Real Madrid stuns Bayern with late rally to reach Champions League final

MADRID — Real Madrid, known as Europe’s comeback kings, staged a late rally Wednesday as Joselu scored twice in the closing minutes to clinch a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich at Santiago Bernabeu, advancing to the Champions League final on a 4-3 aggregate.

The win marks Real Madrid’s sixth Champions League final appearance in 10 years, setting them up to contend for a record-extending 15th title against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on June 1.

Mirroring their dramatic semi-final comeback against Manchester City two years ago, Real fell behind when Bayern substitute Alphonso Davies delivered a stunning strike in the 68th minute. However, Joselu, coming off the bench, capitalized on a costly mistake by Bayern’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the 88th minute to level the score. He then added a second goal from an Antonio Ruediger cross two minutes later. Initially ruled offside, the goal stood after a VAR review.

“We’ve seen it a lot of times this season when it looked as though we were dead and buried. It doesn’t matter who scores the goals, but someone always manages it. That ‘never say die’ mentality,” said Jude Bellingham, who will face his former club in the final, in a post-match interview with TNT Sports.

Despite dominating the game, Real Madrid struggled to convert numerous opportunities, while a resilient Bayern nearly ousted the Spaniards on their home turf.

Davies, who replaced an injured Serge Gnabry in the first half, opened the scoring with a brilliant counter-attack, cutting back and curling a shot into the far corner.