At the latest when Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois fended off a hard-hitting shot from Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah in the 82nd minute, it seemed clear that nothing was going to happen this evening. Precisely because this Belgian goalkeeper seemed to attract the balls like a superhero character from the Marvel universe. And that’s how it happened: Read Madrid won this Champions League final against Liverpool 1-0 (0-0).
Tens of thousands of fans came to Paris without tickets. The football madness on the island apparently knows no bounds. As British media reported on Saturday, 13 supporters even rented a speedboat because their flight to Paris had been cancelled. They didn’t have tickets either, but they really wanted to be there. But at 9 p.m., when the game should have started, nothing happened.
The organizers announced that the kick-off had been postponed due to late supporters. But at the same time images emerged showing British fans climbing over the fences and gaining entry to the stadium without tickets. There were also riots because the police in Paris wanted to hold back the rush at the entrances with the use of pepper spray. Chaotic conditions prevailed. After all, after the singer Camila Cabello had a memorable show performance, which was accompanied by a whistling concert from the English fans, the show started 37 minutes late.
After just a few minutes of play, a picture emerged: Liverpool played offensively, Real defensively. After 15 minutes, coach Jürgen Klopp’s team put on a real power play. And if Real Madrid hadn’t had the famous keeper Courtois in goal, Liverpool would probably have been 2-0 ahead after 20 minutes. First Courtois parried in the 16th minute against Mohamed Salah. Four minutes later, the Belgium international goalkeeper dazzled with a reflex deflection of a shot by Liverpool attacker Sadio Mané against the post. At that point, it was a class difference between the two teams. But the result was not reflected.
In addition, the attacking wave of Liverpool ebbed after 30 minutes. And the defeated Spaniards almost took the lead just before half-time. Real striker Karim Benzema pushed in from a confusing situation to make it 1-0 for Madrid. After a long study of the video images, the goal was disallowed because of an alleged offside situation.
Jürgen Klopp gestured enthusiastically, as you know him, on the sidelines. The German coach was in a Champions League final for the fourth time that evening. In 2019 he won this title with Liverpool FC. His coaching colleague Carlo Ancelotti, just as you know him, stood stoically and chewing gum in his zone.
After the restart, the Italian watched as his team struggled again. Liverpool started up again. Just two minutes into the game, Luis Diaz narrowly missed the lead after a cross from Alexander-Arnold because the attentive Real defender Dani Carvajal had been careful and was still interfering. Ten minutes later, England called for a penalty after Salah’s shot hit the arm of former Bayern player David Alaba. Referee Clement Turpin correctly gave no penalty.
In the 59th minute, Real turned the game upside down: Fede Valverde fired a sharp shot in front of Liverpool’s goal, where Real’s Vinicius Junior had slipped away and shot in to take the lead.