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What result do Real Madrid need to make the final and what happens in the case of a draw?

Real Madrid face Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabéu in the second leg of the 21/22 Champions League semi-final with the tie delicately poised from the 4-3 game in Manchester.

Champions League - Semi Final - First Leg - Manchester City v Real Madrid
LEE SMITHAction Images via Reuters

Real Madrid managed to survive Manchester City’s flurry of chances in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final last Tuesday at the Etihad with De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva scoring the four goals for the home side. Vinicius and Benzema (2) pulled three back for Ancelotti’s men and the 4-3 scoreline leaves only one option for Los Blancos. They have to win tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu. With the change to the away goals rule, the three goals in Manchester fail to have the value of three goals in recent years with Madrid having to win by two clear goals to progress.

Manchester City's Portuguese defender Ruben Dias
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Manchester City's Portuguese defender Ruben DiasPAUL ELLISGetty

Away goals abandoned

UEFA decided last June that the away goals counting double rule would become a thing of the past. “The impact of the rule went against its original purpose, as it discouraged home teams, especially in first legs, from attacking because they feared conceding a goal that would give their opponents a crucial advantage. There is also criticism of the unfairness, especially in extra time, of forcing the home side to score twice when the visitors have scored,” defended Alexander Ceferin, president of Europe’s top soccer body.

Tonight, any one-goal win for Madrid (1-0, 2-1, 5-4, etc.) would take the match straight to extra time. Should the tie remain level after this additional 30 minutes, then a penalty shootout would be used to decide the winner.

Josep Guardiola with Carlo Ancelotti,
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Josep Guardiola with Carlo Ancelotti,Martin RoseDiarioAS

The general feeling from fans and pundits alike is that the removal of the away goal rule has led to more open contests from the Round of 16 onwards with the Madrid-PSG clash being a case in point. The French side secured a 1-0 win in Paris and after Mbappé's first half goal, in previous times, Madrid would have faced the uphill psychological task of having to score three with the away goal set to count double in the case of Madrid only scoring two in the game. As it happened, Ancelotti’s side bagged three second half goals to record a famous win and advance to the quarter-final stage of the 2021-22 competition.