The 2022-23 UEFA Champions League draw is happening this week in Istanbul, so we’re revisiting the action from last year’s tournament ahead of the action on Thursday.
The UCL always offers some exciting soccer, and last season was no exception as Real Madrid defied the odds to secure their 14th overall Champions League title. Karim Benzema had himself a ridiculous tournament, scoring 15 goals as the La Liga giants won their first UCL trophy since 2018.
Los Blancos cruised to a first-place finish in the group stage, winning five of their six matches and losing only one to finish on top of Group D with 15 points. Their lone loss in the group stage came against Sheriff Tiraspol, as the Moldovan side was able to grab a 2-1 win. Real Madrid only let one more goal in throughout the rest of the group stage, when they defeated Shakhtar Donetsk with a 2-1 score.
From there, Madrid put on performance after performance against top teams, as Benzema scored a hat trick against Paris Saint-Germain after losing the first leg 1-0. They toppled PSG with a 3-2 aggregate score in the Round of 16, followed by Benzema logging yet another hat trick in the first leg of the quarterfinals against Chelsea in a 3-1 win. The Blues mounted a comeback in the second leg, finishing 3-1 in regular time but Benzema found the winner in extra time to send Chelsea packing.
Benzema then scored three goals against Manchester City in the semifinals, although it was spread across both legs this time. City came out on top with a 4-3 win in the first leg, and looked like they were going to head to the final after Riyad Mahrez made it a 5-3 aggregate in the 73rd minute of the the second leg. Madrid worked their magic again as Rodrygo scored two straight goals after the 90th minute to tie the series up at 5-5, sending it into extra time as Benzema yet again found the winner in the 95th minute.
Finally, Real Madrid met up with EPL side Liverpool in the final — a rematch of the 2018 final that saw the Spanish side end up with a 3-1 win just four years ago. This time it was closer, but Madrid got a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Vinicius Jr. to secure their 14th UCL title.
Los Blancos will look to defend their title as the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League tournament gets underway in September.