Real Madrid win 14th Champions League with a narrow victory over Liverpool

Carlo Ancelotti arrived back at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the summer with a clear brief, keep the season respectable until Kylian Mbappe could be signed in the summer of 2022, yet he has ended the campaign by winning both LaLiga Santander and the Champions League.

Real Madrid have lived a charmed life in Europe this season, but they saved perhaps their best defensive performance for the most important match of the campaign.

Liverpool arrived into Paris as the heavy favourites, yet as difficulties outside the ground engulfed the Reds’ traveling support, it was a sign of disappointment to come for Jurgen Klopp’s charges.

The Premier League giants failed to find their usual rhythm, despite controlling much of the ball and creating chances at Thibaut Courtois’ goal.

Thiago Alcantara’s fitness was a concern for Klopp before kick-off, however the delay to the start of the match perhaps helped the Spaniard be fit enough to retain his place in the starting XI.

Liverpool had the best of the first-half, with Sadio Mane forcing Courtois into an excellent save early on, with the Senegalese forward cutting inside expertly and hitting a rasping shot towards the former Chelsea stopper.

Mohamed Salah was next to test the Belgian, with Trent Alexander-Arnold finding him inside the penalty area with a cross, yet the Egyptian could get proper contact on the header, and it floated into Courtois’ grasp.

Los Blancos thought they had scored the opening goal in the final minute of the first-half when Karim Benzema took advantage of a mix-up between Alisson Becker and Ibrahima Konate. The Frenchman rolled the ball into an empty net, but the flag went up immediately.

Vinicius scores

In the 59th minute of play, Real Madrid did take the lead, with VAR not intervening on this occasion, as Liverpool fell victim to a counter-attack.

Los Merengues broke forward and a cross was fired across the box by Federico Valverde which found Vinicius Jr open at the back post.

The Brazilian took full advantage of Alexander-Arnold falling asleep and converted an easy tap-in, giving the Spanish champions something to defend.

Yet, the Liverpool onslaught never came, with the English team never hitting top gear in their pursuit of the equalising goal.

Jordan Henderson fizzed a shot wide from the edge of the box, whilst Alexander-Arnold also failed to hit the target.

The best chance fell to Salah, who got onto a pass from range inside the Los Blancos penalty area, yet his side-footed shot was saved powerfully by Courtois, who was in fine form.

Real Madrid were able to hold on, not truly tested by the Reds as the match ebbed into five minutes of additional time, and Clement Turpin then blew the final whistle to signify the end of the most memorable of seasons for Ancelotti and Los Merengues.

In Courtois’ Champions League, the photos of the goal celebration went to Vinicius, who is already in the Olympus of Madrid. His goal elevates him to the altars alongside the names of Mijatovic, Zidane and Sergio Ramos.

He is already a Madrid legend, a boy who less than a year ago was the subject of laughter and derision. Today, there is no longer any doubt that Madrid have one of the best players on the planet in their ranks and that Mbappe’s withdrawal is no big deal.

And with Vini and Courtois as heroes, Real Madrid lifted the Fourteenth and dealt a brutal psychological blow to their rivals. No one can beat them in a final.

Real Madrid are a winning machine under any circumstances and their exploits transcend beyond the world of football. It is Madrid that writes the most glorious pages of sporting history.


Courtois is on the good side of things.

The Belgian goalkeeper saved Madrid in the first half with two trademark miracles. Come on, the two saves in every game in this Champions League. First he saved from Salah and then from Mané. His hand to the Senegalese’s shot was magnificent and with the help of the post he prevented the Liverpool goal.

But the best was yet to come as Courtois produced a memorable second-half performance to make him a Madrid legend. Not since Iker’s saves in La Novena has a goalkeeper had such an impact in a final. And Thibaut’s game is far superior to Casillas’ in Glasgow.

Aside from the saves, Courtois was very assured throughout the game with his hands and feet. If there was any doubt, the final made it clear that there is no debate with Alisson.

Vini, from meme to history

He was a substitute for Bale in the first game of the season and ended the season by scoring the decisive goal in the Champions League final.

He is Vinicius Junior, the boy who during his first three years at Madrid was the subject of ridicule and memes on social networks.

From today he is a Madrid legend, the hero of the Fourteenth. His name is already alongside those of Mijatovic, Zidane, Ramos and Cristiano and he is only 21 years old.

The present is already his and the future of Madrid also belongs to him. Don’t hold your hands up to your heads because of Mbappé’s withdrawal, Vini still has a lot more to come.

People don’t know what is handball or offside anymore

Karim Benzema had a goal disallowed for offside on the stroke of half-time in an offside action that stopped play for almost three minutes.

The Frenchman was in an offside position, but the ball came to him off a rebound from Fabinho after Valverde’s shot… The referee himself didn’t know what to do and breathed a sigh of relief when the VAR decided not to call his name.

The reality is that the fans already have a considerable amount of trouble with handball and offside. Football used to be a very simple game and every year they complicate it a little more.

Fede and his viking pride :,54859041.html,real-madrid-win-14th-champions-league-with-a-narrow-victory-over-liverpool/6

The final left Fede Valverde as one of the great winners. His match was memorable, full of skill and physical effort. It was thrilling to see his commitment in every play from the first minute to the 90th. He never stops, he never lets up, he always gives his all.

The spotlight will be on Vini, Courtois and Benzema, but the Uruguayan was brought into the team after the defeat in Paris and the results are clear. Uruguayan pride and Viking pride.

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