Bayern Munich was the better side, but Sven Ulrich inexplicably coughed up what proved to be the decisive goal just 28 seconds after halftime as a Karim Benzema brace secured a draw at the Santiago Bernabeu and sent Real Madrid to the Champions League final. Marcelo delivered a delicious cross to the far post where Karim Benzema had lost David Alaba, and the Frenchman scored just his third Champions League goal of the campaign to bring Real Madrid back level.
Bayern still created chances before and after Rodriguez's goal. Despite a goal from Colombian James Rodríguez in the 63rd minute of the 2-2 second leg, Bayern couldn't overcome a flurry of head-scratching mistakes.
With the German side feeling confident after the break, their hearts were broken just 28 seconds into the second half. The Frenchman was set up on a attractive assist from left-back Marcelo, who dropped it right in front of goal.
The tone was set for a remarkably open contest within the first three minutes, Thomas Müller's right-wing cross only half-blocked by Sergio Ramos and breaking kindly off Corentin Tolisso for Joshua Kimmich - who also struck in the first leg - to slot in.
Bayern found consistent space on the left side of the field, almost forcing Madrid head man Zinedine Zidane to make a very early defensive sub. James stuck out his foot to almost convert right in front of goal after Robert Lewandowski's effort was blocked by Madrid goalie Keylor Navas, who was again brilliant.
"It's an excellent delivery, Ramos gets it wrong and they're on the second balls in the box". Bayern players were rightly infuriated that there was no penalty awarded. Benzema might not always get the credit he deserves, but his work rate, tenacity and goal contributions are crucial to this Madrid team.
Anything less than a victory tonight will see the Bundesliga champions firmly extinguished from this season's Champions League.
The record books will show that Real Madrid reached their 16th European Cup final and could lift a third consecutive trophy when they potentially play Liverpool in what would be a repeat of the 1981 final, which was settled by Alan Kennedy's late goal.
They face off in Rome on Thursday morning (AEST), with Liverpool holding a comfortable 5-2 advantage on aggregate.