Real Madrid book Champions League final spot with 9/10 games from Karim Benzema, Keylor Navas
Real Madrid find themselves in the Champions League final again but were forced to suffer against Bayern Munich in a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
Two goals from Karim Benzema were enough to see Los Blancos through despite an early strike from Joshua Kimmich and a James Rodriguez equaliser in the second half, leaving the aggregate score 4-3 in Real's favour.
Real Madrid are in pole position to be crowned European champions again. There are very few other positives to take from this game for Zinedine Zidane and company as they were under the cosh for most of the second half but still found a way to qualify for the decider in Kiev on May 26.
Real Madrid had to suffer for their place in the final. There is plenty to ponder for Zidane as Bayern Munich dominated the game and were unlucky not to topple the hosts on the night. They looked weak defensively and will have to improve if they have any hopes of winning their third Champions League title on the trot.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Zidane made a massive call by dropping Casemiro in place of Mateo Kovacic as his most defensive midfielder. There are still plenty of question marks surrounding Real Madrid, but they found a way into the Champions League final despite how poorly they played.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Keylor Navas, 9 -- The Costa Rica international made an important save from Robert Lewandowski in the first half, plus a couple of excellent stops in the second half too as he proved to be the hero for Real Madrid.
DF Lucas Vazquez, 6 -- Tasked with playing out of position. Never convinced but kept Franck Ribery quiet on the wing.
DF Sergio Ramos, 7 -- Played a real captain's role at the back for Los Blancos. Made a mess of the opening goal but improved after that with several important clearances.
DF Raphael Varane, 6 -- Looked like he injured himself in the first half but battled through it. Struggled against Bayern's onslaught.
DF Marcelo, 6 -- Provided the assist for Benzema's first goal. Lucky not to concede a penalty in the first half for a handball and struggled defensively like the rest his team.
MF Mateo Kovacic, 5 -- Failed to get up to speed with the game. Trusted by Zidane but never really made an impact. Replaced for Casemiro after 73 minutes.
MF Toni Kroos, 6 -- Another player who was swamped by Bayern's attack. Failed to impose himself on the game.
MF Luka Modric, 8 -- One of Real Madrid's better players. Tried to inflict damage on Bayern's defence and looked good on the ball.
MF Marco Asensio, 5 -- Made no impact whatsoever and while he looked dangerous on the counter, he failed to take advantage of his chance in the starting lineup.
MF Karim Benzema, 9 -- Responded well to critics with two goals. Saw very little of the ball but was clinical with both finishes.
FW Cristiano Ronaldo, 5 -- Barely involved. Missed a sitter in the second half that would have put the game to bed and won't be happy with his general input.
FW Gareth Bale, NR -- Replaced Karim Benzema after 73 minutes. Worked well on the counter but didn't really have any say on the game.
MF Casemiro, NR -- Came on for Kovacic after 73 minutes. Struggled to make an impact.
DF Nacho Fernandez, NR -- Replaced Asensio late on. More of a tactical substitution than anything else. Helped Real Madrid seal things up at the end but had no real impact.
Robbie is based in Madrid and is one of ESPN FC's Real Madrid bloggers. Twitter: @robbiejdunne