Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 to win their record 14th Champions League title. The only goal of the match came in the 59th minute after Vinicius Junior got on the end of a Fede Valverde pass to slot past Allison Becker in the Liverpool goal.
At the other end, the heroics of Thibaut Courtois kept the Spanish giants well in the hunt for the title they last won in 2018, when they beat Liverpool 3-1 in Kyiv.
It is easy to forget now that Carlo Ancelotti’s Real side lost at home to Sheriff Tiraspol in the group stage, such has been their extraordinary run since.
They were 2-0 down on aggregate to Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 before a Karim Benzema hat-trick in 17 second-half minutes in the second leg took them through.
Against Chelsea in the quarter-finals they scored late at home in the return leg to force extra time before Benzema got their winner.
The best was saved for the semi-final against Manchester City when they went into the 90th minute of the second leg needing two goals just to force extra time. They duly got them, and Benzema then struck the winner.
In the final, they didn’t need a comeback, all they needed was a solitary goal and an inspired goalkeeper to end Liverpool’s quest for cup treble.
Incidentally, the last time Real lost in a Champions League final was in 1981 (called the European Cup then), when they lost 1-0 to Liverpool. Since then, including Saturday night’s heroics, they’ve won eight titles in the competition.
With AFP inputs