Real Madrid Claims 14th UEFA Champions League Title
Real Madrid claimed a record-extending 14th UEFA Champions League title after beating Liverpool 1-0 in the final, courtesy of a goal from Vinicius Junior at the Stade de France in Paris.
The game kicked-off after a 36-minute delay following incidents outside the stadium when fans were tear-gassed by riot police as people without tickets tried to force their way in.
Liverpool started with Senegalese international Sadio Mane in attack, supported by Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz. The Spanish champions had Karim Benzema up-front, with Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde supporting on the flanks.
Liverpool came out the better of the two sides as they dominated early in the game. The English side created chances through Salah, Thiago Alcantara and Mane. However, Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois did excellently to deny Liverpool.
Real’s only chance of the first half gave Liverpool a huge scare but Benzema’s effort was ruled out after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled that he was offside, being played in by Federico Valverde despite Fabinho’s deflection.
Liverpool were back at it early in the second half but Real soaked up the pressure until they struck in the 59th minute.
It started when Luka Modric turned away from Andrew Robertson to create space and ended with Valverde’s perfect pass across to the far post, which found Vinicius Junior. The Brazilian put the ball into the net to give Madrid the lead, sending the fans into a frenzy.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 28, 2022
Courtois then dived to superbly tip Salah’s curled attempt away from goal to keep Real ahead.
The Belgian keeper was brilliant again to deny Salah 10 minutes from time before his delighted team mates jumped into his arms to show their gratitude at the final whistle as the match finished 1-0 to the Real Madrid.
It was the Spanish Champions’ fourth UEFA Champions League crown in seven years as they improved their impressive record in the competition with their eighth victory in as many finals.
In a battle of European heavyweights, Juergen Klopp’s side had more opportunities but lacked sharpness when it mattered as Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach to enjoy double Champions League success with two clubs having triumphed with AC Milan.
“I am a record man. I had luck to come here last year and have a fantastic season. A fantastic club, a really good squad with a lot of quality and mental character,” said Real Madrid coach Ancelotti, who came from behind against Paris St Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City to reach the final.
Liverpool were looking for their seventh European Cup triumph, but despite their best efforts they were left in awe of Courtois’s sublime performance.
“In the dressing room nobody feels it was a great season at this moment,” said Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, whose team beat Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup and League Cup.
“We played a good game, not a perfect game, but I don’t think a perfect game would have been possible the way the opponent was set up with a deep formation.”
“We had a lot of shots but not the clearest and Thibaut Courtois made two top saves.”
Liverpool had won the previous European Cup final both teams had played in Paris, winning 1-0 at the Parc des Princes in 1981, which was Real Madrid’s last defeat in a final.
It was meant to be a different outcome this time with Liverpool slight favourites. However, Madrid beat the Merseyside club for the second time in Paris after their 3-1 victory in the UEFA Champions League final in 2018.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) May 28, 2022
Chidi Nwoke/Reuters/UEFA/Real Madrid.