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Joselu sent Real Madrid to the Champions League final with a late double: – He deserves it

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The Real Madrid players celebrate Joselu’s goal that sent the team to the Champions League final. Photo: Manu Fernandez, AP / NTB

Of NTB | 08.05.2024 23:24:06

Sport: Manuel Neuer played big and looked set to be the big Bayern hero along with goalscorer Alphonso Davies, but then he let Real Madrid into the game with a huge mistake.

In the 88th minute, the goalkeeper gave a completely unnecessary return to a shot from Vinicius Junior, and Joselu put in the return from close range.

As the game entered overtime, Joselu put the ball in the goal again. The referee canceled for offside on the post from Antonio Rüdiger, but he was called to the VAR screen, and there he saw that the goal was correct.

Bayern Munich thus received a bang that can only be compared to the Champions League final 25 years ago, when Manchester United returned to victory with two goals in extra time and Ole Gunnar Solskjær became the match winner.

This time it was 34-year-old Joselu, born in Stuttgart and hired from Espanyol, who became Bayern’s midfielder.

– We have several times seemed dead and buried, but our mentality is that we never give up. Our supporters give us the energy we need, Jude Bellingham told TNT Sports.

– Joselu deserves this. He is a fantastic asset to the squad.

Neuer experienced the same nightmare as one of his predecessors in the Bayern goal, Oliver Kahn. He was the big player in the 2002 World Cup until his huge mistake in the final made Brazil champions.

Davies’ goal looked set to be the only one at the Estádio Bernabeu, thanks to a great play from Neuer. The Bayern goal was peppered with shots from Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, but the 38-year-old goalkeeper got in the way of everything. Some of the rescues were world class.

Four minutes later, Davies was last on the ball when it ended up in the Bayern goal, but after VAR review, referee Szymon Marciniak correctly canceled.

Luka Modric angled a corner to Federico Valverde, who fired it flat into the box. There, Nacho steered it towards goal, but it hit Davies and outmaneuvered Neuer.

Then Joshua Kimmich was lying on the ground, after Nacho had placed both hands on his face and pushed him over. It was a clear free kick.

Last year, he came on at exactly the same time in Spain’s European Championship qualifier against Norway in Málaga, and he scored twice before the game was blown away. The goals he scored on Wednesday will probably live longer in the memory.

The referee had signaled nine additional minutes, but the VAR drama in overtime contributed to the need to play the full 15. Matthijs de Ligt got the ball into the goal for Bayern right on the brink, but it was already blown for a fine offside.

Thus, the Real Madrid players could wear shirts with “A por la 15”, which means that the club will play for the 15th title.

Bayern were on their way to the final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, just like in 2013. Instead, it will be Real Madrid who will meet Julian Ryerson and his teammates.

They will probably sell themselves dearly in the pursuit of their club’s 2nd Champions League triumph.

Davies came on when Serge Gnabry had to go off with an injury in the first half. In the 68th minute, he chased down a long forward from Harry Kane on the left, cut in towards the corner of the 16-metre and screwed the ball between Rüdiger and Dani Carvajal into the far corner. The Canadian did it with the “wrong” leg, the right.

Then Real Madrid seemed to have to wave goodbye to the dream of crowning the season with the club’s 15th title in the prestigious European Cup, but in the 81st minute Joselu came on for Valverde.

(© NTB)

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