Barcelona defender Dani Alves said “there is no such thing as luck” as he congratulates rivals Real Madrid for a stunning late victory over Manchester City.
The Spanish champions advanced to the semi-finals with City 6-5 on aggregate on Wednesday to begin their clash with Liverpool – a repeat of the 2018 final – in Paris on May 28.
Rodrygo scored two goals in the space of 91 seconds to save extra time for Madrid, following 5-3 on aggregate with less than one minute left.
Karim Benzema’s penalty in overtime barred Los Blancos from advancing to the Champions League final, which is more than six more than any other team.
It has been the third round of the series since Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who won their second league title in three years at the weekend, have recovered from their injuries.
Indeed, since changing the Champions League in 2003-04, Madrid are the first team to lose in the last 16 (1-0 vs Paris Saint-Germain), quarter-finals (3-2 v Chelsea) and semi-final (4) -3 v Man City) and they are still reaching the finals.
And Brazilian defender Alves does not believe it was coincidental that Madrid withdrew from another fight.
“Just like in health, there is no such thing as luck,” Alves said shortly after full-time employment. “Either you control the game or the game dominates you.”
Praising Rodrygo’s two-goal result, the first player in Champions League history to score two goals in the 90th minute of the playoffs, Alves added: “Well, what would it be like without the Brazilians!
With 11 goals spread on both legs, Madrid’s memorable victory over City is in the semi-finals of most league history, following Liverpool’s 7-6 win over Roma in 2017-18.
The Reds are expecting Madrid at the Stade de France later this month after surviving their fears before beating Villarreal 5-2 in a tie on Tuesday.