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Real Madrid's road to the Champions League final

Sports Mole takes a closer look at Real Madrid's route to the 2022 Champions League final.

Real Madrid will be looking to win a 14th European Cup when they take on Liverpool in the final of the competition on Saturday night.

Los Blancos are comfortably the most successful team in the history of this tournament, lifting the trophy on 13 occasions, including in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The capital giants beat Liverpool 3-1 in the 2018 final, with Gareth Bale scoring a second-half brace for Real Madrid, who are bidding to win a double this term, having secured the La Liga title at the end of last month.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti has been rotating his squad over the last few weeks to keep his players fresh for the final, but the same cannot be said for Liverpool, who were just pipped to the Premier League title by Manchester City last weekend.

Here, Sports Mole has taken a look at Real Madrid's route to the final, which saw them top Group D before overcoming Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in the knockout rounds.

Group stage (Top of Group D)

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates scoring their second goal against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on October 19, 2021© Reuters

Real Madrid started their Group D campaign with an impressive 1-0 win over Inter Milan at San Siro, but they were then shocked by Sheriff Tiraspol in their first home group fixture, suffering a 2-1 defeat.

Los Blancos managed to recover from the incredible loss by winning each of their next four games, though, scoring seven times in a double over Shakhtar Donetsk before gaining revenge on Sheriff by recording a 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture in Tiraspol.

Ancelotti's team then made it a double over Inter by running out 2-0 winners at Bernabeu, with Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio on the scoresheet for the capital giants.

Real Madrid topped Group D with 15 points, having won five and lost one of their six matches, scoring 14 times and conceding just three in the process.

Round of 16 (vs. Paris Saint-Germain)

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema celebrate a goal against Paris Saint-Germain on March 9, 2022© Reuters

PSG recorded a 1-0 victory in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Paris, with Kylian Mbappe, who has since rejected a switch to Bernabeu, netting the only goal of the fixture in the 94th minute.

Mbappe scored again for the French champions in the 39th minute of the second leg to hand Real Madrid a mountain to climb, but a stunning final 30 minutes from Ancelotti's side saw them turn the tie around.

Indeed, Karim Benzema scored three times, including twice in the space of two minutes late on, to allow the most successful team in the history of the European Cup to record a 3-2 aggregate success.

Quarter-finals (vs. Chelsea)

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo celebrates scoring against Chelsea on April 12, 2022.© Reuters

Real Madrid's reward for beating PSG was a quarter-final against the holders Chelsea, and the Spanish giants were brilliant in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, running out 3-1 winners, with Benzema scoring another treble, while Kai Havertz registered for the Blues in the 40th minute.

A stunning second leg at Bernabeu saw Chelsea score three times without reply through Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner in the first 75 minutes to put them on the brink of the semi-finals.

However, Rodrygo managed to send the match into extra-time by registering in the 80th minute before Benzema came up with what proved to be the decisive goal in the 96th minute.

Real Madrid lost the second leg 3-2 but were able to progress to the semi-finals courtesy of a 5-4 success, but they would have to beat another top English side to make the final.

Semi-finals (vs. Manchester City)

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their third goal on March 9, 2022© Reuters

A brilliant first leg between the two sides at Etihad Stadium finished with Man City winning 4-3; the Citizens led 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 on the night, but Los Blancos refused to be blown away, answering back on each occasion, with Benzema netting twice, while Vinicius Junior was also on the scoresheet.

It was advantage Man City ahead of the second leg, and it took another late show from Ancelotti's side to allow them to advance to the final once again.

Indeed, when Riyad Mahrez scored in the 73rd minute of the clash at Bernabeu, the Citizens were 5-3 ahead on aggregate, but Rodrygo came off the bench to score twice in the space of a minute in the final exchanges to send the semi-final into extra-time.

It was then left to Benzema to decide the tie from the penalty spot, dispatching his effort in the 95th minute to secure a 6-5 aggregate success, making it another English scalp for Los Blancos this term.

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Vinicius Junior in action for Real Madrid in October 2021
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