With injury time fast approaching, Manchester City appeared to be heading for their second successive Champions League final.
But two missed chances and an incredible response from Real Madrid turned things around, before the 13-time champions sealed the deal in extra time with Karim Benzema’s penalty.
Telegraph Sport breaks down the key moments in the stunning comeback that destroyed City’s European dream.
87 mins: Grealish No. 1 chance
City were leading 1-0 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate, when substitute Jack Grealish was released on the left by Oleksandr Zinchenko after a quick exchange of passes between Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gundogan.
Eder Militao came on to try and close space but Grealish, now at full speed, was too quick for the Real Madrid defender, showing superb balance and footwork to get past him before slipping in a beautifully controlled left-footed kick between the advance Thibaut Courtois and the near post.
The most important goal of Grealish’s career seemed certain but, with extraordinary athleticism, Ferland Mendy managed to come back and miraculously clear the goal line.
The ball hit Phil Foden, who was just a yard away, and on another night it reportedly ricocheted forward and inward across the city, but, incredibly, not on this occasion.
88 mins: Grealish Chance No. 2
It’s been a quiet first season at City for the most expensive English footballer in history but he must have thought he had repaid much of that £100million fee when he created another superb chance just seconds after Mendy turned him down.
Grealish was forced to watch many of City’s biggest games from the bench, but he joined the club in part to be involved in Champions League nights like this and, for a fleeting moment, it seemed that he had put his name in lights.
Picking up the ball on the left, Grealish entered the penalty area. Gundogan overlapped but Grealish didn’t need him.
Preparing to shoot, he tricked Militao and Dani Carvajal into turning away for a split second, allowing Grealish to cut inside and break through in a low, accurate shot only for Courtois to come out with a left foot and manages to deflect the ball beyond the far post.
It was an exquisite stop – one of many key interventions by the former Chelsea goalkeeper on the night.
90 minutes: Rodrygo’s first goal
Carlo Ancelotti’s replacements have been inspired and are an integral part of Real’s astonishing response. City had 11 men behind the ball on their 18-yard line when Rodrygo, starting the move he was about to complete, found Nacho, who played the ball towards Eduardo Camavinga.
Grealish was not quick enough to pressure Camavinga, who controlled the ball with his right, then whipped a deep cross over Joao Cancelo at the far post where Karim Benzema proved he could be as much of a creator as he was. a predator.
Jumping high, Benzema directed a wonderfully controlled left-footed pass into the path of Rodrygo’s advance, who reacted quicker than Ederson and Ruben Dias to apply a deft finish with the outside of his right boot.
The always serene Ancelotti, hands on hips, was marble on the touchline.
90+1 min: Rodrygo’s second goal
City, you sensed it, were creaking and when Mendy crossed from the left, Militao ignored Zinchenko’s attentions to wave to Rodrgyo, who stabbed a wide pass.
Militao chased with Grealish behind him and brought the ball back to Carvajal. Grealish went to close it but was avoided too easily, allowing the Real right-back to whip a cross over Laporte’s head where Rodrygo rushed past a flat-footed Dias to power a header stunning in the top corner and become the first player in history to score twice in the 90th minute in a Champions League knockout game.
As Ancelotti and Marcelo embraced on the touchline, City looked crestfallen. Rodri pulled his shirt over his head, Fernandinho stood still with his hands on his hips and Zinchenko had his hands on his head in despair.
Incredibly, the game wasn’t over yet. City demanded a good save from Ederson to deny Rodrygo an unforgettable hat-trick from close range in the third minute of stoppage time before Phil Foden squandered a chance to send City into the final with almost the final spot kick. match.
95 min: Benzema penalty
While Pep Guardiola cut a maniacal figure in City’s team talk before extra time began – staring at his players and waving his arms frantically in the center of a group – Ancelotti strolled around his players, looking more relaxed than anyone else in the stadium.
Real had shaken City twice. Could they do it a third time? Behind for 178 minutes of this thrilling semi-final, Real found themselves in front for the first time in the draw when Benzema scored from the penalty spot.
And, again, Camavinga and Rodrygo were in the thick of it. On a quick kick from Courtois – Real’s unsung hero on the night – Camavinga leaped down the left. Rodri came in to try and chain him up but couldn’t get any closer as the midfielder drew in Zinchenko while Rodrygo swung away to his right.
Camavinga then found Rodrygo who crossed. Not for the first time all night, Dias was slow to react, with Benzema stepping past him and falling as the City captain extended his right leg.
Benzema breathed new life into Manchester’s draw last week with his Panenka, so what would he try this time around from the penalty spot?
Fernandinho had tried to push it away but it didn’t register with the French striker, who got up and looked like he was going to kick the ball hard from the left to open his body and insert the ball nonchalantly into the lower corner.
The Bernabeu erupted. Guardiola, on the other hand, looked broken. Real, the kings of European football’s return this season, had done it again.