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Real Madrid booked their spot in the UEFA Champions League final on Tuesday after a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich. Karim Benzema scored both goals for the defending champions, who had won the first fixture 2-1 in Munich.
Joshua Kimmich gave the visitors an early lead before Benzema struck twice, and James Rodriguez’s equaliser set up a thrilling finale. Keylor Navas, Real’s goalkeeper, made several key saves. Real Madrid have now qualified for three finals in a row, a feat no club has achieved since the tournament changed to its current format.
Liverpool and AS Roma will meet in Wednesday’s semi-final, with the Reds sporting a 5-2 advantage.
Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday’s match.
Benzema Comes up Big
Real Madrid needed someone to step up in attack on Tuesday, and while Cristiano Ronaldo was largely kept quiet, team-mate Benzema came through with two big goals.
As shared by ESPN FC’s Dermot Corrigan, his good showing was all the more significant in light of his struggles this season:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
1-1 Madrid! Benzema free at back post to head in his first goal in open play since mid-Feb. That was less predictable.
Defensive Errors Galore
Bayern and Real put on an attacking show in the first half, as Kimmich and Benzema got their names on the scoresheet in the first 11 minutes.
Both goals came as a result of poor defensive plays, however. Kimmich easily converted from close range after a dreadful failed clearance from Sergio Ramos that provoked this tweet from sportswriter Karl Matchett:
The full-back didn’t mark Marcelo closely enough to stop the Brazilian firing