City, Bayern… See teams Real Madrid defeated to win 15th UCL title

 City, Bayern… See teams Real Madrid defeated to win 15th UCL title

Real Madrid defeated Borussia Dortmund 2:0 in the 2023-24 UEFA Champions league final at Wembley stadium, London on 1st June to win a record 15 UCL title. However, their journey to the final was marked by impressive victories over some of Europe’s top teams, including Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Real Madrid qualified for the Champions League group stage as 2022–23 La Liga runners-up and were drawn in Group C, alongside then reigning Serie A champions Napoli, third placed Primeira Liga team Braga, and fourth placed Bundesliga team Union Berlin.

Madrid went on to win every game in the group stage. They defeated Union Berlin 1-0 in the first match to begin the group stage at the Santiago Bernabéu.

In Italy at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on matchday 2, the club defeated Napoli 3-2 . Goals were scored by Leo Østigård and Piotr Zieliński for the home team, and Vinícius Júnior, Jude Bellingham, and Alex Meret(Own goal) scored for the visitors.

On matchday 3, Madrid defeated Braga away 2–1, with Rodrygo and Bellingham on the scoresheet, and Álvaro Djaló scoring for Portuguese team.

On matchday 4, Madrid dominated Braga 3–0 at home. And on the 2nd leg against Napoli, Madrid won 4–2. On the last matchday Los Blancos also obtained a 3–2 win away against Union Berlin in Germany.

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Fast forward to the round of 16, Madrid faced a tough test from RB Leipzig. The Spanish giants won the first leg of the match 1-0 on the road thanks to a single goal from Brahim at the Red Bull Arena in Germany. Even though Willi Orbán scored for his team in the second leg at 85,000-capacity Santiago Bernabéu, Vinícius’ goal was sufficient for Madrid to advance 2–1 on aggregate.

They were rewarded with a third straight year quarterfinal with Manchester City, the reigning UEFA Champions League winners and English champions.

An own goal by Rúben Dias, goals from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde, and goals from Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, and Joško Gvardiol secured an intense 3–3 tie in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Days later, Los Blancos visited Etihad Stadium for the second leg however, it also ended in a draw, as 76th minute equaliser by De Bruyne cancelled out Rodrygo’s 12th minute goal. The match ended 1-1 and 4-4 in aggregate. Madrid was forced to play their first champions league penalty shootout since 2016 and they eventually won 4:3 thanks to Andriy Lunin for saving two penalties from Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovačić.

In the final four, Carlo Ancelotti’s men faced another stiff challenge as they were paired with another German club and this time, the Bundesliga champion.

In the first leg at the Allianz Arena, Vinícius and his team mates were unlucky as his double were cancelled by Leroy Sané and Harry Kane as Bayern Munich drew the game. In the second leg at the in Spain, Madrid came from behind to beat the German champions 2:1 to secure a 4:3 aggregate and get to their sixth ucl final in 10 years.

Real Madrid’s victories over all these top European teams to secure the 2023-24 and a record UCL title have demonstrated their quality and depth and also cemented their status as one of the greatest teams in European football history.

Read more: Meet Enzo Maresca, Pochettino’s replacement tasked with revamping Chelsea

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