By Haider Manzar
Preview: Yesterday, May 28, the Champions League final was played between the Royal Whites of Spain and The Reds of England. This was the ninth meeting between these two teams in the UEFA Champions League and the previous competition European Cup.
Liverpool was not able to get any win against Real Madrid in their last five matches (D1 L4). This was also the third time these two European Giants were facing each other in the final of UCL (1st in 1981, 2nd in 2018).
Liverpool, after days of speculation, started Konate and Thiago. Diaz joined Salah and Mane on the front. Meanwhile, Real Madrid had 5 players from the lineup that won the 2018 UCL final.
The match was also delayed by 30 minutes due to a drama that happened outside the stadium as the fans climbed the gates and entered the stadium without tickets. The pepper spray was also sprayed on the fans which resulted in quite a drama before the final.
1st Half: The first half started and as expected from the Klopp boys, they started well. They did everything to get the lead in the early minutes. At minute 16, Salah’s shot was blocked by Belgium wall Courtois, who has been phenomenal for Real Madrid this season. 5 minutes later, another attempt by Mane was saved by Courtois.
The match kept going on at an incredible pace and just before the end of the first half, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored after a mix-up by Liverpool defenders but to their great luck, the goal was ruled offside by VAR. The first half ended with Liverpool being the dominant side but the result was still 0-0.
2nd Half: The second half started and Salah was again leading the attack but his shot at the 58th minute was again denied by Madrid’s keeper. After the rebound, the second shot was blocked by Alaba’s hand but the penalty wasn’t awarded as it was unintentional and his hand couldn’t be moved away. At minute 59, the ever-hungry young gun of Real Madrid – Vinicius Jr scored the goal and gave Real Madrid the lead.
Liverpool didn’t let themselves down and their attack kept attacking at Real Madrid’s goal but what a guy Courtois is. After this Salah was again denied by Courtois two times. He blocked 9 shots from Liverpool’s attack and kept the clean sheet till the end of the match.
Result: Real Madrid won their record 14 UEFA Champions League, twice more than any other team in the competition. Real Madrid did it again just 3 years after they did the 3-peat UCL. Liverpool did everything in their power but the Klopp boys were not able to get the prestigious trophy. The main credit goes to Courtois because he was the man that kept Real Madrid in this final fully alive till the end. Real Madrid are the CHAMPIONS of Europe!