Champions League Semi-Finals Review: Dortmund and Real Madrid are heading to Wembley!

In a pulsating display of football prowess, the Champions League semi-finals have concluded with two iconic clubs receiving their tickets to the grand stage at Wembley. Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, amidst moments of sheer brilliance and heart-stopping drama, have emerged victorious from their respective battles. Dortmund, defying the odds, held PSG at bay with a gritty 1-0 victory in both legs, dashing Mbappé’s dreams of European glory with the Parisian outfit.

Meanwhile, in a clash of titans, Real Madrid showcased their trademark resilience to narrowly edge past Bayern Munich, crafting yet another chapter in the storied legacy of Los Blancos. As the footballing world holds its breath in anticipation, the stage is set for a captivating finale at Wembley, where dreams will collide and destinies will be forged in the fiery crucible of competition.

This Final at Wembley will be a special one, with it being the last Champions League Final in its current format. As of next season, the Champions League will take on a new format which will see more group-stage games, more teams, more action, and, hopefully, even more excitement.

PSG 0-1 Borussia Dortmund (0-2)

Kylian Mbappé has tried and tried, but it seems that he’ll never win a Champions League with PSG. The French side will not want to look back at the xG statistics. In the second leg alone, PSG’s was 3.25 whilst Dortmund’s was just 0.74. They had 30 shots and even hit the woodwork four times. It wasn’t their night. They just couldn’t score.

Praise has to go to Dortmund though. They were excellent. Their shape was compact and they made things difficult for PSG. Ian Maatsen, Jadon Sancho, and Mats Hummels especially were sensational over the two legs.

Dortmund are now in the Champions League Final for the first time in 11 years, since they faced Bayern Munich. That game was played at Wembley as well. They lost, but they’ll be fired up to turn the tide in their favor this time.

Borussia Dortmund's team in 2013, about to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final at Wembley.
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (4-3)

Wow. Real Madrid once again. They just can’t be stopped in Europe. The first leg was a thriller, ending 2-2 as the fixture headed back to Madrid. All of the early pressure came from Los Blancos yet it was Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich who opened the scoring. The clock continued on ticking. With 88 minutes gone, super sub-Joselu slotted one in to ensure extra time. Yet that extra time was never needed as Joselu slotted in a second goal in the 91st minute to enrapture the Bernabeu faithful and send Madrid into the final.

Champions League Best Players

Mats Hummels – Borussia Dortmund

Hummels was imperious. He worked out how to keep Mbappé at bay, something that not many center-backs can claim to do. Two games, zero goals conceded against a world-class attack. It was Hummels who scored for Borussia Dortmund in the second leg with a powerful header which put them in the clear. The 35-year-old Hummels isn’t getting any younger, it would be nice for him to win the Champions League for the first time.

Mats Hummels is a natural leader!

Joselu – Real Madrid

Will Joselu ever have a better ten minutes in his life? I doubt it. I’m not sure anyone will. The Spanish striker has come under scrutiny this season for not performing at the same level as the stars in the team, such as Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Jr. Yet Joselu has proved his worth. Strikers score important goals, and Joselu has scored two of the most important goals of the season in front of the adoring Bernabeu.

Real Madrid's Joselu Heatmap

Toni Kroos – Real Madrid

He knows how to play football this Toni Kroos, and he knows how to control a game. He dictated the flow and tempo for large parts of this game, against a formidable opponent. He completed 93% of his passes and 90% of his long balls. He created four chances for his teammates. He led by example. Real Madrid aren’t going to have Kroos for much longer, so they must appreciate him whilst he’s still performing at the top level.

Toni Kroos was excellent in both legs against his old team Bayern Munich.
(Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images)

By Nicky Helfgott / @NickyH3lfgott on Twitter

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