Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ranking Real Madrid’s craziest Champions League comebacks from Bayern Munich to Manchester City

The Champions League final is set as Real Madrid have overturned a deficit with two goals after the 88th minute, continuing their heroics in UCL to knock out Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Joselu had a brace after joining on loan to provide coverage when Karim Benzema departed for Saudi Arabia, and the Spaniard has etched himself in Los Blancos history as they pulled off yet another miracle. But where does this stack up against some of the other historic results that the team has pulled off?

Let’s take a lookL

No. 5: Bayern Munich, 2023-24

It seemed set that it was going to be the night of Manuel Neuer as Bayern Munich went ahead via a goal from Alphonso Davies but with an onslaught of shots, Real Madrid eventually found a breakthrough in this semifinal second leg. Joselu scored in the 88th minute and three minutes later he grabbed the go-ahead goal in the match. It was still a game that ended in controversy as Bayern scored near the end but an incorrect offside and blown whistle doomed the Bavarians.

This is a match where even they pushed things to their limit and may have been saved by the referee to end the match, but it won’t end up mattering too much with a place in the final secured. Real Madrid won’t want to go through the same thing in the final again as they enter as heavy favorites. 

No. 4: Liverpool, 2022-23

It again took second-half heroics to break through a 2-2 aggregate but this is about how Los Blancos blew the game open in the round of 16. After scoring from a set play early in the half to cut into a 2-0 hole, Madrid went on to score three unanswered goals to secure a 5-2 victory before winning the second leg to make it 6-2 on aggregate. It’s one of those matches where the final score doesn’t show how close things were at key intervals but when Real Madrid decide to put their foot down in a match, there are few teams in the world that can actually keep up with them. 

No. 3: Paris Saint-Germain, 2021-22

Facing Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe in the round of 16 wasn’t enough to slow down Real Madrid as again Carlo Ancelotti engineered a second-half comeback. PSG were ahead 2-0 heading into the second half of leg two before primetime Karim Benzema showed up. Netting a hat trick, Benzema would undo all of the French side’s good work in 45 minutes of play turning the game on its head. PSG did have their chances with Mbappe having two goals ruled out due to offside but it was a misplayed pass from Gianluigi Donnarumma that proved to be the difference allowing Benzema to score, setting up the epic comeback.

No. 2: Manchester City, 2021/22

This may be the greatest comeback but the fact that it wasn’t a final is why it couldn’t clock in at number one for me. Manchester City only needed 11 minutes to go ahead 2-0 on Real Madrid but Los Blancos fought back to only be down one goal on aggregate at the end of the match. The second leg is where things got wild as City were ahead 5-3 on aggregate with only 30 seconds of regulation left. For most teams, that would spell game over but Real Madrid are Real Madrid. Rodrygo would score a quickfire double to force extra time where Real Madrid shocked a stunned City side with another goal to win 6-5 on aggregate. It took a penalty in extra time which Benzema calmly slotted home but to even be in a situation where they could score that was beyond impressive.

No. 1: Atletico Madrid, 2013-2014

Coming in a Champions League final, this is a match that has to reign supreme. Not only was it a Madrid derby between two rivals but it also was the match during which Real Madrid secured their 10th Champions League title, La Decima. It took until the 93rd minute for Luka Modric to assist Sergio Ramos on a goal forcing extra time and once the additional periods came, it was all Real Madrid from there. Scoring three goals in the following 30 minutes, Real Madrid left no doubt before securing another title Gareth Bale, Marcelo, and Cristiano Ronaldo all hit the back of the net, facing a familiar goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois. Now, the Belgian has crossed the rivalry lines and the rest is history. 

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