Where's the final next season? Benzema has now scored 10 of Real Madrid's goals in six knockout matches. Width from Valverde and Vincius stretched Liverpools back line, with Carvajal moving inside to try and draw Robertson out of position (below).


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Real Madrid was down 2-0 to PSG in the 61st minute of the round of 16's second leg before Karim Benzema scored a hat trick within an 18-minute span for the 3-2 aggregate win. On Wednesday, Real Madrid found itself down 5-3 right before stoppage time before Rodrygo scored twice in back-to-back minutes to level the score at five.

Real used a 4-4-2 to build against Liverpools high press in the second half.

As the first half progressed, Dazs inwards runs from a wide starting position tested Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal, especially with Man moving over to pin the right-sided centre-back (below). They flipped their central-midfield structure when building, with Casemiro pushing higher and Kroos and Modric dropping (below). lineups formation ancelotti Rotations on Liverpools right side appeared as though they might provide some joy early on, with their first chances created down that flank. Ultimately, the match-winning goal came from build-up on Madrids right, before Vincius came in from the left to finish and claim yet another Champions League win for Real Madrid.

Karim Benzema drifted over to the left to get close to Vincius Jnior, who Madrid repeatedly tried to play in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold. They will now meet Liverpoolat Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France, which will host the Champions League Final at 3 p.m. The Spanish giants have now won twice as many European Cups as any other team, with some of this year's team, including Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal, celebrating a fifth Champions League win in the last decade. Early on, this was through the right inside channel, while Fede Valverde moved inside just enough to free up overlapping right-back Dani Carvajal (below).

Liverpools right side continued to rotate, with Mo Salah moving inside Madrid left-back Ferland Mendy whenever possible.

In the inside channel, the two combined particularly well, and Thibaut Courtois was forced into a superb save to deny Man.

The guess here is Liverpool wins a classic, 3-2.

Liverpool:Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Diaz, Salah, Mane.

It helps to have Rodrygo andVinicius Junior in the mix as well, and that trio will be a significant problem for Liverpool. "I have a strong feeling we will come again," he said.

Liverpool has played 29 matches since then.

No one in the world is playing better than him right now, and his magic apparently keeps Real Madrid in any match even if hope appears lost.

Undeterred, Rodrygo scored the equalizer in the 80th minute before Benzema added the game-winner in extra time for the 5-4 aggregate victory.

Height from the two wingers created more room for Benzema, who held the ball up superbly before bringing others into the game. "But if you keep a high defence and give them room to attack behind you, thats where you struggle, so our defenders did well to close those spaces.

Sure, Liverpool looked shaky in the first half of the semifinal's second leg, when Villareal scored two goals to knot the aggregate at two apiece. Liverpool used a 4-3-3 shape in possession, against Real Madrid in a 4-4-2 block.

After going ahead, they dropped deep inside their own half.

Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold provide tremendous help on the wings. Time and again, though, Courtois denied him in what proved a man-of-the-match display. Speaking of which, Liverpool arrived at its third Champions League final appearance in five years after taking down Villareal 5-2 via aggregate following three second-half goals in the second leg of that matchup Tuesday.

Liverpool is shooting for the quadruple (winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League in a single season). The central-midfield three covered the spaces between the lines, with Liverpool often unable to access the centre-forward who dropped into that area. Liverpools lack of numbers on the left drew Madrid across to their right side; switches of play out to Daz or Robertson also provided some early signs of promise.

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To protect Carvajal against Daz and Robertson, Fede Valverde dropped back more consistently, and Madrid then defended with a back five (below). Superb insights and stories from the top names of football delivered to your inbox weekly. Firmino dropped through the right inside channel, allowing Salah to move across to receive between the lines or run beyond the Madrid defence. Any central-midfield run from Jordan Henderson was covered by Madrids spare centre-back, with Vincius Jnior positioned to cover Trent Alexander-Arnolds advances, and Mendy marking Salah. Therefore, the last time Liverpool walked off a pitch as a loser was Dec. 28, when the Reds fell 1-0 to Leicester City in the Premier League.

Toni Kroos and Casemiro rotated as Madrids single pivot, while Luka Modric tended to be positioned slightly higher.

It was no coincidence that, once Kroos and Modric got on the ball more consistently, Madrid began to establish some control of possession. Jota and Man rotated on the left of the narrow attacking line, with the full-backs providing the width. Madrids most effective play in the second half came through combinations down their right. They won 2-1 on aggregate. Coaches' voice Real Madrid used a 4-3-3 attacking shape, and came up against a Liverpool side that pressed from a 4-3-3 out-of-possession shape.

I think it helped that Liverpool were easier to decipher than the others, because they have a very clear identity and we could prepare the way that we did.

Jrgen Klopps last throw of the dice was to introduce Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, creating a box of four in attack (below). On paper, Liverpool is the better club, but Real Madrid appears to be a team of destiny after living on the edge for the entire knockout round and somehow surviving. We will have an outstanding group next season.

Benzema converted a penalty five minutes into extra time, and that was enough to send Real Madrid through.

Subs: Kelleher, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Minamino, Jota, Tsimikas, Matip, Elliott.

Madrid constantly faced a high press from Liverpool.

Mohamed Salah has scored eight times in 12 Champions League matches.

Tremendous depth exists behind him in Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Fabinho. Real Madrid won a 14th European Cup or Champions League title as Vincius Jnior's second-half strike proved the difference between the teams in Paris.

Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, is now the competition's most successful ever manager, with this his fourth title. Valverde moved inside to support central midfield, often taking up Modrics previous position, with the full-backs both moving forward simultaneously. Although Modric roamed all over the pitch, Madrid threatened most through patterns of play that saw him drop and move wider.

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Benzema continued to remain close to Vincius, but Madrid looked most threatening when switching play from left to right, with Benzema then moving into the centre. On paper, Liverpool is the better team, but Real Madrid simply always finds a way.

The Reds have alsolost only once this calendar year after falling1-0 to Inter Milan in March, but that was in the second leg of the Champions League's quarterfinals. Fabinho and Thiago formed a double pivot, while Luis Daz attacked inwards from Liverpools left so that Andy Robertson could overlap, and centre-forward Sadio Man dropped to connect the double pivot to the wide forwards (below).

Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho start for Liverpool in tonight's Champions League final with Real Madrid in Paris. But the club stormed out of the halftime locker room with a vengeance and scored three in the second half, showcasing its best effort.

Liverpool had the better of the chances though Madrid did have a first-half goal controversially ruled out for offside but were kept at bay by some extraordinary goalkeeping from Thibaut Courtois in the Real goal. Real Madrid's sensational and mystifying Champions League run will continue after they defeated Manchester City 6-5 via aggregate in the semifinals Wednesday. All rights reserved.

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily. Real Madrid then won its first leg over Chelsea 3-1 before allowing three straight goals in the second leg.

In the end, all signs point to a tremendous finish to one of the most exciting Champions League knockout rounds in history.

I think Liverpool were strong," Ancelotti said.

Madrid spent long periods defending in a mid-block or low block. "The boys are competitive.

And then there's manager Jurgen Klopp, whose tremendous turnaround of Liverpool has made him a legend. Liverpool's front three pressed Reals two centre-backs and goalkeeper, with Jordan Henderson and Thiago jumping out to Madrids double pivot (below). Despite breaking around and over Madrids back line on several occasions in the second half especially when playing from left to right Liverpools forwards couldnt find a way past Courtois.

Elsewhere, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah return to the XI after starting on the bench against Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out as the Reds make three changes. 2022. Modric dragged Fabinho over, leaving Benzema free as a dropping forward. When Daz delayed his movement inside, Robertson found himself in a position to cross more often.

We knew what strategy to take, dont give them space behind the defence to run into., Opposite number Jrgen Klopp was defiant in defeat. John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images, Watch more top videos, highlights, and B/R original content. The duo are named in midfield at Stade de France after recovering from respective injury concerns.