Brazilian winger Vinicius turned Fede Valverde’s seductive low cross in the 59th minute at the Stade de France and Liverpool could not find an equalizer as Jurgen Klopp’s side lost to the Spanish giants in the Champions League final. the Champions League for the second time in five seasons.
As it happened: Liverpool vs Real Madrid
The Anfield squad will wonder what could have happened if the exceptional Thibaut Courtois hadn’t pushed Sadio Mane’s shot inside a post when they were ahead in the first half , because they had not reached the treble of the trophy.
Winners of the English League Cup and FA Cup this season, they narrowly missed out on Manchester City for the Premier League title and were denied a win here that would have put them level with AC Milan on seven European Cups.
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Instead, Real have a fifth Champions League in nine seasons to go along with their Spanish title, as Carlo Ancelotti becomes the first manager to win European club football’s biggest prize for the fourth time.
Ancelotti was also in charge of Real when he won the 2014 final after also triumphing with AC Milan in 2003 and in 2007, the latter victory against Liverpool.
The match kicked off 35 minutes later than the scheduled 21:00 (19:00 GMT) start in the French capital after chaos at the stadium entrances prevented fans from getting to their seats.
UEFA said it was “sympathetic” to those affected and attributed the huge build-up of supporters at the gates to “thousands of supporters who had bought fake tickets that did not work in the turnstiles”.
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Tear gas was also fired by police as a small number of people could be seen trying to scale fences around the perimeter of the ground.
The final was only moved to the French capital after St. Petersburg was deprived of the game following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
The delayed kick-off may have been responsible for the slow start to the game itself, as it took 16 minutes before there was a notable incident with Mohamed Salah turning in a low cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold towards goal only for Courtois to save.
Liverpool were seen as the favorites to avenge their loss to the Spanish giants in the 2018 final in Kyiv and they started to take control of the game.
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Mane came awfully close to opening the scoring in the 21st minute as he worked his way into a shooting position inside the box, only for Courtois to tip his net-bound shot onto his straight post.
Klopp’s side, with Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara starting in midfield after overcoming fitness worries, were in the lead but couldn’t turn their superiority into a lead.
Real, meanwhile, created almost nothing in the first half with Karim Benzema calm, but their captain briefly thought he had secured the breakthrough with two minutes remaining.
The Frenchman pushed home after the ball returned to him inside the box but the offside flag was raised.
The decision to disallow the goal was upheld after a lengthy VAR check, although Fabinho deflected Valverde’s throw-in towards Benzema.
Still, Ancelotti’s side kept their cool and were rewarded with the goal as the hour mark approached.
Valverde advanced down the right before firing a low ball into the face of goal for Vinicius to put it back at the far post past fellow Brazilian national team Alisson.
Just like in 2018, Real had drawn first blood, but this time they didn’t need to send Gareth Bale to secure victory.
Courtois was superb, flying to his right to deny a Salah curler before two saves in quick succession late.
First, the Belgian went low as substitute Diogo Jota deflected Salah’s effort towards goal, then he produced a strong arm to deflect a Salah strike behind.
It was Real Madrid night.
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