Real Madrid dug deep to supply a traditional Champions League comeback because the 13-time winners got here from behind to oust reigning champions Chelsea from the quarterfinals 5-4 on combination after two thrilling matches.
Los Blancos carried over a 3-1 benefit from the primary leg however quickly noticed that worn out on the Bernabeu as objectives from Mason Mount and Antonio Rudiger levelled the combination rating inside 51 second-leg minutes. An additional purpose for both aspect from Timo Werner and Rodrygo noticed the encounter prolong into additional time, when Karim Benzema as soon as once more emerged because the hero for Real by scoring a 96th-minute winner — the veteran France striker’s career-high twelfth Champions League purpose of the season.
With that, Real booked themselves a spot within the Champions League semifinals for the fifteenth time of their historical past, significantly greater than every other membership (Barcelona and Bayern Munich are each on 12).
As for omens, the Spanish giants have now superior from all 5 Champions League knockout ties by which they’ve confronted the defending champions since 1992-93 and gone on to win the competitors in the entire earlier 4 cases.
“How can I explain the magic of this stadium? It helps the team and players a lot to never give up and we never gave up,” Real boss Carlo Ancelotti stated after the sport. “I’m very happy to be in the semifinal, the more you suffer, the happier I am!”
Ancelotti set a brand new landmark and additional strengthened his declare that, if any coach is worthy of being referred to as “Mr. Champions League,” it is him. Few can declare the sheer longevity loved by the 62-year-old Italian, who has grow to be a part of the furnishings within the latter phases of Europe’s elite competitors and lifted the trophy 3 times.
Ancelotti has now reached the semifinals of the competitors in 4 completely different many years as a supervisor — and that complete goes as much as 5 should you embody his profession as a participant.
As a participant, Ancelotti was a part of the good AC Milan groups that gained back-to-back European Cups in 1989 and 1990, a feat that will not be repeated for an additional quarter of a century till Real Madrid gained their third in a row in 2018.
Almost precisely a decade later, Ancelotti returned to the semifinals of the Champions League for the primary time as a coach when he efficiently guided Juventus to the final 4 in 1998-99, after taking up from Marcello Lippi in February of that season. The Bianconeri have been struggling for type however did at the least handle to avoid wasting face in Europe by drawing 1-1 with Manchester United within the first leg of their semi at Old Trafford, earlier than falling to a 3-2 dwelling defeat within the second two weeks later. While Juve crashed out and limped to a disappointing seventh-place end in Serie A, United went on to finish the Treble by beating Bayern Munich within the ultimate.
Ancelotti spent eight years in cost at Milan between 2001 and 2009 and guided them to the semifinals of the Champions League on no fewer than 4 events. The first occasion got here in 2002-03, when the Rossoneri squeezed previous rivals Inter Milan on away objectives earlier than beating Juventus in a totally tedious ultimate that was determined by a penalty shootout. The 2004-05 season noticed Milan comfortably dispatch PSV Eindhoven within the semis earlier than taking a 3-0 first-half lead in opposition to Liverpool within the ultimate in Istanbul, solely to be on the flawed finish of probably the most beautiful comebacks of all time and in the end lose on penalties. Back-to-back semifinal runs then adopted in 2005-06 and 2006-07, with the latter culminating in Ancelotti lifting the trophy for the second time as a supervisor after masterminding a 2-1 revenge victory over Liverpool in Athens.
After stints with Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain yielded little in the best way of European success, Ancelotti landed the Real Madrid job in 2013 and promptly returned to the ultimate 4 of the Champions League. Firstly, Real beat Bayern Munich 5-0 on combination within the semis to achieve the 2013-14 ultimate, the place they put one other 4 objectives previous Atletico Madrid to win “La Decima” — the membership’s report tenth victory within the competitors, claimed an agonising 12 years after their ninth. Ancelotti then took Real again to the semis in 2014-15 solely to see their title defence halted by Juventus, who emerged with a 3-2 combination victory.
It took seven years away and tenures with various ranges of success at Bayern Munich, Napoli and Everton, however Ancelotti’s return to the Bernabeu has additionally coincided with the extension of his esteemed Champions League semifinal report. The milestone was formally handed on Tuesday because of Real’s thrilling fightback in opposition to Chelsea. The former midfielder additionally acquired the possibility to indicate he has not misplaced his contact with a nifty little bit of ball management on the sidelines in the course of the recreation.