Real Resurrection: Real Madrid Produces Most Unbelievable Comeback Yet To Reach UCL Final

You never write Real Madrid out of a Champions League plot. Never do it. Ever. Except this time. This time it felt right. This time they truly seemed cooked. 

Real Madrid, without a shot on target through 89 minutes, had already taken off the entire legendary midfield trio of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modrić. It felt like a fitting metaphorical end, a galant bowing out from the old guard to the new masters. Thibaut Courtois had been Real's man of the match. The Santiago Bernabéu had grown deathly silent. João Cancelo and Jack Grealish hammered away at Courtois' goal in what felt more like a quest for personal glory than further assurance for City.

As we entered the 90th minute, it didn't even seem all that important how much stoppage time the board revealed. But then the moment of inspiration struck at 89:20. 

A very Manchester City-esque ball from 19-year-old Eduardo Camavinga picked out Karim Benzema's backpost run, and the Frenchman volleyed a looping cross that Rodrygo attacked with Ederson flatfooted. 

Suddenly the stoppage time became vastly important, and the board showed six long minutes — Real only needed 50 seconds of it.  

The Bernabéu roared into full voice and City's frailty was immediately on display as Vinícius danced through a pair of defenders and forced a desperate clearance. No matter, Real came right back and found the back of the net with its next attack.

Dani Carvajal worked some space off Grealish, curled in a cross toward the edge of the six-yard box and Rodrygo met it with Aymeric Laporte nowhere to be found. 

89:20 and then 90:50. 90 seconds between the ball hitting the back of the net. If you think FIFA feels scripted, try watching Real Madrid in the Champions League. 

From there I think we all knew who was scoring in extra time. Rúben Dias took out Benzema with a tired challenge in the area and Real's talisman rolled it bottom right. He's a good World Cup with France away from winning the Ballon d'Or.  

There was something telling in seeing Real players exchanging celebratory hugs on the sidelines in the 117th-minute. Unlike City, they obviously know what they're doing in this tournament.

It's Real Madrid vs. Liverpool, a rematch of the 2018 final, in Paris on May 28.

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