- Real Madrid won the European Cup for the 14th time, defeating Liverpool 1-0.
- Liverpool were looking for their seventh European Cup victory, but Courtois’s stunning performance left them speechless.
- “We had a nice game, not a flawless game,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits.
Real Madrid won their 14th European Cup when they defeated Liverpool 1-0 in a Champions League final that was delayed for more than half an hour after police attempted to stop individuals trying to push their way into the Stade de France on Saturday.
Real’s first shot on goal was scored by Vinicius Junior shortly before the hour mark, and their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois produced several superb saves to deny Liverpool, who finished the season with two domestic cups but failed to win the Premier League.
Juergen Klopp’s side had more opportunities but lacked sharpness when it most, as Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach to win the European Cup four times, having won it twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid, leapfrogging Liverpool’s Bob Paisley and Real’s Zinedine Zidane.
“I’m a record collector. Last year, I had the good fortune to come here and enjoy a terrific season. A magnificent club with a great squad full of talent and mental toughness “Ancelotti spoke about his team’s comeback victories over PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City to reach the final.
Real’s fourth Champions League championship in seven years was added to their remarkable record in the competition, as they won their eighth final in as many years.
Liverpool were chasing their sixth European Cup victory, but despite their best efforts, Courtois’s sublime performance left them speechless.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, whose team defeated Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup and League Cup, said, “In the dressing room, nobody feels it was a brilliant season at this time.”
“We played a solid game, not a great game, but I don’t think a perfect game would have been conceivable with the opponent’s deep formation set up.”
“We had a lot of shots, but they weren’t the best, and Thibaut Courtois produced two outstanding stops.”
The final was supposed to be held in St Petersburg, but after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special operation,” UEFA moved it to Paris.
The game began after a 35-minute delay due to riot police tear-gassing spectators outside the stadium as others without tickets attempted to force their way in.
In the previous European Cup final between the two teams, Liverpool had won 1-0 at the Parc des Princes in 1981, which was Real’s last defeat in a final.
On Saturday, Liverpool were minor favorites, but Real Madrid defeated the Merseyside club for the second time in a row, following their 3-1 success in 2018.
Liverpool started the game by pushing high up the pitch, hoping to feed their fullbacks immediately, putting a lot of pressure on Real’s back line.
Trent Alexander-Arnold picked out Mo Salah in the box, but Courtois extended to deny the Egyptian.
Sadio Mane came dangerously near in the 21st minute, ghosting past Eder Militao and Casemiro before Courtois turned his ferocious effort onto the post.
However, Liverpool was not incisive enough in attack, and Real’s solitary chance of the first half gave Liverpool a worry, but Karim Benzema’s shot was ruled out after the Video Assistant Referee determined that he was offside, despite Fabinho’s deflection.
Liverpool came out firing in the second half, but Real sat back and absorbed the pressure until they scored in the 59th minute.
It began with Luka Modric’s deft move away from Andy Robertson to create space and ended with Vinicius turning in Valverde’s perfect driven pass across the far post.
Salah’s curling shot was then wonderfully tipped away by Courtois, keeping Real ahead.
Salah was denied again by the Belgian goalkeeper 10 minutes from time before his ecstatic teammates leaped into his arms to express their thanks after the final whistle.
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