People are pretty amazed by this Real Madrid team. Three consecutive Champions League titles are not something you can earn every day, in fact, no one ever did it before them.
But regarding the final match, we couldn’t say that Real Madrid team had the upper hand when the referee started it. It was Liverpool who first showed the desire to win the cup.
The First Minutes
It was amazing how during the first minutes of the match, Liverpool’s midfield started pressing Real Madrid’s backline, as Zidane decided to take a defensive stance.
Liverpool decided to crowd the midfield while they were pressing Real Madrid’s build up from the back. When they tried to play through the middle, they always got overwhelmed and lost the ball, creating good chances.
Mohamed Sallah was doing a lot of work in the Real Madrid’s backline and created some good opportunities for his teammates and himself, but things were going to take a different turn.
Coming out of the midfield while trying to find a frontline teammate, Sallah entangled his right arm with Sergio Ramos’ arm, causing a suplex-like move resulting in a severe injury.
Although Sallah kept playing for some time, right after getting pushed around during corner kick for Liverpool, Sallah asked for him to be replaced. Adam Lallana entered the pitch.
A Change of Pace
This sole event sealed the deal for the whole match regarding Liverpool’s stance on the pitch. Quickly, Real Madrid started controlling the game while Liverpool decided to counter-attack when possible.
After the substitution, Mané was switched to the right side, behind Marcelo’s back, trying to capitalize on any spaces he left, but Madrid kept control for the majority of that first half after Sallah’s injury.
During this period, Real Madrid tried to attack relentlessly while controlling the ball and after finding more spaces in the midfield, they almost managed to score their first goal, but it was offside.
Problems for Real Madrid
After that, another person was injured. Carvajal, during a normal run to cross the ball, misstepped just outside the box and fell to the ground, resulting in an injured ankle. He was replaced by Nacho immediately.
While Real Madrid tried to attack, Liverpool was more focused in containing Madrid’s advances until the first half whistle. The dynamic of the match had changed dramatically, but the first half ended without someone scoring.
The second half started just as the first one finished. Real Madrid attacking and controlling the match while Liverpool was devoted to keeping them in check.
During that time, Isco had a really good chance which crashed into the post and bounced back. It was Benzema who capitalized on a Loris Karius mistake when he was trying to give the ball to his backline.
The goal wasn’t something to remember, but this was a final, and it was 1-0 already, Real Madrid was on its way to winning another Champions League title.
After the conceded, Liverpool’s midfield started generating more and more passing lanes while pressing Real Madrid again. The match dynamic shifted again.
During that period, they managed to get the ball moving and created several good opportunities for their forwards to score. Three minutes after Benzema’s goal, Mané managed to score after a corner kick.
After the goal, Liverpool started pressing with even more intensity than before and Real Madrid started to control the ball again, trying to get their lead back. Isco had a good chance, but Karius did his job this time.
Isco then got replaced by Gareth Bale, and the dynamic changed again. He was brought in to stretch his side of Liverpool’s team and to give opportunities in the final 3rd.
Not even two minutes had passed since he entered the pitch and Bale did something extraordinary. After a brilliant cross from Marcelo’s foot, Bale jumped and kicked the ball in the air. It was spectacular.
Liverpool tried to win to Real Madrid’s defensive backline, and they almost make it work during those minutes after the first Gareth Bale’s goal through Mané.
The Final Countdown
In the 83 minute mark, Karius failed again after a glorious kick by Gareth Bale. Although he touched the ball, it went in. The match was over.
Real Madrid kept attacking during the final minutes of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo even lost a good chance because a fan entered the pitch.
After the match, Real Madrid was crowned as champions of Europe for the third consecutive year. Something every other team can just dream about. They won’t be forgotten.Read more