UEFA Champions League 2022 Second-Leg: Match Analysis and Review
The Champions League final stage is set and it will be the repeat of the Champions League 2018 final as Liverpool and Real Madrid will once again grace the pitch on 28th May at Stade de France.
Liverpool and Real Madrid have a rich history in the Champions League the English giants are seeking their seventh Champions League, which could see them equal records of AC Milan, while Real Madrid are their 14th trophy.
But before all this, we take a look at how both teams fared in the second leg.
1) Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool: Aggregate (Villarreal 2-5 Liverpool)
This was one of the most exhilarating matches. Liverpool came into this game knowing it will be a tricky meeting against the Yellow Submarine and it did turn out to be one, as Villarreal scored two goals in a span of 40 minutes as the score settled to 2-2 on aggregate.
Villarreal off to a flying start:
Villarreal were determined to overturn the deficit as they were ruthless, aggressive, and came with a purpose in this match, in the first half Liverpool were outplayed, over-ran and couldn’t hold the ball for a second in their feet.
Villarreal Pressed relentlessly and it finally bore fruit in just three minutes start of the match, when Boulaye Dia converted Etienne Capoue's pass.
As the hopes rose of the comeback the Spanish giants were indomitable and refused to allow Liverpool to exert iron control.
Former Arsenal man puts Unai Emery's men level on goals with Liverpool
It was just a matter of time when Villarreal's hard work paid off and it was once again Capoue's pass in the area as Francis Coquelin rose through the occasion and headed home, the home side were awash with jubilant and the comeback was concluded.
Liverpool were an also-ran in the first half and berated Klopp looked at his players with distress while the referee concluded the first half.
Second Half Begins:
As the second half wore on Liverpool had to improve and the Luis Diaz was the man who took the game on his head his introduction in the second half saw him toying around with Villarreal players.
Liverpool grew into this game and started causing a threat, their first chance came off Trent Alexander-Arnold's whose shot hit the crossbar after taking a huge deflection off Coquelin.
Liverpool surge a comeback:
The Reds showed character and finally broke the deadlock when Fabinho was unmarked and had enough time to slot the ball between Rulli’s leg, Liverpool were in the driving seat although there was more to come when Diaz headed in Alexander-Arnold's to give Liverpool a two-goal cushion and little a relief.
Mane catches Rulli in no man's land:
The Reds showed no sign of stopping nonetheless. Rulli's bad decision of leaving his post for the ball saw Mane getting their first and putting the ball in an unguarded net.
Villarreal were in shambles and Liverpool had full control of the game. The officials blew the final whistle and the men in red were hugging each other as they reached their 10th final of the Champions League and at Stade de France they will be aiming to win their seventh Champions League trophy.
2) Real Madrid 3-1 Manchester City: Aggregate Real Madrid 6-4 Manchester City)
Real Madrid once again at Bernabeu showed us why they are called kings of Europe. It was all under the control of Manchester City until the 89th minute when Real Madrid’s youngster Rodrygo came off the bench and changed the fate of this game.
But before all this, we analyze how the match unravelled. The first half of the game did not deliver any excitement, but City kept trying every route to the goal Courtois made sure Real Madrid stay in the contention as he denied Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Silva, and Foden in the first half.
City were a constant threat but failed to find the back of the net and continued exerting pressure on Real Madrid who did not have a shot on target. On the other side, City kept testing Courtois but the final touch was missing from the players.
As the match started to reach its closing stage the English giants became desperate in the search for the goal as their aggregate score weren’t enough to see the Whites off.
Mahrez puts City in the driving seat:
City’s patience and hard work finally dig out the much-awaited result after Mahrez slammed the ball past Courtois in the 73rd minute to give City breathing space.
Rodrygo with a quick-fire double:
Real Madrid were in dismay as they assumed their Champions League journey has been put to bed, until the 89th minute when Eduardo Camavinga found Benzema in the area who put the ball in Rodrygo’s way to turn home and give Los Blancos a lifeline in the match.
Seconds later Real Madrid found themselves equal on score as it was once again Rodrygo who headed after Marco Asensio whipped on Dani Carvajal's cross, sending the entire stadium into euphoria. Bringing Rodrygo changed the narrative of the match.
Full-Time: Real Madrid 2-1 Man City (extra time next)
Before the game proceeded to extra-time both sides had equal chances to win the tie before extra-time. As Ederson denied Rodrygo on the opposite side Phil Foden had a chance to win this tie as he blasted the over the roof of the net.
Extra-Time Winner from 12 yards:
Manchester City’s misery was further illustrated when Benzema beat Ruben Dias to a loose ball in the area and was brought down by the defender forcing the referee to point towards the box.
The Frenchman stepped up and calmly slotted the ball in the bottom right corner. Scoring his 43rd goal of the season 15th in the Champions League.
Although, City had their chance when Foden’s header was tipped away by Courtois before Fernandinho was inches away from scoring the rebound.
As time passed the anxiety rose and City’s players were desperately looking for an equalizer but their failure got the better of them as their complacency showed and Pep Guardiola was subjected to another champion League failure.