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Champions League final: Borussia Dortmund & Real Madrid's road to Wembley

Real Madrid will bid to claim a record-extending 15th Champions League crown when they face Germany’s Borussia Dortmund in the 2024 final at Wembley Stadium in London.

Los Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti is the most decorated manager in the competition's history with four wins, two with AC Milan and two with Real, and he guided the Spanish giants to their last title in 2022 when they overcame Liverpool in the final. 

Borussia Dortmund claimed their one Champions League title back in 1997 as a first half double from Karl-Heinz Riedle set them on their way to a 3-1 win over Juventus.

Dortmund also finished as runners-up in 2013 when they were beaten 2-1 in the all-Bundesliga final by Bayern Munich.

Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

Group stage

Borussia Dortmund

Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 AC Milan
Newcastle United 0-1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Newcastle United
AC Milan 1-3 Borussia Dortmund 
Borussia Dortmund 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain

BVB were drawn in what looked to be this season’s ‘group of death’ alongside PSG, AC Milan and Newcastle United and they made a rocky start.

Dortmund kicked off their bid with a 2-0 defeat in Paris and were then held to a goalless stalemate at home by Milan, but a pair of wins over Newcastle kickstarted their challenge.

The German outfit won in Milan and then held PSG to a draw at the Westfalenstadion to secure top spot in the group ahead of the French champions. 

Real Madrid

Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin
Napoli 2-3 Real Madrid
Braga 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 3-0 Braga
Real Madrid 4-2 Napoli
Union Berlin 2-3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid were handed what looked to be a favourable draw in Group C and that proved to be the case as they came through the first round with a perfect record of six wins in six games.

Los Blancos did fall behind in both meetings with 2022/23 Scudetto winners Napoli and at Union Berlin, but they managed to fight back and win all of their group stage assignments - scoring 16 goals in the process.  

Round of 16

Borussia Dortmund

PSV Eindhoven 1-1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 2-0 PSV
Borussia Dortmund won 3-1 on aggregate

Donyell Malen gave Dortmund a first half lead in the first leg in the Netherlands but Edin Terzic’s side were pegged back as a Luuk de Jong penalty ensured the tie was all square going into the second leg in Germany.

Jadon Sancho, making his second European appearance for Dortmund since returning to the club from Manchester United, gave BVB a lead inside the first three minutes of the second leg and Marco Reus killed the tie off in the dying stages.

There were a few nervy moments for Dortmund as they defended a one-goal advantage but ultimately they prevailed 3-1 against PSV. 

Real Madrid

RB Leipzig 0-1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1-1 RB Leipzig
Real Madrid won 2-1 on aggregate

Real were drawn against Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig in the last 16 and they edged a close game away from him in the first leg thanks to Brahim’s effort just after half-time.

Leipzig refused to lie down, however, and they dominated for large periods at the Bernabeu. Vinicius Jr’s second half goal briefly looked to have put the tie to bed but Willi Orban’s effort levelled matters on the night just three minutes later.

Leipzig continued to attack but they were unable to draw level and Real clung on to record a 2-1 aggregate win.

Quarter-finals

Borussia Dortmund

Atletico Madrid 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund 4-2 Atletico Madrid
Borussia Dortmund won 5-4 on aggregate

Rodrigo De Paul gave Atletico Madrid an early lead at the Metropolitano in the Spanish capital and just after the half hour mark Los Colchoneros doubled their advantage through Samuel Lino.

Substitute Sabastien Haller pulled a goal back for Dortmund late on in Madrid to keep the tie in the balance.

Julian Brandt restored parity and BVB claimed the lead for the first time through Ian Maatsen in the first half of the second leg but Atleti responded after the restart.

A Mats Hummels own goal levelled things up once again and the La Liga outfit went 4-3 up on aggregate thanks to Angel Correa on 64 minutes.

However, Dortmund turned the tie on its head once again as Niclas Fullkrug equalised on 71 minutes and three minutes later Marcel Sabitzer scored a decisive fourth for Dortmund to wrap up a 4-2 win and a 5-3 aggregate success. 

Real Madrid

Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City
Manchester City 1-1 Real Madrid
4-4 on aggregate Real Madrid won 4-3 on penalties 

Manchester City beat Real Madrid 5-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals last season but Real managed to take their revenge this year.

Bernardo Silva gave City a lead after just two minutes in the first leg in Madrid but Los Blancos had taken a 2-1 lead by the 14th minutes after a frantic start, courtesy of a Ruben Dias own goal and a Rodrygo effort.

Second half goals from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol saw City take the lead but Federico Valverde was on target for the hosts as the two big guns played out a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Rodrygo’s early effort on the counter in Manchester looked as if it may prove decisive as City were unable to break Real down in a backs-to-the-wall effort from the Spaniards but Kevin De Bruyne forced the game into extra time.

Neither side was able to come up with a winner in the additional period and spot kicks were required. Luka Modric missed the opener for Real but the rest of their players all scored, while Silva and Mateo Kovacic missed for the Premier League champions.   

Semi-finals

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund won 2-0 on aggregate 

BVB came up against Group F rivals Paris Saint-Germain in the last four and they secured their first win over the Ligue 1 champions in the first leg.

Sancho proved to be a consistent thorn in the side of the PSG defence as Fullkrug scored the only goal of the game in the first half.

Dortmund came under immense pressure in the return leg in the French capital as PSG managed 31 attempts in total but they struggled to hit the target and when they did they found BVB keeper Gregor Kobel in inspired form.

BVB managed to create some breathing space in the second half when Hummels headed home a Brandt corner as they held on to secure a 2-0 aggregate win and a place in the final. 

Real Madrid

Bayern Munich 2-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich
Real Madrid won 4-3 on aggregate

Vinicius Jr struck first in Germany against Bayern Munich but the Bavarians seized the advantage early in the second half as Leroy Sane equalised and then Harry Kane scored from the spot.

Bayern appeared on course to reach the final when Alphonso Davies broke the deadlock with just over 20 minutes remaining at the Bernabeu, but Real produced an incredible comeback.

With nine minutes of normal time remaining, Ancelotti brought on Joselu to replace Valverde in what proved to be an inspired move.

The former Newcastle and Stoke striker, on loan at Real for the season from Espanyol, pounced on a Manuel Neuer error to equalise on 88 minutes and in injury time he swept home from close range to send Real to Wembley.

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