The record 13-time champions of Europe rolled into Paris on the back of some enthralling comebacks against PSG, Manchester City, and Chelsea en route to Paris. They did it through resolve, grit, and desire. Carlo Ancelotti was now in his fifth Champions League final and could make more history by establishing himself as the best UCL manager ever. Calmness personified. The La Liga champions had pedigree and experience on their side. They have something about them in this competition, and their run in this campaign showed that again.
Liverpool beat Real Madrid the first time they met in the Champions League, and Real won it in 2018. This was Jurgen Klopp’s third final, winning one and losing one. Liverpool came in as the mentality monsters after an incredible domestic campaign. They could secure a lightweight treble after winning two domestic cup competitions. Salah was talking about revenge before the game, and the Real Madrid squad retorted. The stage was set, but the game was delayed for about 30 minutes in another logistics problem at a major final. Clarence Seedorf, Raul, Ronaldo de Lima, Figo, Rafael Nadal, Fabio Cannavaro, and so many others were at the Stade de France for the game.
UCL Final First Half review
Both sides tried to size each other up in the opening moments as they matched each other in their 4-3-3 shape. In the 13th minute, Vinicius Jr tried to venture forward, but Ibrahim Konate shut him down. Liverpool piled the early pressure. The first chance fell to Mohamed Salah as he improvised a shot for Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, but Thibaut Courtois got down quickly to save. After keeping the ball in play, Thiago Alcantara curled wide from outside the box.
On 20, the 6ft6 Belgian keeper had to dive quickly again to stop Sadio Mane’s fierce drive. The former Chelsea stopper has been that force at the back for Real Madrid this season, keeping them in the game with great saves before his forward line comes along. Real Madrid finally started getting into it with Luka Modric seeing more of the ball, but they still couldn’t fashion a chance. On 34, Konate pushed forward from defense Joel Matip style before TAA played an inverted cross that Salah could only direct at the goalkeeper.
Despite Konate starting the game in imperious fashion, he began to lose duels. The first allowed a good Real Madrid move, but nothing happened. The second required Jordan Henderson to take the ball off Vini before the Brazilian could conjure something good. Now the third was a Karim Benzema goal.
Before halftime, Ferland Mendy dropped a peach of a ball for Benzema, and he controlled it before shifting it onto his left foot. However, he hesitated, but then a complication between Alisson Becker, Fabinho, and Konate’s touch allowed him a second bite at the cherry. He curled it home, but after a lengthy VAR check. The goal was canceled. Everyone had different ideas about whether the goal should have stood or not. Half time.
Liverpool dominated most of the game, but Real Madrid made one good chance and put the ball in the back of the net.
Real Madrid leads in the Second Half
On 54, TAA whipped in another dangerous cross that Thiago Alcantara should have thrown himself at. Courtois pushed the cross away before two Liverpool shots were blocked. Two minutes later, David Alaba blocked Salah’s " data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">shots, and despite the Egyptian’s appeal for a handball, he got nothing.
Moments later, Real Madrid took the lead. Luka Modric found Fede Valverde wide on the right. The Uruguayan came inside before crossing for Vinicius Jr at the back post. The Brazilian tapped home his 21st goal of the season. Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid.
Jurgen Klopp replaced Luis Diaz with Diogo Jota. Liverpool responded well. Salah cut in on his left before firing, but Courtois palmed it away. The Reds played some bad outswinging corners, but Jota kept one in, and Salah was ready to tap home. However, Courtois read it and raced across to the other side of his post to block the shot. Konate then had to put in a fantastic tackle to stop Vini as he cut in to shoot. TAA sent in another wicked cross, but Jota couldn’t get something on it.
Casemiro should have doubled the lead when he was played in from over the top, but his squared pass went away. On 78, Salah tried to make something happen and his shot took a deflection off Jota, but Courtois saved. What a performance from the Belgian. His next save was even better. Salah was found from defense, and he took on Mendy before firing with his right. The former Atletico Madrid man saved. Real Madrid tried to counter with a sharp move of their own, but Alisson came out to smother the final ball.
Real Madrid won their 14th title after one of the most impressive runs in the competition’s history thanks to a lone Vini goal. Ancelotti has won the UEFA Champions League four times, making him the most successful match in the competition’s history! No quadruple for Liverpool. Another final loss for Jurgen Klopp. Congratulations and Hala Madrid!!!!!