Like New York City's hottest club, Tuesday's second-leg quarterfinal matchups at the UEFA Champions League had everything.
Real Madrid's extra-time victory in aggregate, 5-4, after Chelsea initially erased a 3-1 aggregate deficit with three straight goals. Villarreal's unthinkable 1-1 draw that pushed it to a 2-1 victory on aggregate over Bayern Munich. Controversial VAR rulings and questionable refereeing decisions. Some of the most beautiful goals you'll see.
We'll get into the specifics below. But if you love the beautiful game, this was a day to remember.
Winner: Samuel Chukwueze
Calling Samuel Chukwueze a super sub would be doing him a disservice. With one beautiful finish on a Villarreal counter, he became a club legend.
Here's the moment he ended Bayern's UCL campaign:
And here's what it meant:
Unai Emery could be easily listed as a winner on the day as well, as his tactics led his prohibitive underdog squad to a stunning result, on the road, on Tuesday. But it was Chukwueze's goal that was the definitive moment.
Loser: Julian Nagelsmann
This one is going to sting the Bavarians for a long, long time.
Bayern Munich's inability to secure a victory, at home, with its significant talent advantage can't be considered anything short of a massive failure. And it's a failure that will rest at the feet of first-year manager Julian Nagelsmann.
Bayern Munich is well on its way to winning a 10th straight Bundesliga title, so all is not lost for Nagelsmann. But domestic titles are old hat for Bayern Munich at this point. The real prize is UCL glory, and Nagelsmann's charges let it slip away against an opponent they should have beaten.
Winner: Real Madrid's Resolve
You could easily single out Karim Benzema here for his extra-time winner, another stroke of genius in a career full of them:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Only 5 players in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> history have scored 7+ KO stage goals in a single season. Karim Benzema joins the list.<br><br>🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo (3 times)<br>🇦🇷 Lionel Messi<br>🇸🇳 Sadio Mané<br>🇧🇷 Neymar<br>🇫🇷 Karim Benzema <a href="https://t.co/ATLwWzgy3P">pic.twitter.com/ATLwWzgy3P</a>
Or how about Luka Modric, who had the assist of the tournament on the equalizing goal:
But the entire Real Madrid squad deserves a shout after coming into Tuesday with a 3-1 advantage on aggregate, promptly gave up three goals, sucked it up and found a way to stave off defeat and put Chelsea away in added time.
Los Blancos could have easily folded under that adversity against the defending UCL champions. Instead, they found a way. A special night for the most successful club in Champions League history.
Loser: Chelsea's Chance to Repeat
The Blues had them. With just 15 minutes to play, unlikely hero Timo Werner gave them a 3-0 advantage, and all Chelsea had to do was hold on.
It could not.
Perhaps there was some karma in the loss. Toni Rudiger's second-half goal, Chelsea's second of the game, should have never happened after coming off a corner that should have instead been a goal kick.
Chelsea fans will argue that Marcos Alonso's disallowed goal shortly after evened things out:
But it all would have been moot, regardless, if Chelsea had held the lead. With the chance to move on to the semifinals, the Blues were undone by the brilliance of Modric and Benzema.
In the process, they lost the chance to become the first repeat UCL champions since Real Madrid pulled off the feat three straight times between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons. Before that, the last repeat winner was AC Milan in 1988-89 and 1989-90.
Perhaps it was only fitting, then, that Los Blancos personally ended Chelsea's bid.