Marcelo admitted the ball touched his hand inside the penalty area amid Bayern Munich appeals as titleholders Real Madrid reached a third consecutive Champions League final.
Two-time reigning champions Madrid booked their ticket to Kiev thanks to an enthralling 2-2 draw in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, where the Spanish giants progressed 4-3 on aggregate.
The success was not without controversy in the Spanish capital after Madrid left-back Marcelo was fortunate not to be penalised for handling the ball on the stroke of half-time.
With the score locked at 1-1 on the night, Joshua Kimmich – who opened the scoring in the third minute – delivered a cross from the right wing, the ball striking Marcelo’s hand, though Bayern’s appeals fell on deaf ears.
“If I tell you that it [the ball] has not touched my hand, I’m a liar,” Marcelo said afterwards.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) May 1, 2018
Karim Benzema starred for Madrid in a timely return to form, though it was Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich who proved decisive.
Benzema’s close-range header cancelled out Kimmich’s opener and the Frenchman was at it again just 21 seconds into the second half when Ulreich misjudged a back-pass and gifted Madrid a 2-1 lead.
James Rodriguez – on a two-year loan spell from Madrid – equalised just past the hour-mark but Bayern were unable to find the pivotal third goal as Madrid were left awaiting either Liverpool or Roma in the Champions League decider on May 26.
“I’m very happy for Keylor [Navas] and Karim, they deserved to have a match like that. Football is sometimes difficult, you’re fine and fail, I’m happy for them,” Marcelo said.
“I do not think Karim is thinking about taking a burden off, he works a lot to help the team. We all have bad nights. In football one day you score two goals and other days fail, some days they applaud you and others whistle you.”
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