Vinicius Jr downs Liverpool as Real Madrid win 14th Champions League

Vinicius Junior gave Real Madrid victory with his strike just before the hour mark as Liverpool were denied a treble of cup victories this season.

Real Madrid won their 14th Champions League title as Vinicius Junior’s goal just before the hour mark saw them edge out Liverpool in Paris.

It was an encounter which was partly overshadowed by concerning scenes outside the Stade de France – where thousands of Liverpool fans were bottle-necked and local police forces used tear gas, with the match delayed by 36 minutes.

Liverpool were dominant in the opening stages with Mohamed Salah three times forcing saves from Madrid shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian goalkeeper was outstanding, with his standout moment being the finger-tip save to deny Sadio Mane whose effort was deflected onto the post.

Despite their dominance, it was the Spanish side who thought they had the half-time lead when Karim Benzema had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside. Several minutes of VAR eventually confirmed the decision, but it was a highly debated call.

Vinicius did give them the lead two minutes before the hour mark, deflecting in Fede Valverde’s cross-come-shot home past Alisson Becker to break the deadlock.


Vinicius jnr
Vinicius jnr

Here are eight talking points from an emotional and contentious night in Paris.

In their semi-final win at home to Man City, Real Madrid had not had a shot on target in the opening 89 minutes. They won the match 3-1. It is hard to imagine any other team being so deadly and playing so well in key moments.

It was a similar story in the final – Real Madrid had not had a target until Vinicius opened the scoring just before the hour mark. The only other time they had threatened was Benzema’s goal, which was ultimately adjudged to be offside.

As they went ahead with their first shot on target, Liverpool had seven shots on target but were repelled each time by Thibaut Courtois. Being ice cold in the final third paid off.

Courtois exhibition

Thibaut Courtois produced a goalkeeping masterclass for Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois produced a goalkeeping masterclass for Real Madrid.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper was outstanding for Real Madrid and was the reason why Liverpool did not take a first half lead. He made several excellent stops but none more so than midway through the half, when he got down to palm Sadio Mane’s stinging effort onto the post. Courtois was slightly fortunate that the ball rebounded straight to him from the post – but it was indicative of his superb performance and calming presence.

Konate selection

Ibrahima Konate was selected to help deal with the threat of Vinicius

Ibrahima Konate was selected to help deal with the threat of Vinicius

Ibrahima Konate was involved in only 11 Premier League matches for Liverpool this campaign despite his fitness – with Joel Matip the preferred central defensive partner alongside Virgil van Dijk domestically.

However, Konate – the only major arrival of last summer’s transfer window at Anfield – has played in eight Champions League matches this term, all from the start. He was selected by Klopp in six of the side’s seven knockout matches.

He was selected to provide cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold in covering the threat of Vinicius Junior but also for his goal threat – he bagged in both legs of the quarter-final win over Benfica, and is a major aerial presence from attacking set pieces.

Prior to tonight, Konate had not tasted defeat in his first 27 Liverpool matches and this Champions League final was in his home city of Paris.

Pre-match chaos

There were chaotic scenes outside the stadium ahead of kick-off






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