Sven Ulreich’s huge error ultimately proved decisive as Real Madrid progressed to the Champions League final thanks to a 2-2 draw in an enthralling semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 last week in the first leg at the Allianz Arena, and sealed their progression with a 4-3 aggregate triumph despite an unconvincing performance on Tuesday.
Bayern took the lead in the third minute, Joshua Kimmich opening the scoring following a mistake by Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.
The hosts were quick to reply but it was Karim Benzema and not Cristiano Ronaldo, making an outfield record 152nd appearance in the competition, who took centre stage.
Benzema’s close-range header ensured Madrid’s deficit lasted only eight minutes, and 21 seconds into the second half he was presented with a gift when Ulreich misjudged a back-pass from Corentin Tolisso.
There was another twist as James Rodriguez, on a two-year loan spell at Bayern from Madrid, leveled the tie on the night with a goal he did not celebrate but, despite intense pressure from the away team, Zinedine Zidane’s men held on to move within a win of a third successive European title, and now await Liverpool or Roma in the Kiev final on May 26.