Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeChampions LeagueChampions League Awards: Joselu rescues Real!

Champions League Awards: Joselu rescues Real!

Our Champions League awards honour the best – and worst – of the competition’s semi-final action this week.

Moment of the Week

Real Madrid’s remarkable record in this competition continues as the record winners booked their place in another Champions League final.

Not for the first time, Real made hard work of it. Rodrygo’s late brace had turned their semi-final on its ahead against Manchester City two years ago and the Spanish side were thankful for another dramatic double in the last four once again.

Joselu came off the bench to rescue Real, turning in from Manuel Neuer’s error on 88 minutes, before converting a stoppage-time winner to spark wild celebrations at the Bernabeu.

There’s a magic about Real Madrid on this stage.

Player of the Week

Who would have thought it? Real Madrid, a team that in the past and present has been home to some of world football’s greatest names, a club who has long been famed for Galactico signings, rescued on the biggest stage by the most unlikely of additions.

Joselu’s résumé before this season included no trophies, underwhelming Premier League spells at Newcastle and Stoke, and back-to-back La Liga relegations in each of the last two seasons.

A stop-gap signing on loan from second-tier Espanyol in the summer, the 34-year-old has responded with 17 goals this season, none more important than his match-winning brace deep into the Champions League semi-finals this week.

What a story.

An honourable mention must go to Mats Hummels. Man-of-the-match performances in both legs against Paris Saint-Germain, the veteran defender will return to Wembley for a Champions League final, 11 years after forming part of the Dortmund side who last reached the decider.

He might be no spring chicken anymore, but class is permanent.

Goal of the Week

Bayern Munich’s season will end without silverware for the first time since 2011/12, after exiting the Champions League at Real Madrid.

The German giants were minutes from a place in the final, leading until the 88th minute through Alphonso Davies’ delightful drive. The Canadian had never previously scored a Champions League goal, and he’s unlikely to score a better one.

Photo of the Week

Marcos Reus will end his 12-year spell at Borussia Dortmund in the summer. The club great’s final game in Black and Yellow will be a Champions League final.

Iconic, indeed.

Save of the Week

Manuel Neuer’s semi-final performance will, sadly, be remembered for the error that handed Real Madrid a late equaliser.

Up until that point, the goalkeeping great had produced a masterclass keep out Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. The 38-year-old made a string of saves, including this double-stop with the game goalless.

It’s a fine line between hero and villain status for goalkeepers.

Stat of the Week

Tweet of the Week

Elsewhere, when it came to post-game shithousery, Borussia Dortmund hadn’t forgotten a previous trip to Paris…

Read – Tuchel bemoans Bayern ‘betrayal’ after linesman controversy

See more – Hummels confident Dortmund can be crowned European champions

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