Real Madrid striker Joselu was in dreamland after he came on in the dying moments of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and turned the game on its head with two goals to snatch a stunning victory.

Joselu, whose journeyman career has included spells at clubs such as Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hannover 96, Stoke City and Newcastle United, only touched the ball a few times in their 2-1 second-leg win, but it was a night he is likely to remember for a long time.

He pounced on a rare mistake by Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer, stabbing the ball into the net to equalise for Madrid in the 88th minute, and just under three minutes later, he volleyed them into the lead from a cross by Antonio Rudiger.

"I don't know anything about being a hero, but I'm very happy... You can imagine," he said. "It was incredible, something spectacular. This team never gives up, it's in its blood to fight to the end and that's what we've done.

"You always dream of this kind of performance, but not even my most beautiful dreams are as big as what happened today."

On loan from second-division side Espanyol, Joselu's journey to becoming the semi-final hero has been long and winding in a career involving a dozen clubs across Europe.

He began his career at Celta Vigo before being bought in 2009 by Madrid, where he excelled in their B team but rarely made it to the first team.

He was sold to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim in 2012 and then loaned to Eintracht Frankfurt before joining Hannover 96 in 2014.

In 2015, he moved to Premier League side Stoke City, playing 27 times and scoring four goals, before spending two seasons at Newcastle United. He returned to Spain with Alaves, where he scored 36 times in three seasons.

He signed as a free agent with Espanyol in the summer of 2022, and a year later was loaned to Madrid and has scored nine goals in 32 appearances this season in LaLiga.

Joselu, born in Stuttgart, Germany, made his debut for Spain aged 33, coming off the bench against Norway to score twice in two minutes in March 2023.

"I don’t think Joselu will be sleeping much tonight, he’ll be useless in training tomorrow!" team-mate Jude Bellingham said. "He deserves it all, he’s been an amazing member of the squad all season, and it’s his night."

Thomas Tuchel reflects on "tough to accept" defeat after Real Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 and knock Bayern Munich out of the Champions League on Wednesday.

After a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the semi-final at the Allianz Arena, Bayern took the lead in the 68th minute through Alphonso Davies.

However, Joselu came off the bench to score twice in three minutes to send the LaLiga champions to the Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate win over Bayern.

"It hurts. It’ll take a while to recover, but on the one hand, it’s a loss where we left it all out on the pitch,” Tuchel told DAZN after the game.

"Of course, it’s tough to accept. It’s part of reality. No regrets. But on the other, there were too many injuries, a few too many substitutions, too many cramps.

"We started with a front four and by the end they were all off the pitch. And then Manu, who had been exceptional in saving us all night, made a mistake he wouldn’t make in another 100 years."

In stoppage time, Matthijs de Ligt had the ball in the back of the net, but the referee had already blown his whistle after the linesman raised his flag, so VAR could not intervene.

The replays showed that the original decision was closer than first thought, and Tuchel was frustrated with how the situation was handled.

Speaking to TNT Sports, Tuchel said: "We are almost through, it's almost there and there was a very unusual mistake from our best player for the equaliser, then we conceded the second one in stoppage time.

"Then we scored one and there was a disastrous decision from the linesman and the referee. It feels like a betrayal in the end. There was a huge fight, we left everything on the pitch, and we were almost there. Now we say congratulations to Real Madrid.

"The linesman says sorry, but that does not help. To raise the flag in a moment like this... The referee sees we get the second ball, and we get the shot - it's a very, very bad decision. It's against the rules. It's a disaster. It's hard to swallow, but that's the way it is."

Manuel Neuer made five saves in the game and looked equal to Madrid’s threat until he spilled the ball in the build-up to Joselu’s first goal.

"Anyone who’s ever played football knows how I’m feeling right now," he told DAZN.

"That we’ve been knocked out in the closing stages, having led 1-0 until the 88th minute, it’s extremely bitter.

"We’d taken one step to London; we saw ourselves in the final, and now I’m lost for words."

Joselu was the hero for Real Madrid as he scored twice off the bench to send them through to the Champions League final.

The Spaniard’s late brace secured Madrid’s comeback after Alphonso Davies had given the German side the lead, securing a 2-1 victory on the night, and a 4-3 win on aggregate to set up a meeting with Borussia Dortmund on June 1. 

With only 10 minutes plus stoppage time to make an impact, Joselu made his time on the pitch count.

He scored with both his shots, becoming the oldest substitute to score a brace in a knockout game in the Champions League.

The forward is Madrid’s highest scorer in the competition this season with five goals, netting three of those after coming off the bench.  

It is also the second time he has scored a double against a German team in the Champions League this campaign, getting his other against Union Berlin in the group stages.

Bayern were left to rue a late lapse in concentration that saw them concede twice in the space of two minutes and 44 seconds.

After Davies, who has been heavily linked with Los Blancos, became the first Canadian player to score in the knockout stages of the Champions League, with what was his maiden goal in the competition, it was a mistake that led to Madrid's equaliser.

It is the first time since April 2021 against Paris Saint-Germain that Manuel Neuer made an error leading to an opposition goal in the competition.

Bayern have now lost 11 Champions League matches against Madrid, the most one side has lost against another in the competition’s history.

It was always going to be a tough game for Thomas Tuchel’s side even after taking the lead – Madrid have won four matches despite conceding first in the Champions League this season, the most by a side in a single campaign since they won the trophy in 2016-17 (five).

Los Blancos have reached an 18th final in the European Cup/Champions League, but this is the first time they will play the showcase game at Wembley or in England altogether.

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti has reached his sixth Champions League final, two more than any other coach in the history of the competition. 

Real Madrid can "never be settled" as they hunt down a record-extending 15th European title, so says Jude Bellingham.

LaLiga champions Madrid claimed their place in the Champions League final thanks to Joselu's late double against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Joselu came on from the bench to score twice in the space of three minutes to seal a 2-1 victory on the night and a 4-3 win on aggregate.

Alphonso Davies' stunner had put Bayern on the brink, but Madrid will now face Borussia Dortmund – Bellingham's former club – at Wembley on June 1.

"They talk about how they won the 14th, how they want the 15th. You can never be settled," Bellingham told TNT Sports.

"The players feel like family, the fans feel like family. 

"When I was seven years old in Birmingham, I was dreaming of nights like this."

Madrid have won four matches despite conceding the first goal in the Champions League this season, the most by a side in a single campaign since Los Blancos themselves in 2016-17 (five), when they went on to lift the trophy. 

"There have been a lot of times we have looked dead and buried, but we have that mentality of never say die," Bellingham added.

"There is a reason we turn around so many games, it's because of these lot [the fans]. They give you an energy you can't get from anything else."

Joselu scored twice late on as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 and progress to the Champions League final.

Having drawn the first leg 2-2 in Munich, Bayern looked set to go through and tee up an all-German final at Wembley when Alphonso Davies sent a rocket into the top-right corner of Andriy Lunin's goal in the 68th minute of Wednesday's clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Yet 14-time European champions Madrid came back from the brink thanks to substitute Joselu, whose double sealed a 4-3 aggregate win.

The former Stoke City striker capitalised on a calamitous mistake from Manuel Neuer in the 88th minute before he shinned a second into the Bayern goal from Antonio Rudiger's cross.

That second goal was initially disallowed for offside, but it was awarded after a VAR check.

With Harry Kane having been taken off, Bayern struggled to mount a comeback, though Matthijs de Ligt did see a goal ruled out for offside, with the visitors left furious at that decision.

Thomas Tuchel's team, though, will ultimately end the season without silverware, while their Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund will face LaLiga champions Madrid on June 1.

Data Debrief: Joselu to the rescue for comeback kings Madrid

Joselu became the oldest substitute player to score a brace in a knockout game in the Champions League at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid have won four matches despite conceding the first goal in the Champions League this season, the most by a side in a single campaign since Madrid in 2016-17 (five) when they went on to lift the trophy.

Vinicius Junior has come on leaps and bounds and is proving himself as one of the best players in the world, according to Real Madrid team-mate Dani Carvajal.

The pair are gearing up for Madrid's mouth-watering Champions League semi-final second leg against fellow European heavyweights Bayern Munich, with the tie finely poised at 2-2.

Vinicius scored both goals for Carlo Ancelotti's side in last week's first leg, taking him to 31 goal involvements (16 goals, 15 assists) in the Champions League since the start of the 2021-22 season, more than any other player during that time.

And Carvajal says the strides made by the 23-year-old are evident.

"He's improved in every aspect - his finishing, physically, his maturity when playing, knowing when it's right to attack the space or to ask for the ball to be played to his feet," the full-back told reporters during the pre-match press conference.

"He's one of the best players in the world, and he's proving that. We know that he puts in a lot of work away from [the training ground], having his training sessions, physio and coaching.

"All of this is helping him to be one of the best in the world. Hopefully, he can help us on the pitch [in the second leg] and see us through."

The most successful side in the competition's history, Madrid are aiming to remain on course for a 15th European crown, while Ancelotti targets a record-extending sixth appearance in the final as a manager.

"There's not much more to say when the time comes to play the second leg of a semi-final in your home stadium," Carvajal added. "The motivation of the match itself ensures that your attention level is at its highest.

"We know that we're up against a side with a history in this competition [six titles], so we have to attempt to beat them and reach the final."

Thomas Tuchel wants his Bayern Munich side to rediscover their inner child when they take on Real Madrid on Wednesday.

After last week's 2-2 draw in Munich, Bayern will have to beat Madrid in their own back yard if they are to reach the Champions League final at Wembley.

With Bayer Leverkusen ending Bayern's 11-year Bundesliga dominance by securing the league title last month, the six-time European Cup winners have only one trophy left to fight for this season.

Tuchel spent several minutes talking to his players in an empty Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday and said that he told them they needed to find extra motivation within themselves.

"It is important to connect with your own inner child. When we were little we played these games in the garden. So now we are here and that's our chance to make it true," he told reporters.

"I think both teams have to endure defending and suffering when their opponents have the ball. It is extremely difficult to steal the ball from Real Madrid. Both teams are very, very strong in the transition game. It gets very complex. You need luck and precision. Then everything is possible at this stage."

Bayern were undone by Vinicius Junior's double in the first leg, with the Brazil forward scoring either side of efforts from Leroy Sane and Harry Kane.

However, Opta's win predictor has Madrid as 48.5 per cent favourites to claim the victory they need to progress.

Madrid, the record 14-time European champions, have an aura in the competition, but Tuchel said the Spaniards' record holds no fear for his side.

"Bayern are also one of the most successful and dominant clubs in the world and we have an obligation to do our best when we step on the pitch tomorrow," he said.

"You don't talk about myths, that would make it harder for us. It is already one of the toughest stadiums to win but not impossible. We are not here to enjoy the moment."

Bayern reached the Champions League's last four for the first time since winning the competition in 2020, while Madrid last lifted the trophy in 2022 with an amazing run of comeback wins at home to reach the final.

Carlo Ancelotti's team are bidding to win their sixth Champions League title in 10 years, having clinched a record-extending 36th LaLiga crown on Saturday.

The Bavarians, however, have endured a disappointing domestic run and Tuchel will exit at the end of the season.

"Real Madrid are an amazing team but we need to be confident in ourselves and help each other, we can't be stuck or afraid. We need to make something positive from the pressure," Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said.

"Against a team like Real Madrid, it's the little things that matter. Nobody wants to make a mistake because both teams have very good offensive power."

Carlo Ancelotti believes Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich may come too soon for Thibaut Courtois following his recent return from injury.

The Belgium goalkeeper has missed the entire season due to a knee ligament injury, and required a further operation following a setback in March.

Courtois, who has been ruled out of Euro 2024 by Red Devils head coach Domenico Tedesco, made his first appearance of the campaign against Cadiz on Saturday, with the 31-year-old keeping a clean sheet in Madrid's 3-0 victory.

While he has been named in Madrid's matchday squad for the visit of Bayern, with whom they are locked at 2-2 in their gripping last-four tie, Ancelotti hinted he is likely to restore Andriy Lunin between the sticks.

"After such a big injury, you can’t change the plan because of a great performance," the Italian said during his pre-match press conference.

"Courtois needs time now to get to his best. He had a great game, with security and confidence, against Cadiz, but he has to get to his best."

Ancelotti also played down speculation of a rift between Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane, after the England team-mates appeared to exchange words as the Bayern striker prepared to take a penalty during last week's first leg.

"Jude is a fantastic guy, he respects everybody, and he has a great relationship with Harry Kane," the Madrid head coach added. "There are no problems."

Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid must play with greater intensity if they are to keep their hopes of a record-extending 15th European title alive, with their Champions League semi-final tie against Bayern Munich in the balance ahead of Wednesday's second leg.

Madrid were crowned champions of LaLiga with four matches to spare on Saturday, beating Cadiz 3-0 before watching their closest rivals Barcelona slip to a 4-2 defeat against Girona.

However, that success has not stopped Ancelotti from being critical of Madrid's performance in last week's first leg against Bayern, a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.

He has warned his players that they cannot afford another subpar performance if they want to contest the final at Wembley Stadium on June 1.

"We need a match with intensity, with pace... Looking at the first leg, defensively we could have done a lot more," Ancelotti said at Tuesday's pre-match press conference.

Bayer Leverkusen ended Bayern's 11-year Bundesliga reign by securing the league crown last month, but Ancelotti says that will only boost Bayern's motivation as they chase a seventh European title.

"We are similar clubs because they have a great history and a lot of success," Ancelotti said. "We have to respect our opponents because they did very well and were better than us in the first leg.

"We are very excited because it could be another magical night for us, but there is no optimism. We are aware of the difficulties that we are going to face."

Defender Dani Carvajal, who has already lifted the Champions League trophy five times with Los Blancos, believes the squad are brimming with confidence after going unbeaten through their last 42 games (excluding extra time).

He joked Ancelotti was "getting more and more fearful" each season but praised his coach's role in keeping the players focused on the task at hand. 

"There is euphoria because we are having a great year," Carvajal said.

"We are all very excited about the European Cup. We know it in the dressing room. In the street the fans congratulate us and give us a lot of encouragement to dream of winning it again.

"We are two games away from winning the Champions League. Ancelotti has kept our eyes open and we have all added up. That's what counts for us to achieve our objectives."

Zinedine Zidane has ruled out taking over at Bayern Munich, amid suggestions Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is also of interest to the Bundesliga giants.

Bayern have been frustrated in their search for a successor to Thomas Tuchel, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season after overseeing their first failure to win the Bundesliga since 2012.

Preferred candidate Xabi Alonso – who was also linked with Liverpool – has reaffirmed his commitment to Bayer Leverkusen, while Julian Nagelsmann decided to continue as Germany boss after being linked with a return to the Allianz Arena.

Ralf Rangnick was the latest coach to be linked with the Bavarian giants last week, only for the Austria boss to follow Alonso and Nagelsmann by saying he will stay in his current role.

That leaves Bayern back to square one in their bid to find a replacement for Tuchel, who has refused to rule out a dramatic U-turn. One man who will not be taking over, however, is Zidane.

While attending the Miami Grand Prix, the former Real Madrid coach was asked by Sky Sports Germany if he expected Los Blancos to overcome Bayern in the teams' Champions League semi-final tie.

Asked who he thought would reach the final, Zidane said: "Hopefully Madrid, but it's going to be a difficult game."

Zidane was then asked whether he was in contention for the Bayern job, to which he said: "No. I'm just going to watch the game."

Another man touted as a possible candidate to replace Tuchel, Julen Lopetegui, has reportedly agreed to take charge of West Ham at the end of the season.

On Sunday, a report from Sky Sports claimed the Bundesliga giants are also considering a surprise move for United boss Ten Hag, who coached Bayern's second team between 2013 and 2015.

Ten Hag has come under severe pressure this season with United facing a fight to qualify for the Europa League, but the Dutchman is reportedly uninterested in a move. 

Carlo Ancelotti knows Real Madrid's LaLiga title celebrations must be "contained" as they prepare to take on Bayern Munich.

Madrid were crowned LaLiga champions for a record-extending 36th time on Saturday, after Barcelona lost 4-2 to Girona.

The Blaugrana's defeat followed on from Madrid beating Cadiz 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Brahim Diaz, Jude Bellingham and Joselu were on target for Los Blancos, whose coach Ancelotti knows restraint is needed in his team's celebrations, with the Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern coming up on Wednesday.

"It's obviously a contained joy, because the most important game of the season is also very close, but we have to be happy," Ancelotti told Movistar Plus+ before the Barca game had been played.

"These games are difficult to prepare for, because you have Wednesday on your mind. But so far it's been spectacular, our team was steady, with hardly any mistakes. The advantage we have is well deserved.

"A big part [of Madrid's success] was achieved when we started to defend better, with a collective commitment.

"The effort put by the players up front was great, but the injuries early in the season helped us to realise that it wasn't about individuals but putting on a collective effort, and we did great."

Speaking to reporters in the mixed zone, Ancelotti said: "We are very good. It is the seventh victory in a row in the League, a spectacular one as a whole.

"We are very close to winning it and I think we are going to do it with merit.

"It is a celebration taking into account what has to happen on Wednesday. We are all happy with the match, but let's think about Bayern."

Thibaut Courtois, meanwhile, returned from his long injury lay-off to feature for the first time this season.

Ancelotti added: "Thibaut is a very important piece for this team, although [Andriy] Lunin has had a spectacular season and that is a lot of credit to Andriy. But Courtois has returned very well and was decisive. He is doing very well."

Real Madrid have been crowned LaLiga champions for a record-extending 36th time after Barcelona went down to Girona.

Madrid beat Cadiz 3-0 earlier on Saturday, but Carlo Ancelotti's team could still have been caught by Barca.

Yet the Blaugrana's slim hopes were ended when they lost 4-2 to Girona.

That ensured Los Blancos' lead at the top, with four games remaining, is unassailable.

Madrid have won 27 of their 34 league matches so far this season, losing just once.

Ancelotti's focus will now turn to the Champions League, with Madrid to host Bayern Munich in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.

Vinicius Junior's double secured a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Munich.

Bayern Munich defender Raphael Guerreiro is doubtful for next week's Champions League semi-final return leg at Real Madrid after he picked up an injury in their 3-1 loss to Stuttgart on Saturday, head coach Thomas Tuchel has said.

Bayern, who also had Eric Dier taken off at half-time with a head injury, face Real in Spain on Wednesday after their 2-2 draw in Munich earlier this week.

Portugal international Guerreiro was taken off in the 17th minute after he hurt his ankle in an attempt to block a shot.

"Raphael Guerreiro needed crutches to walk. It is very, very bitter for us. He was supposed to get some playing time today to be ready for Wednesday. Instead, now we have to see what happens," Tuchel told reporters.

"Eric Dier had to get stitches to the head wound that then opened up again so we at some point said it was enough. We did not want to risk it."

Bayern have several injury concerns, with defender Matthijs De Ligt still doing individual training and fellow defender Dayot Upamecano, who came on for Dier, working back to full fitness after recovering from injury.

"If there ever was a day when we needed to put this behind us quickly then it is today, and we see what we need for Wednesday," Tuchel said.

"The medical meetings at the moment are more maths than medical. Who is on 60 per cent, who on 30 per cent, who can't play at all," said the coach, who will leave at the end of the season following a disappointing domestic run.

Bayern are second in the league, two points ahead of Stuttgart in third and with two games left to play. The title has already been wrapped up by leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

Goals from Brahim Diaz, Jude Bellingham and Joselu earned LaLiga leaders Real Madrid a 3-0 win over lowly Cadiz.

Carlo Ancelotti's side will seal a record-extending 36th Spanish title later on Saturday if Barcelona fail to beat Girona.

With four games remaining, Real climbed to 87 points and extended their lead to 14 points over second-placed Barcelona and 16 clear Girona in third.

Real manager Ancelotti rested several key players ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich and his side did more than enough to secure the three points.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will make his first start of the season against Cadiz on Saturday after making a full recovery from two knee injuries, Carlo Ancelotti has revealed.

Ancelotti, however, will remain cautious with Courtois, who has not played since suffering torn ligaments 13 months ago, with Andriy Lunin set to return for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich.

"The decisive game we have in mind, a final, is Wednesday's match against Bayern, where Lunin will play. After that, we'll see what happens," Ancelotti said on Friday.

"Courtois is fine, he will play tomorrow after a long, long time. It's good news that he's coming back, just like [Eder] Militao. 

"Courtois can contribute, he's feeling good, he's very excited. We are delighted to have him back."

Lunin has established himself as Ancelotti's preferred deputy in Courtois' absence, seeing off competition from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Lunin was Madrid's hero as they beat Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals, making two saves in their 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory after an inspired performance in a 1-1 second-leg draw.

Courtois, however, is widely considered to be one of the world's best goalkeepers and the Belgian is likely to regain his starting spot soon, with a LaLiga and Champions League double in Madrid's sights.

He was named man-of-the-match in the 2022 Champions League final after making nine saves to deny Liverpool as Madrid clinched a record-extending 14th European title with a 1-0 win in Paris.

Brazil centre-back Militao returned in late March after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in August, making his first start in last week's win at Real Sociedad in LaLiga.

"We were too passive against Bayern. We have to be more active. So Militao will play tomorrow to get into a rhythm," Ancelotti said.

"We are only thinking about the 'final' on Wednesday. We don't think about what might happen in a month's time. Hopefully, soon we can start looking further ahead, it will mean we'll make the final in London."

With five games left, Ancelotti's side top the LaLiga standings on 84 points, 11 ahead of Barca and 13 clear of third-placed Girona. They can clinch a record-extending 36th Spanish title if they beat Cadiz and Barcelona fail to win at Girona later on Saturday.

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