Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich lived up to its billing and then some, as Los Blancos held on for a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final (4-3 aggregate) to remain on course for an unprecedented three peat on Tuesday night.
Joshua Kimmich, as he did in the first leg, fired Bayern into the lead early on but Karim Benzema dragged the hosts level inside 12 minutes as the stage was set for an enthralling last-four tie.
Bayern tried their best, but thanks in part to their own profligacy and Keylor Navas’ brilliance, failed to make their dominance count, despite the repeated efforts of James Rodriguez.
In the end, Zidane’s men clung on and reached their third final in as many years, much to the dismay of the Bavarian giants.
Here are The Statesman’s player ratings from the exhilarating encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu:
Man of the match, despite conceding two goals.
Made a number of outstanding stops, was commanding in his box and punched extremely well when he wasn’t sure.
Real owe him and Benzema big time.
In an unfamiliar role against the wily Ribery, did a pretty decent job.
Did get booked, though.
The Real Madrid skipper had a few nervy moments, like the rest of his teammates, in the opening exchanges but never truly looked comfortable.
Missed a relatively easy chance to put his side ahead too.
Recovered from a nervy start to put in a number of outstanding blocks.
The talented Frenchman seems to be coming into his own, despite having scope for improvement.
Defensively wasn’t that great, as both goals came originated from his side.
Did deliver a sumptuous cross for Benzema’s first, though.
And teed up Ronaldo for a simple finish only for the Portuguese to send his effort well over.
Got the nod ahead of Casemiro and while he did his best, did get overwhelmed at times.
Helped out Vazquez on the right whenever he could, although the two did get overpowered a few times.
Excellent, as always, with the ball.
Not unlike Kovacic, got swamped at times.
Not his best showing in a Real jersey.
His inconsistency will concern Zidane.
Pretty anonymous and legs were clearly gone midway into the second-half.
Uncharacteristically sub-par display from Real’s talisman.
Should have buried Marcelo’s cross and he knows it.
Had it not been for the heroics of Navas, would have got the MoM.
Excellent all-round display, capped with an well-taken brace.
Brought on to hit Bayern on the counter, but did little of note save one inviting cross for Ronaldo which just about evaded the Portuguese.
Replaced Kovacic in the second-half as Zidane brought on seasoned players to see the game out.
Did his job fairly well.
Came on for the fading Asensio in the closing stages.
Awful mistake which might just have cost Bayern a place in the final.
Did fine otherwise, but did look a bit shaky throughout.
Another semi-final, another goal.
His reputation continues to grow and he put in yet another calm assured showing on the flank.
Looks uncomfortable with Sule/without Jerome Boateng, but did well to create a few chances with his surging runs from the back.
The towering stopper still has plenty to learn, but did okay as he shackled Ronaldo fairly well.
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Did get a few chances to make his presence count on the other end, but final product was lacking.
Where is the man who was once billed as the world’s finest fullback?
The Austrian needs to start showing up for big games.
Not bad, but definitely not great.
More is expected from a player that possess such ability on the ball.
Ulreich may get the majority of the blame, but Tolisso’s backpass was the catalyst.
Wasteful when delivering the final ball and couldn’t convert a few solid chances that came his way, either.
Had a point to prove against his parent club and did it with a fine goal.
Bright all night, could have had a couple of assists had his teammates brought their shooting boots to the tie.
Swung in a few dangerous crosses from the right (played a major role in the opener), but the Bayern captain struggled to impact the game otherwise.
Had Vazquez against him, but struggled to assert his dominance over the Spaniard.
What’s the point of all those feints if you don’t score/assist?
This is not the Lewandowski we know and love.
Somebody find the Pole fast for Bayern lost because he was off his game, not just in Madrid, but in Munich as well.
Came on as Bayern chased the game, but couldn’t really make his presence felt in the Real box.
Curious change, but too little too late anyway.