Real Madrid win their 14th Champions League against Liverpool in the final

Real Madrid win their 14th Champions League against Liverpool in the final

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Real Madrid was not the most beautiful, but the strongest, this season, on the continent. After successively eliminating PSG (0-1, 3-1), Chelsea (3-1, 2-3 aet) and Manchester City (3-4, 3-1), at the cost of incredible turnarounds, the he team of Carlo Ancelotti won its 14th Champions League on Saturday, against Liverpool in the final (1-0). A goal from Vinicius, on one of the only two shots on target for his team, was enough for the happiness of the Merengues.

In a final that started 37 minutes late due to an incomprehensible problem of organization and access to the Stade de France, the Reds had nevertheless taken the game on their own and created the best situations in the first period. . Only, Thibaut Courtois quickly proved to be impassable. First with a left-handed parry on a close recovery from Salah (16th), then a right-handed save to deflect on his right post a shot from the right of Mané, who had defeated Casemiro and Militao (21st) .

Apart from these two actions, Real resisted rather well, but they struggled to exist with the ball, which they lost too quickly under the effective pressure of the Reds. But it was enough for an opening from David Alaba for Karim Benzema (43rd) to remind us that Real could be dangerous at any time. The Frenchman erased Andrew Robertson, but dithered when it came to concluding. The ball came back to him in a scramble and he pushed the ball into a goal that Alisson had deserted. But after four minutes of verification, the VAR confirmed that he was offside, without being put back into play by Fabinho’s tackle in front of Federico Valverde.

Karim Benzema thought he opened the scoring on Saturday, before the goal was finally denied him. (P. Lahalle/The Team)

The fifth for Benzema, the first for Mendy and Camavinga

Same pattern after the break, with a dominating Liverpool and Real sometimes braced on their goal. But a foray into the Reds camp was enough to change the final, Valverde perfectly finding Vinicius Junior on a cross-ir in the back of Alexander-Arnold for the opener (59th).

Liverpool reacted, Jürgen Klopp brought in Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino, but the Reds were clumsy in the last gesture when Courtois was not there to stand up to Salah (64th, 69th, 82nd).

5

Like the number of Champions League won by Karim Benzema. After 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, 2022 is the first he wins as captain.

The Spanish champion offers himself a new Champions League, four years after having already beaten Liverpool (3-1). It is also a coronation for Karim Benzema, now five-time European champion and so decisive in the previous rounds, and for the other Frenchmen of Real, Ferland Mendy and Eduardo Camavinga, on the roof of the continent at only 19 years old. Benzema even finished with a new gesture of class, letting Marcelo lift the Cup.

Marcelo, 15 at Real Madrid, lifted the Champions League first.  (A. Réau/The Team)

Marcelo, 15 at Real Madrid, lifted the Champions League first. (A. Réau/The Team)

The player: the Courtois wall

Real Madrid have been strong, very strong in both areas, throughout their European journey, and while Karim Benzema reigned in the attacking sector, well supported by a Vinicius Junior who shone on Saturday, Thibaut Courtois confirmed that he was the best goalkeeper in Europe this season. At the Stade de France, he again multiplied the class stops, disgusting in turn Mané and Salah, contributing largely to the solidity of Real.

The turning point: the action of the Madrid goal

Real has often struggled to extricate itself from Liverpool’s pressing. But in the 59th minute of play, the ball came out perfectly on the right side, with the will of Carvajal, the quality of Modric’s pass and the space that Valverde took advantage of. On the action, Robertson was high and Liverpool found themselves off balance, Van Dijk defending as they backed away from Valverde to let him find an opening for Vinicius, who dove into Alexander-Arnold’s back.

Vinicius scored the only goal of the game.  (P. Lahalle/The Team)

Vinicius scored the only goal of the game. (P. Lahalle/The Team)

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