Real Madrid won a record 14th European Cup by beating Liverpool 1-0 in a Champions League final delayed for more than half an hour after police tried to stop people trying to break in by force in the Stade de France on Saturday.
Vinicius Junior scored just before the hour mark with Real’s first attempt on goal and their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made several fine saves to deprive Liverpool, who end the season with two domestic cups having also failed to win the Premier League. League.
In a European heavyweight battle, Juergen Klopp’s side had more chances but lacked sharpness when it mattered as Carlo Ancelotti became the first manager to claim four European Cup triumphs after winning the trophy with AC Milan and Real twice, ahead of Liverpool’s Bob Paisley and Real’s Zinedine. Zidane.
“I’m a record holder. I was lucky to come here last year and have a fantastic season. A fantastic club, a very good team with a lot of quality and mental character,” Ancelotti said of a team that came from behind against Paris. St Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City to reach the final.
It was La Liga title-holders Real’s fourth Champions League crown in seven years, as they improved on their impressive record in the competition with their eighth victory in as many finals.
Liverpool were looking for their seventh European Cup triumph but despite their best efforts were impressed with Courtois’ sublime performance.
“In the dressing room nobody thinks it’s been a great season right now,” said Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, whose side beat Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup and FA Cup. League.
“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.”
The final was to be played in St Petersburg, but European football’s governing body UEFA moved it to Paris after Russia invaded Ukraine in what Moscow calls a ‘special operation’ .
The game started after a 35-minute delay following incidents outside the stadium when fans were gassed by riot police as people without tickets tried to force their way in. [L1N2XK09D]
Liverpool had won the previous European Cup final the two sides played in Paris, winning 1-0 at the Parc des Princes in 1981, Real’s last defeat in a final.
Liverpool were slight favorites on Saturday, but Real beat the Merseyside club for the second consecutive time after winning 3-1 in 2018.
Liverpool started the game pushing high up the pitch, looking to quickly feed their full backs, and the pressure on Real’s back line became immense.
Mo Salah was chosen by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the box but Courtois stretched to deny the Egyptian.
Sadio Mane came very close when he passed Eder Militao and Casemiro before his ferocious effort was knocked down the post by the excellent Courtois in the 21st minute.
Liverpool, however, weren’t incisive enough in attack and Real’s only chance in the first half scared Liverpool, but Karim Benzema’s effort was ruled out after the video assistant referee ruled that he was offside, played by Federico Valverde despite Fabinho’s deflection. .
Liverpool were back at the start of the second half, but Real soaked up the pressure until they struck in the 59th minute.
It started when Luka Modric cleverly turned away from Andy Robertson to create space and ended with Valverde’s precise pass to the far post returned by Vinicius.
Courtois then dived to reverse Salah’s curling attempt superbly to keep Real in front.
The Belgian keeper was again flawless in denying Salah 10 minutes from time before his delighted team-mates jumped into his arms to show their gratitude at the final whistle.