Real Madrid resist Bayern Munich onslaught after Sven Ulreich’s blunder

Soon after that Cristiano Ronaldo forced a save from Ulreich, a reminder of the risk and Bayern must have felt that they needed another goal before half-time. The Bernabéu, whistling for the half to end, certainly feared one. Tolisso curled over and then Marcelo handled before Lewandowksi forced a corner. Hummels headed wide. The chance, it seemed, was gone.

Thirty seconds into the second half, it seemed it really had. Tolisso played the back-pass blind and Ulreich froze, wanting to pick it up before realising he could not and effectively just sitting down, collapsing and allowing the ball to escape him. Benzema, barely able to believe it, strolled past to score – another “gift” to add to the two Heynckes lamented in the first leg.

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos (top) and Marcelo (bottom) lead the post-match celebrations after reaching their fourth Champions League final in the past five years.
Sergio Ramos (top) and Marcelo (bottom) lead the celebrations after Real Madrid reach their fourth Champions League final in the past five years

David Alaba’s shot was pushed away by Navas and then Lewandowski tumbled, challenged by Sergio Ramos, as Bayern kept coming. White bodies were on the line, just like in the first leg, roars accompanying every block, save and header. Tolisso could not force home and, on the hour, first Thiago Alcântara and then Lewandowski fired goalwards, before the equaliser arrived. James volleyed Niklas Süle’s cross, reacted swiftly to the rebound and guided under Navas. A former Real player, he did not celebrate but high in the north stand the German fans did.

They were just a goal away now, the game on a knife edge. But if there is a team capable of living on the edge, it is Real. Tolisso connected with a volley six yards out and Navas made a superb save.

It was the 18th shot Bayern had had, one more even than in the first leg, yet still they trailed. The deliveries from the left were endless – from one, Navas scrambled away Müller’s header and from another he punched clear. A scramble was hacked clear and in the fourth minute of added time Navas saved once more.

Time slipped away, hearts raced and one last cross was played in, once more into the fray. Müller launched himself at it but the ball evaded him, taking the final with it.

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