Real Madrid won their third consecutive Champions League title as they ran out 3-1 victors against Liverpool at the Kyiv Olympic Stadium, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
The clash got off to a lively start with both sides signalling their intent to attack in the opening exchanges. Zidane’s outfit got off to the better start, but it was Liverpool who enjoyed the more clear-cut goalscoring opportunities.
Roberto Firmino’s defence-splitting ball almost got the better of the Madrid defence in the seventh minute, but defender Raphael Varane and goalkeeper Keylor Navas did well to thwart the danger from the onrushing Sadio Mane.
A wayward pass in midfield from Liverpool almost saw Madrid take the lead in the 15th minute when Dani Carvajal and Cristiano Ronaldo combined, but the latter saw his effort go high and wide of the effort after a driving run into the box.
Liverpool’s high-pressing tactics seemed to put Madrid in a spot of bother, forcing the La Liga giants into a series of errors.
Madrid shot-stopper Navas was forced into making another fine save in the 24th minute from a Trent Alexander-Arnold following a good passage of play by The Reds.
Liverpool were dealt possibly the worst injury blow possible as star forward Mohamed Salah was forced off with a shoulder injury after a Sergio Ramos tackle and was subsequently replaced by Adam Lallana in the 31st minute.
Madrid upped their tempo in search of the opener and were also dealt an injury blow when Carvajal was forced off with a suspected Achilles injury and was replaced by Nacho in the 36th minute.
Karim Benzema had the ball in the back of the net for the Spanish outfit moments before the half-time break, but the Frenchman was adjudged to have been offside.
Isco came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 47th minute when he latched on to a mistake from Lallana, but his effort crashed off the crossbar with the goalkeeper well-beaten.
Loris Karius gifted Madrid the opener in the 51st minute when he threw the ball on to Benzema, with the ball deflecting off the striker into the back of the net, 1-0 to Real Madrid.
— GRM Daily (@GRMDAILY) May 26, 2018
Jurgen Klopp’s side managed to grab the equaliser four minutes later when Mane latched on to Dejan Lovren’s header from a corner to sweep home his 10th goal of the Champions League campaign, 1-1.
Sadio Mane finds himself alone in the box to put in the equalizer
— 90MinutesChicago (@90MinutesChi) May 26, 2018
Karius made up for his earlier mistake when he kept out Isco’s goalbound effort in the 60th minute. Zidane made the first change of the evening when he brought on Gareth Bale for Isco.
The substitution immediately paid off as Bale netted a sensational overhead kick to restore his side’s lead, 2-1 to Real.
— Mordu 2 Foot (@Mordu2Foot) May 26, 2018
Liverpool continued to threaten the Madrid defence and Mane came agonisingly close to grabbing his brace, but was unfortunate to see his effort from outside of the box crash on to the post with Navas beaten.
Ronaldo had the opportunity to seal the game in the 73rd minute after being put through on goal by Benzema, but Andrew Robertson’s last-ditch tackle ensured that the former Manchester United man didn’t bury his effort.
Bale almost turned provider with an exquisite outside-of-the-foot pass to Benzema, but the striker’s venomous volley was kept out by Karius.
Bale netted his second of the game in the 83rd minute when his long-range effort managed to evade Karius, 3-1 to Real.
In the end, Madrid ran out 3-1 victors to make it three successive Champions League titles for the Spanish giants.
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