Liverpool couldn’t find way past Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois: ‘Today nobody was going to get in my way,’ he said.
Real Madrid became European champions for a record-extending 14th time after beating Liverpool 1-0 in a Champions League final that started 37 minutes late because of disturbing crowd issues outside the Stade de France near Paris.
Brazil winger Vinícius Júnior applied a close-range finish in the 59th minute from Federico Valverde’s drive across the face of the Liverpool goal, securing a win on Saturday that gave Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti a record fourth European Cup title.
While Madrid completed a Champions League-La Liga double, Liverpool finished a season that promised so much. A week ago, it was in contention for an unprecedented quadruple of major trophies – with the two domestic cups in England.
The English team couldn’t find a way past Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who tipped Sadio Mane’s first-half shot onto the post and produced an even better save to turn away Mohamed Salah’s effort in the 81st minute.
“Today nobody was going to get in my way,” Courtois said.
“I was going to win a Champions League no matter what.”
Vinicius sank to his knees and covered his face at full-time. Many of his teammates sprinted the length of the field to celebrate in front of Madrid’s fans at one end of the stadium.
Marcelo, Madrid’s serial winner of trophies who didn’t even play a minute of the final on Saturday, was given the honour of lifting the trophy to a backdrop of fireworks and ticker tape.
King of European soccer
Madrid has cemented its status as the king of European football, given the Spanish giant owns double the number of European Cups as the No. 2 on the list, AC Milan. Liverpool stayed on six.
Pre-match crowd issues marred this final, though, and are sure to be the focus of an investigation by UEFA and authorities in the coming days.
With 45 minutes remaining before kickoff, there were still long lines of Liverpool fans waiting to be allowed into the stadium. There were also sporadic instances of fans breaking through security and sprinting onto the concourse.
The situation started to get out of hand as riot police deployed tear gas on Liverpool supporters in the lines, while some fans were seen climbing the fences.
Officers with batons and riot shields ran from gate to gate to prevent pockets of fans from forcing their way into the stadium without showing tickets.