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Champions League final: How did Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund reach the UCL final?

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Real Madrid will get a chance to win a record-extending 15th Champions League title when it faces Borussia Dortmund in the final on Sunday. 

Sportstar takes you through both the team’s journey to the Champions League final.

How did Real Madrid reach the Champions League final?

Real Madrid was paired in Group C with Napoli, Braga and Union Berlin. It won all of its matches in the group stages, finishing with the full quota of 18 points. 

Round of 16

Carlo Ancelotti’s men went into the Round of 16 as heavy favourites after drawing RB Leipzig but faced quite a challenge from the German outfit. The Los Blancos edged a 1-0 win in the away leg but could only manage a 1-1 draw at home, thus narrowly qualifying for the quarterfinals with an aggregate score of 2-1. 

Quarterfinals

Real Madrid faced one the biggest challenges on its road to the UCL final after drawing defending champion Manchester City in the quarterfinals. As anticipated, the clash of the heavyweights did not disappoint, with the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu ending in a 3-3. The second leg also finished level on 1-1. With the aggregate score level at 4-4, the tie went to penalties, where Madrid got the better of City, winning 4-3. 

Semifinals

Madrid faced another challenging opponent in Bayern Munich in the semifinals. Again, the tie was perfectly poised with the first leg at the Allianz Arena finishing level at 2-2. In the second leg, Alphonso Davies’ 68th minute looked to have sealed the tie for the Bavarians, but it was another classic comeback from Madrid, as Joselu grabbed a three-minute brace (88’, 90+1’) to guide his team to a 4-3 aggregate win. 

Joselu of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match between Real Madrid and FC Bayern München at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 08, 2024, in Madrid, Spain.

Joselu of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match between Real Madrid and FC Bayern München at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 08, 2024, in Madrid, Spain.
| Photo Credit:
Getty Images

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Joselu of Real Madrid celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match between Real Madrid and FC Bayern München at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 08, 2024, in Madrid, Spain.
| Photo Credit:
Getty Images

How did Borussia Dortmund reach the Champions League final? 

Borussia Dortmund was placed in Group F, which was the ‘Group of Death’ this time, featuring the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United. However, Dortmund put on a good show and topped its group with 11 points. It won three, drew two and lost just one match. 

Round of 16

Dortmund was paired with Dutch champion PSV Eindhoven in the Round of 16. While it faced a good fight in the first leg, which finished 1-1, Dortmund clinched a 2-0 win in the second leg to qualify for the quarterfinals with an aggregate score of 3-1. 

Quarterfinals

Dortmund faced a setback after losing 2-1 to quarterfinal opponent Atletico Madrid in the first leg. But in the return fixture in front of its boisterous home support, Dortmund put in a dominating performance and managed a 4-2 win, thus qualifying for the semifinals with a 5-4 aggregate win. 

Marcel Sabitzer, in front, celebrates with his team after winning the Champions League quarterfinal second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid at the Signal-Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

Marcel Sabitzer, in front, celebrates with his team after winning the Champions League quarterfinal second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid at the Signal-Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
| Photo Credit:
AP

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Marcel Sabitzer, in front, celebrates with his team after winning the Champions League quarterfinal second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid at the Signal-Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany, Tuesday, April 16, 2024.
| Photo Credit:
AP

Semifinals

When Dortmund drew PSG in the semifinals, the latter was considered the heavy favourite, with the lion’s share of the limelight on French superstar Kylian Mbappe.

However, Dortmund put in an excellent defensive performance throughout both legs and was aided by a bit of luck, winning both legs with a 1-0 scoreline. 

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