15th Champions League title.