Liverpool could not find a way past Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois: “Nobody could stand in my way today,” he said.
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 because of crowd problems outside the Stade de France near Paris.
Brazilian winger Vinícius Júnior hit a finish from close range 59 minutes in from Federico Valverde’s cross to face Liverpool, securing Saturday’s win, helping manager Carlo Ancelotti’s side. Madrid won the European Championship title for the fourth time.
While Madrid completed the Champions League-La Liga double, Liverpool ended a season that promised a lot. A week ago, it contested an unprecedented big four title quartet – with two domestic trophies in the UK.
The English side couldn’t find a way past Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois, who saved Sadio Mane’s first shot and made a better save to neutralize Mohamed Salah’s effort in the 81st minute.
“Nobody stood in my way today,” Courtois said.
“No matter what, I will win the Champions League.”
Vinicius fell to his knees and covered his face completely. Many of his teammates ran the length of the field to celebrate in front of Madrid fans at one end of the stands.
Madrid’s series winner Marcelo, who didn’t even play a minute of Saturday’s final, was honored to lift the trophy against a backdrop of fireworks and marking tape.
European football king
Madrid has cemented its status as the king of European football, as the Spanish giants own twice as many European Cups as second on the list, AC Milan. Liverpool stayed sixth.
However, crowd issues before the match have plagued this final and will no doubt become the focus of an investigation by UEFA and the authorities in the coming days.
With 45 minutes left before the match started, there were still long lines of Liverpool fans waiting to be allowed into the field. There were also sporadic cases of fans breaking into security and rushing into the waiting room.
The situation began to spiral out of control when riot police deployed tear gas at Liverpool supporters inside the fence, while some fans were seen climbing over the fence.
Staff with batons and riot shields ran from gate to gate to prevent fans’ pockets from forcing them into the stadium without showing their tickets.