Real Madrid became European champions for a record 14th time after beating Liverpool 1-0 in a Champions League final that started 37 minutes late due to worrying crowd problems at the stadium. exterior of the Stade de France on Saturday.
Brazilian winger Vinicius Junior applied a 59th-minute close-range finish to Federico Valverde in front of goal, securing a victory that gave Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti a record fourth European Cup title.
While Madrid completed a Champions League-Liga double, Liverpool ended a season that held so much promise – a week ago they were in contention for an unprecedented quadruple of major trophies – with just the two domestic cups in England.
The English side failed to get past Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who tipped Sadio Mane’s first-half shot off the post and made an even better save to deflect Mohamed Salah’s effort away. the 81st.
“Today nobody was going to get in my way,” Courtois said. “I was going to win a Champions League no matter what.”
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Vinicius dropped to his knees and covered his face full time. Many of his teammates sprinted the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of Madrid fans at one end of the stadium.
Marcelo, Madrid’s serial trophy winner who didn’t even play a minute of the final, had the honor of lifting the trophy amid fireworks and tickers.
Madrid have underlined their status as the kings of European football, as the Spanish giants hold double the number of European Cups as listed No.2 AC Milan.
And this time there was no need for the kind of emotional comeback the Spanish giants had to produce to overtake Paris Saint-Germain, defending champions Chelsea and Manchester City in the round of 16.
This could turn out to be the most grueling title race in the competition’s long history.
Crowd issues before the game
For many, especially Liverpool fans, however, the pre-match crowd issues have overshadowed this final and will certainly be investigated by UEFA and the authorities in the coming days.
Riot police fired tear gas and pepper spray at supporters queuing to take part in European football’s showpiece match, whose kick-off was delayed.
UEFA blamed the chaos on people trying to enter the stadium without legitimate tickets, without providing details of where they came from.
Some fans scaled the fences surrounding the stadium to enter. Others broke through security and sprinted down the hall before being smashed to the ground.
Riot police with batons and riot shields ran from door to door to stop pockets of fans from forcing their way into the stadium.
“I have really bad asthma and I’ve been gassed twice,” Liverpool fan Angela Murphy told The Associated Press through a fence. “I’m really struggling.”
About 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of 9 p.m. local time, an announcement was made that there would be a delay. He was greeted with mockery inside the stadium.
The scenes recalled the chaos outside Wembley Stadium ahead of last year’s European Championship final between England and Italy.