Real Madrid beat Liverpool to win the European Cup for the 14th time
Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool.
Real Madrid are European champions for the 14th time in their history. The Spanish champions beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Stade de France in Paris in the Champions League final on Saturday night.
Liverpool dominated for large periods but couldn't find a way past Thibaut Courtois, who made several incredible saves. Vinicius Jr scored the only goal of the game.
The match was delayed by 36 minutes due to chaotic scenes outside the stadium, where some Liverpool fans were denied access to the stadium.
Liverpool v Real Madrid: First half.
Liverpool came into the match as favourites after cruising through the knockout rounds to reach their third final in four years. Real Madrid, despite being 13-times champions and one of the most successful football clubs in the world, entered the final as underdogs. Carlo Ancelotti's side, however, had been written off throughout the knockout rounds of the competition.
Real Madrid trailed Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16, only to mount an incredible comeback and advance. In the quarter-finals, they were trailing to Chelsea, only to mount an incredible comeback and advance. And in the semi-finals against Manchester City, they stunned their opponents by recording another dramatic comeback victory.
The pattern of the first half in Paris suggested that if Real Madrid were going to win the final, it would again be in moments rather than through a sustained period of dominance. Madrid appeared to be attempting to pull off a rope-a-dope on Liverpool.
Klopp's team dominated possession and created more chances. They would have been comfortably ahead were it not for Real goalkeeper Courtois, who made some brilliant saves. In the first half, Liverpool had 10 shots. Real Madrid had one. Yet, it was Ancelotti's side that came closest to taking the lead before VAR ruled out Benzema's strike.
In a patchy, disjointed first half, Los Blancos surrendered possession and looked to catch Liverpool on the break with long balls over the Reds' full-backs. Liverpool, meanwhile, passed effortlessly through Madrid's midfield, who often carelessly lost the ball.
Liverpool v Real Madrid: Second half.
The second half continued in the same pattern until Real Madrid caught Liverpool on the break after 59 minutes.
Valverde found space with the ball on Madrid's right and cut inside without being challenged. The midfielder took a shot which turned into a cross that rolled across Liverpool's penalty area.
Vinicius Jr drifted in at the back post and tapped the ball home. Trent Alexander-Arnold wasn't aware that the Brazilian was lurking behind him and Liverpool were sucker-punched by their opponents.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) May 28, 2022
Liverpool frantically attempted to equalise for in the final 30 minutes, but Courtois couldn't be beaten. The Belgian goalkeeper was, by a distance, the best player on the night after making a series of stunning saves.
Real Madrid saw out a nervy final few minutes to win their 14th European Cup. Here is how we rated the players.
Liverpool v Real Madrid: Player ratings.
Van Dijk: 7.
Diogo Jota: 5.
Naby Keita: 5.
Roberto Firmino: 5.
Eder Militao 7.
Vinicius Jr: 8.
Eduardo Camavinga, Dani Ceballos and Rodrygo: N/A.