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Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid: Vinicius Junior goal downs Reds in Champions League final

todayMay 28, 2022

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Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior celebrates his winning goal

 

Liverpool suffered Champions League heartbreak on a chaotic night in Paris as Vinicius Junior’s second-half goal clinched the trophy for Real Madrid for the 14th time in their history.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were hoping to avenge their 2018 Champions League final defeat to the Spanish giants in Kyiv but they could not find a leveller after going down 1-0 when Vinicius ghosted in at the far post to convert Federico Valverde’s low cross (59).

 

 

The game’s kick-off time had earlier been delayed by more than half an hour as organisational problems outside the Stade de France caused long delays and dangerous overcrowding for Liverpool supporters attempting to enter the ground.

Liverpool lost none of their focus despite the chaotic circumstances, creating a succession of scoring chances, but they could not find a way past the outstanding Thibaut Courtois, who tipped a Sadio Mane effort onto the inside of the post in the first half and made a string of other excellent saves.

Liverpool players complain to the referee during the Champions League final

 

Liverpool were bidding to win the competition for the seventh time but the defeat ensures they miss out on a treble having won the Carabao Cup and FA Cups earlier this season, while Madrid, their run to the final characterised by a series of extraordinary comebacks, celebrate yet another European triumph.

 

UEFA put the delays down to “the late arrival of fans” in messages displayed on the big screens inside the stadium but the queues had been building for hours and the ambiguity only added to the sense of confusion amid reports of heavy-handed policing.

The game finally got under way some 37 minutes later than intended and while the circumstances made for an understandably tentative opening quarter of an hour, the encounter suddenly exploded into life with a succession of Liverpool chances.

 

Liverpool’s Luis Diaz shows his frustration during the game

 

The first saw Mohamed Salah, seeking revenge for Liverpool’s defeat to Madrid in 2018, force a low save from Courtois at close range after fine work from Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right.

Liverpool maintained the pressure, with Thiago, who came through an injury scare during the warm-up to start the game, and Salah both sending shots straight at Courtois.

Mane went closest to breaking the deadlock moments later, his angled effort, after cutting in from the left-hand side of the box, brilliant diverted onto the inside of the post by Courtois.

Madrid were hanging on at that point but they weathered the storm and it seemed they might even go into the break in front when a disallowed goal by Karim Benzema following a defensive mix-up in the Liverpool box was checked by VAR for more than three minutes.

 

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema had a goal ruled out for offside in the first half

 

The officials were attempting to ascertain whether the final touch came off a Liverpool player, which would have meant Benzema was in fact onside, but the decision eventually went the way of the Reds.

The disallowed goal still felt ominous, however, even though Liverpool had been the far better of the two sides in the first half.

They continued to push forward after the break, with Alexander-Arnold supplying a series of dangerous deliveries from the right, but Madrid waited patiently for their moment and it duly arrived.

Alexander-Arnold switched off momentarily when he allowed Vinicius to run beyond him after a slick passing move started by Luka Modric in midfield, and the Brazilian was able to fire past the despairing Alisson from a few yards out, prompting wild Madrid celebrations.

Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois produced an exceptional performance

 

Salah led Liverpool’s attempts to get back on level terms, a curling effort, one of nine shots from him over the course of the game, forcing another acrobatic save from Courtois just five minutes after Vinicius’ goal.

The Egyptian had another opportunity after that, with Courtois charging down his back-post shot from point-blank range, and while Liverpool continued to pile forward, their composure deserted them in the closing stages, with substitute Naby Keita skying a shot from a Fabinho cut-back.

The Liverpool players, playing the 63rd game of a marathon season, collapsed to the turf in disappointment at full-time, while Real Madrid, who overcame Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in remarkable fashion to reach the final, celebrated their eighth consecutive victory in a Champions League final, further enhancing their European legend.

 

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Written by: ravradio

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