For the latest from the pitch sign up for our football newsletter
Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel has launched a sensational swipe at Real Madrid, claiming the Champions League finalists "had no right" to reach the final at the expense of Manchester City.
Carlo Ancelotti's side progressed 6-5 on aggregate after a dramatic late turnaround at the Santiago Bernabeu. Man City had led on the night through Riyad Mahrez but a two-minute double salvo from Rodrygo in stoppage time took the game beyond 90 minutes, before Karim Benzema then struck home the winner from the penalty spot after being fouled by Ruben Dias.
Pep Guardiola was left to rue another missed opportunity to win the competition that continues to elude him since his last triumph in 2011 with Barcelona. And after watching City squander several opportunities in both legs, while Real took their precious few, Schmeichel claimed the Spanish giants did not warrant a place in the final.
"The first chance was the first goal in the 90th minute, the second goal was the second chance and the third goal was the third time they hit the target," the 58-year-old told CBS Sports post-match. "Real Madrid have got no right to be in that final. They were the poorest team by a mile over the two games.
"Man City were in full control but it's that one moment we talked about that. We talked about how that stadium in there could be the 12th man. When they started that second half, that chance after just eight seconds it was like they set the whole place on fire and it was just unbelievable.
"I feel a little bit sorry for Manchester City, I have to say that because I thought apart from that goal in the 90th minute they played really well, they had everything under control. Rodri in midfield was awesome tonight and I'm not going to criticise anything, but if you lose a player like Kevin De Bruyne and the game turns out in the way it does then you miss him in that last 30 minutes and he was sorely missed.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Which team will be crowned Champions League winners, Real Madrid or Liverpool? Tell us why in the comments section.
"But I mean my God! Real Madrid, where does that come from? I have absolutely no idea. They didn't play well. Predicting this Champions League has been very, very difficult. I had Bayern Munich winning it and they got knocked out in the quarter-finals."
It seems that memories are rather short in football, particularly in Schmeichel's case. If Real got their smash-and-grab gameplan from anyone, it was surely Sir Alex Ferguson's Treble-winning side that provided the inspiration. Trailing 1-0 to Bayern Munich heading into stoppage time, United scored from two corner routines in stoppage time through Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to snatch victory from the German giants' grasp. The Dane played a key role for the Red Devils in that side, so if anyone knows what good fortune looks like, it is Schmeichel.
One can only picture the crimson-coloured rage of Schmeichel if someone were to argue United didn't deserve their success that year. Real have also beaten Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and now favourites Man City to get to the May 27 final in Paris, and to suggest they do not deserve the chance to secure their 14th European Cup trophy is bizarre and downright hypocritical.
- Manchester City FC
- Real Madrid FC
- Champions League
Source: Read Full Article