Real Madrid wins the Champions League final against Liverpool: summary, goals, plays...
Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid: Champions League final as it happened
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: headlines
- Real Madrid beat Liverpool to win 14th European title
- Vinícius taps in second-half winner to earn Madrid the trophy
- Liverpool repeatedly denied by Courtois saves
- Benzema had first-half goal ruled out for offside
- Ancelotti becomes UCL's most decorated coach
Beating Real Madrid in Europe is one of the toughest things in football, but beating them in a final has proven practically impossible over the past four decades. The last manager to do was Sir Alex Ferguson. His Aberdeen side beat Alfredo Di Stéfano’s Real Madrid at the Ullevi in Gothenburg to lift the European Cup Winners’ Cup - 39 years ago!
Liverpool take cups on tour of the city
The Liverpool squad missed out on the Champions League but went ahead with their plans to parade this season's silverware haul, the EFL Carabao Cup and FA Cup, through the city. Last night's defeat to Real Madrid is behind them and the players were all smiles as they were driven from Allerton to the Pier Head with the trophies on an open-top bus.
Real Madrid collected their 14th title after beating Liverpool in the 2022 Champions League final to claim the biggest prize in European club football but lifting the trophy also brings substantial financial rewards and other spin-offs. We take a look at how much Real Madrid have won so far from their triumph in Paris and how much they still stand to earn from qualifying for other competitions.
"We were in the ground maybe two hours before kick-off and it was noticeable that the Real Madrid end was full an hour before but the Liverpool end wasn't, so we were getting reports of trouble outside of fans not being allowed in. So I went outside and it was pretty disgusting what I saw actually.
"The Liverpool fans - there was a girl in tears, she was with her dad, there were other fans showing me tickets - waving their tickets. They were desperate for people like me to tell people what was happening. And as I was talking to these fans, a riot policeman on the other side of the fence, it was unprovoked, started spraying CS gas - UEFA said it was CS gas. I took a mouthfull and it stung my eyes, fans were getting the same. These fans were stood there, just waiting to be let in. The police were letting them in so slowly that nothing was moving. They were getting frustrated but they were behaving themselves. It's important to stress that the fans here were behaving themselves. We've all seen different images of what happened here tonight but from what we saw, the fans were behaving themselves".
"UEFA's story has changed tonight. When the kick-off was delayed, they said that it was because of the late arrival of fans. Two hours later, they put a statement out saying it was because, they said thousands of fake tickets got into the hands of Liverpool fans. You either arrive late, or there are fake tickets... it's one or the other, don't change your story. There will be an investigation and lots of issues will be at play - did the fans arrive late? Were there fake tickets? Did the policing not work? From what I saw, the policing was way too heavy-handed. It was terrible to see. It was just people wanting to watch a football match, they weren't causing trouble. Questions have to be asked".
Left-back Andy Robertson said the Liverpool dressing room was a subdued place after Saturday's Champions League final defeat but praised Real Madrid and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for winning the trophy.
Liverpool's Cup parade to go ahead as planned
As Jürgen Klopp confirmed in his post-match press conference, Liverpool will go on a victory parade through the centre of the city on their return hom from Paris. The Reds ended the season winning both domestic cups but were denied the Premier League and Champions League. The victory parade was organised before Saturday's UCL final against Real Madrid in Paris.
While there were some reservations about staging a victory parade - with some fans arguing it seemed presumptuous to organise one in advance of the Champions League final, Klopp explained that the team had been unable to celebrate their Premier League triumph in 2019/20 with the public because of the coronavirus pandemic and the idea was to mark that together with this season's victories in the EFL Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
The 13.5km route will start on Allerton Road, travelling north towards Chilwall Fiveways, then continue along Queens Drive, Mill Bank, West Derby Road, Islington, Leeds Street before finishing by the Pier Head on the Strand.
Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool will learn from their errors and bounce back after losing Saturday’s Champions League final to Real Madrid in Paris.
Real Madrid fans party until the wee hours of the morning
With a Real Madrid win, you can only expect a Madrid-type celebration- partying all the way until dawn.
There's no doubt about it, Real Madrid owes their victory to their goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois.
Real Madrid's not-so-exorbitant budget
As far as return on investment goes, Real Madrid seems to have done very well. It looks like you don't have to be the biggest spender to come up with the greatest team.
Real Madrid captain Marcelo is leaving after this season. Hoisting the trophy is the best way to end this legendary left-back's career with the team.
Alfredo Relaño argues that this is the most beautiful Champions League won by Real Madrid, because of it was an act of faith.
Barcelona congratulate Real Madrid
Real Madrid's eternal rivals do the classy thing and congratulate them on the Champions League triumph. Barcelona have five Champions League titles: 92, 06, 09, 11, 15.
It's not been a great week for Doncic, but at least his soccer team did the business.
Seventeen straight Euro final wins against non-LaLiga opposition
As Seville-based football journalist Colin Millar points out, Spanish teams have now won 17 straight major European finals against non-LaLiga opposition. The last Spanish team to be on the losing side against a foreign club was Valencia against Bayern Munich, in the Champions League final all the way back in 2001.
Although it seems the Real Madrid players won't be going there tonight, Los Blancos' fans are out in numbers at Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles to celebrate the club's 14th European title.
"Mbappé doesn't exist tonight"
Some quotes from Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez:
Praise for Ancelotti:
“I’m really happy, we have a team that is being really well managed. We have a coach who has done really well. There has been a real connection between the fans and the players.”
Disappointment of missing out on Mbappé:
“We have a very good forward line. Vinícius, Rodrygo, Benzema… Mbappé doesn’t exist tonight. It’s a party for Real Madrid and its players.”
Real Madrid won't go to Cibeles tonight - Movistar
Movistar is reporting that Real Madrid won't go to the Plaza de Cibeles tonight to celebrate their Champions League win. Madrid will instead make their way to the square in central Madrid, where they always celebrate major silverware with their fans, on Sunday evening Spanish time.
Modric: "This club is without doubt the greatest in history"
Luka Modric has spoken to Movistar:
Real Madrid "the greatest in history":
“We’re still letting what we’e done sink in. This club is without doubt the greatest in the history of football. We always say that and we have to repeat it - there’s nothing like Real Madrid.”
Five Champions League winners' medals with Madrid:
"Five was impossible to imagine. But now I have five, and hopefully there'll be more."
Keys to Madrid's win:
"Character, never giving up, believing right to the end. We did that today."
Flanked by Eder Militao (left) and Dani Ceballos, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti celebrates as Marcelo lifts the Champions League trophy.
Real's group of five-time winners
Real Madrid now have a number of players who have been part of Champions League wins in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022.
Rodrygo: Courtois won the game for us
Rodrygo Goes speaks to Movistar:
“A phenomenal day. I really wanted to get here and win the Champions League, and it’s a very special day and I’m very happy.
Fitful afternoon nap:
“I tried to sleep [during the afternoon before the game] but I kept on waking up, it was a very difficult day for me, but we know that when you’re like this good things are coming.”
“Tibu has won the game for us!”
Man of the Match Thibaut Courtois poses with the Champions League trophy.
(Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Luka Modric celebrates with the trophy.
(Photo: REUTERS/Molly Darlington)
Casillas: "This club is the fucking dog's bollocks!"
Former Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas, who knows a thing or two about winning the Champions League with Los Blancos, is a fairly happy fellow tonight. He has tweeted: “CHAMPIONS!!! 14 Champions Leagues!!! Some clubs come into fashion, have good periods, spring a surprise one season… but this club IS THE FUCKING DOG’S BOLLOCKS!!! Congratulations Real Madrid!!! Congratulations Madridistas!!!”
Courtois follows in footsteps of Kahn, Van der Sar
Thibaut Courtois was, unsurprisingly, named as the Man of the Match in Paris tonight. He's only the third goalkeeper to win the award in a Champions League final.
Thibaut Courtois' nine saves against Liverpool is more than any other keeper in a Champions League final since Opta began collecting such data just under 20 years ago.
UEFA blames stadium chaos on "fake tickets"
By the way, UEFA has released a statement on the crowd congestion that delayed the kick-off, blaming the chaos on "fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles".
UEFA's statement in full:
In the lead-up to the game, the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles.
This created a build-up of fans trying to get in. As a result, the kick off was delayed by 35 minutes to allow as many fans as possible with genuine tickets to gain access.
As numbers outside the stadium continued to build up after kick off, the police dispersed them with tear gas and forced them away from the stadium.
UEFA is sympathetic to those affected by these events and will further review these matters urgently together with the French police and authorities, and with the French Football Federation.
Here's another view of the moment Marcelo lifted the Champions League trophy.
(Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Roberto Mancini has congratulated Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti on winning a record fourth Champions League title as a coach. "Complimenti Carletto," the Italy coach tweeted a few moments ago.
Karim Benzema has spoken to Movistar. Here are a couple of quotes from the Frenchman:
- “Very happy, proud of this team […]. We deserve the way it’s ended today.”
- "It means a lot, winning the Champions League here with Real Mdrid, the greatest club in the world, and in Paris."
Real Madrid captain Marcelo lifts the Champions League trophy.
(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
"Great character" - Lineker
Gary Lineker, once of Madrid's arch rivals Barcelona, of course, has highlighted Thibaut Courtois' display, tweeting that the Belgian is a "truly great goalkeeper". Hard to argue with that.
"Congratulations to Real Madrid who have repeatedly defied the odds this season to win the Champions League," Lineker said. "Great character, a winning mentality and a canny manager…oh, and a truly great goalkeeper. Well played."
Marcelo lifts the trophy!
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hands the trophy to Marcelo, who raises it aloft! Fourteen European titles. Blimey.
Madrid have now been the winning team in their last eight Champions League final appearances. I heard the odd Spanish journalist suggesting pre-match that the run had to end sometime - but that's not today.
Liverpool collect runners-up medals
Real Madrid have formed a guard of honour for the Liverpool players, and Jürgen Klopp is actually pretty gracious as he leads his team up through the tunnel of Madrid players to pick up their losers' medals.
A moment earlier, Real Madrid great Raúl carried the Champions League trophy out to the presentation ceremony, and was already lifting it into the air as he ran out to the podium.
Salah denied despite six shots on target
Mohamed Salah had six shots on target in tonight's game - the most recorded in a Champions League final since Opta began collecting such stats in the 2003/04 season.
Ancelotti: "I can't believe I have four Champions Leagues"
Real Madrid's Champions League win makes Carlo Ancelotti the first coach to win the tournament four times. Speaking to Movistar, he says: "I can’t believe I have four Champions Leagues!"
A couple of other quotes from Ancelotti:
- "The lads showed brilliant commitment"
- "Alaba, Militao, Mendy did really well at the back"
Ancelotti is also asked whether he's seen a goalkeeping performance like Thibaut Courtois' tonight, to which he replies: "Yes - I’ve seen others from Courtois!"
Marcelo dedicates UCL win to Real fans
Marcelo speaks: "We have to congratulate the fans - they've been with us all the way"
He's first interrupted by Ancelotti, who says "I can't believe it!"
Next, a fan who has sneaked on to the pitch jumps on Marcelo, who shouts: "I don't know him - bloody hell! He started kissing me!"
Courtois: "We showed who the kings of Europe are"
Right away, Courtois speaks to Spanish TV channel Movistar. "We showed who the kings of Europe are," he says.
He also tells Movistar: "I have to say sorry to my brother because he's getting married tomorrow and I can't be there!"
Peeep peeep peeeep! It's all over! Real Madrid have done it!
Los Blancos have won their 14th European title - and now have exactly twice as many as AC Milan, the competition's next-most successful club.
Liverpool dominated for much of this final and had significantly more shots than Madrid - but a superlative, world-class display by Thibaut Courtois kept the Reds out. He was just unbeatable tonight.
One more chance for Liverpool. Fabinho brings it forward down the left, before lifting it into the Real Madrid box. It's not a good cross, however, and flies straight into Courtois' arms.
Real Madrid replace Vinícius with Rodrygo Goes.
Van Dijk heads it on into the box to Salah, who tries to bring the ball down. His attempted control bounces off Militao's midriff, and Liverpool appeal in vain for a penalty.
What a chance Ceballos has just spurned. Benzema lifts a ball over the top for the midfielder to run on to. He's in behind the Liverpool defence, but hesitates for just a moment, before trying to square it to Camavinga. He can't find his team-mate.
A minute later, Benzema lays it off for Camavinga to shoot from the top of the box, but he curls his effort well over the crossbar.
Five minutes of time added on at the Stade de France.
Ceballos is on for Luka Modric.
Liverpool win a corner, which Courtois comes out to claim imperiously. What a performance from him.
Dani Ceballos is waiting to come on for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid do exactly what they need to do, keeping the ball for a prolonged spell. There are even a few 'olés' from the Madrid fans, which seems to me to be tempting fate a little.
Vinícius runs at the Liverpool backline, before backheeling it to Benzema. He tries to jink his way past Alexander-Arnold and into the box, but the right-back nicks the ball away from him.
Real Madrid bring on Eduardo Camavinga for Valverde.
If Liverpool aren't careful, Real Madrid could end this game on the break. With the Reds committed forward, Valverde leads a quick break before playing it to Benzema. He tries to slip it into Vinícius' run into the Liverpool area, but it's just overhit and Alisson is off his line to claim.
Well, what more can you say about this display from Courtois! He has just pulled off an immense stop to deny Salah!
The Egyptian shows Mendy a clean pair of heels and advances into the box, before arrowing a right-footed shot towards the far post. It looks for all the world like it's flying into the net, but Courtois gets a strong arm to it to turn it wide! Salah beats the turf in frustration.
That's nice play from Firmino, who shows for the ball on the edge of the box and lays it off to Salah to shoot. His effort takes a touch off Jota's boot - an intentional touch, I should add - and looks for a second like it might wrong-foot Courtois. The keeper scrambles back across his goal to parry, though!
Liverpool are really knocking on the door, roared on by the fans. On one wing, the Reds work it right to Alexander-Arnold, who's in space to square it just inside the box. His low ball is cut out, but Liverpool win it back and come at Madrid again. Firmino receives in space on the left-hand side of the box, but his low ball towards the six-yard area is cut out. Ah, and the offside flag was up.
On come Firmino and Keïta for Liverpool, with Henderson and Thiago making way.
Oh, wow. What an opportunity for Casemiro, who opts to pass when he should have shot. Kroos' right-wing free-kick drops right onto the boot of Casemiro, in acres of space just to the left of the penalty spot. If he shoots, he probably scores; instead, he tries to square it, and plays it right to a red shirt.
Real Madrid are 15 minutes - plus stoppage time - from their 14th European title.
Liverpool are preparing to bring on Roberto Firmino and Naby Keïta.
Liverpool push forward once more. First, Alexander-Arnold tries to feed a low ball into Salah at the near post, but Real Madrid get it clear. Again Liverpool work it to Alexander-Arnold, who this time goes for power, pinging in a waist-height ball towards the far post. If Jota can get a touch, he may well be able to turn it goalwards - but he can't get that touch. It flies behind for a goal kick.
Uff. Madrid almost get Vinícius in behind the Liverpool defence with what is, essentially, a hoof up the park. Alisson is just out quickly enough to grab hold before his compatriot can reach the ball, however.
The decibels rise in the Real Madrid end when it's played out wide to Vinícius to take on a backpedalling Konaté. He scuttles towards the Liverpool area before trying to work himself a yard of space to shoot, but Konaté does very well to stick a leg in and dispossess the Brazilian.
Robertson plays the ball forward for Jota to chase down the left. He appears to foul Militao, but no free-kick is given and it's behind for a corner.
One corner becomes two, but Madrid get it clear.
Liverpool come back at Madrid - and again Courtois produces a crucial stop! Henderson's right-wing cross looks to be long, but Jota gets his head to it to knock it back across goal. It seems to be falling for Salah to turn into the net, but Courtois is there once more to block!
Salah wins a free-kick on the right wing, and Robertson swings it in. Valverde heads away, but back come Liverpool. Mané clips a cross back into the six-yard box, but again Madrid clear.
You do get the feeling that Madrid's name is on this trophy.
Liverpool replace Díaz with Diogo Jota.
That's another fine save by Courtois! Salah controls on the right wing, cuts inside Casemiro and winds up a powerful shot from just outside of the box. It's arrowing just inside Courtois' right-hand post, but the Belgian flies across goal to beat it out! What a keeper he is.
Fabinho is the first man into Clément Turpin's book, deservedly so. He absolute cleans the Uruguayan out.
Real Madrid take the lead! Vinícius steers home from close range!
It's against the run of play, to say the least - but Madrid are ahead. Valverde barrels down the right wing, before crossing low to the back post, where Vinícius is all alone to turn it into the net! He's onside - just.
How do Liverpool respond to this?
That's nice build-up play by Liverpool. Henderson plays it right to Salah, who feeds it back inside to Alexander-Arnold. Salah scampers into the box in search of a return ball from Alexander-Arnold, which he gets. Twice he pulls the trigger, but twice his shot is blocked. There are appeals for handball against Alaba, but those appeals are waved away.
Liverpool are well on top; Madrid are struggling to keep the ball or create attacking danger.
Carvajal brings it forward, but with not too many white shirts around him, slips it right to Valverde. He plays it inside to Casemiro, whose touch is poor and Liverpool win it back.
The Reds sweep forward, and Mané and Alexander-Arnold both have shots blocked. A moment later, Alexander-Arnold fizzes in a menacing low ball from the right that Courtois has to look alive to punch.
Salah controls on the right, spins, and sets off towards the Real Madrid byline. He clips a right-footed cross into the box, but it's not powerful enough or well directed enough, and drops straight into Courtois' arms.
Liverpool are again haring into the press high up the pitch, winning the ball back close to the Real Madrid box. After one turnover of possession, Mané slips it left to Díaz just outside the Madrid box, but the Colombian can't quite get his feet sorted and, having been in a very dangerous position, is dispossessed.
That's a crucial intervention by Carvajal. Alexander-Arnold whips in a delicious cross from the right towards Salah at the back post - but just as the Egyptian looks like he's going to get his head to the ball, Carvajal somehow gets in front of him to nod the ball away!
Peeeep! We're back underway at the Stade de France.
No half-time changes for either team.
Disallowed goal: Fabinho not deemed to have played ball deliberately
On that disallowed Real Madrid goal, it appears that the video assistants decided that, although Fabinho was the last to touch the ball before it fell to Benzema, the Brazilian wasn't deemed to have played it deliberately. The offside rule states that an attacking player in an otherwise illegal position is only played on if they receive it from a defending player who plays the ball intentionally.
There have been reports that stadium security staff tried to prevent media from videoing Liverpool fans being tear-gassed during the crowd congestion outside the Stade de France.
Stats specialists Opta note that Liverpool have already had as many shots on target tonight as they did in their two previous Champions League final appearances combined.
Peeep peeep peeeep! Clément Turpin brings the first half to an end.
Liverpool carried the initiative for much of that first half, and indeed there were moments when Real Madrid looked distinctly overwhelmed. Yet, having said all that, Madrid are one wafer-thin offside call from being ahead at the break.
For Liverpool, it was Mané who came the closest, his shot bouncing back off the post via a superlative save by Courtois.
That was an intense and immensely enjoyable first half.
We're into three minutes of time added on at the Stade de France.
Real Madrid goal disallowed - Benzema
The Liverpool defence gets itself into a frightful tangle and Benzema strokes the ball into the net - but after a long, long, long VAR check, the goal is ruled out for offside.
A long, angled ball into the Liverpool box finds the striker in space at the back stick. His control lets him down, though, and the chance appears to have been lost. Alisson should scoop the ball up, but he and Konaté get in each other's way, and it drops back to Benzema, who rams it home.
His celebrations are cut short by an offside flag, and there is a very long wait as the video assistant checks whether it was Fabinho who played the ball to Benzema - that would have meant he wasn't offside. In the end, though, the goal doesn't stand.
Robertson plays the ball to Mané, who is at the near post with his back to goal. He spins his man and shoots from an acute angle, but Courtois turns it behind.
The corner finally falls to Henderson, some 25 yards or so out from goal. He lets fly with a powerful shot, but sends the bouncing ball well off target.
Madrid bring it forward, Kroos spraying it wide to the right to Carvajal. His ball into the Liverpool box isn't the best, though, and the Reds get it clear. They look to get Díaz bustling forward down the left wing, but Carvajal atones for his poor ball a moment ago by outpacing the Colombian to win it back. The Real Madrid supporters respond with roars of approval.
Vinícius skips inside Konaté from the left and into the Liverpool box, and the Reds are grateful to Henderson when he nips in to take the ball off the Brazilian's toes. Kroos delivers the corner, which is only half-cleared and threatens to drop to a white shirt, before Thiago finally heads back into Alisson's arms.
There's a headed chance for Salah, but Courtois saves! Konaté shows quick feet to glide by a couple of challenges and step out of defence. He carries it almost right up to the Madrid box, before playing it wide to Alexander-Arnold. Alexander-Arnold takes a touch and crosses with his left, but Salah's glancing header isn't quite powerful or well-placed enough.
Salah is dispossessed on the right, and suddenly Benzema is haring forward at a backpedalling Liverpool defence. He tries to slip an angled inside ball into Vinícius' run into the box, but Van Dijk sees the pass a mile off and steps in to cut it out.
Alexander-Arnold controls on the right wing, before laying it back to Henderson to cross. His ball flies straight into Courtois' arms.
Madrid look to catch Liverpool on the break, with a quick ball fed through to the run of Vinícius in behind the Reds' high line - but Alexander-Arnold is there with a crucial interception. Vinícius was in otherwise.
Real Madrid look to have got things under control once more - until Kroos plays an uncharacteristically sloppy ball straight to Van Dijk. Back come Liverpool, who plop it about just inside the Madrid half for a good minute or so, before Fabinho tries his luck from range. He sends his shot well over.
Madrid enjoy a much-needed spell of possession inside the Liverpool half. It's played out to Vinícius, who whips an inswinging cross over to Benzema at the back post. It's too high for the Frenchman - and, just for a second, looks like it might fly into the net over Alisson. The keeper is up to collect the ball, however.
Seven shots already for Liverpool. Real Madrid are starting to look a little overwhelmed - but we've said that before about them this season and they've managed found a way.
Mané hits the post! It's a fabulous save by Courtois.
Mané cuts inside from the left and into the Real Madrid box, before firing a low shot towards Courtois' near corner from just to the left of the penalty spot. It's firmly hit, but the Madrid goalkeeper somehow manages to get a fingertip to it, and pushes it onto the woodwork. So close to 1-0.
Liverpool have really started to turn the screw in attack - but in between chances or the Merseysiders, Real Madrid launch a quick break that's led by Valverde. He squares the ball to the top of the box, but he can't find a white shirt.
At the other end, Alexander-Arnold shoots over from the edge of the Madrid box!
Right after that Salah chance, Díaz and Thiago both had shooting opportunities. Díaz's effort was blocked, before Thiago wrapped his boot around a curling effort from 20 yards, but it was too close to Courtois.
A minute later, Liverpool work it to Salah, who's peeled off into space just outside of the box. He thumps a first-time effort at goal, but again it's too close to Courtois, who grabs hold!
Courtois saves! That's the first real chance for Liverpool, who are starting to really take charge now.
Alexander-Arnold jinks his way into crossing space on the right-hand side of the Madrid box, before cutting it back low to Salah. It's just behind the Egyptian, who turns it towards goal but can't get enough power on it. Courtois is quickly down to parry!
Ibrahima Konaté draws huge roars of approval from the Liverpool fans with a perfectly-timed tackle to dispossess Vinícius on the left wing. We haven't seen very much of the Brazilian thus far.
Díaz plays a one-two with Mané on the left and chases after the return ball, but is run off it by Carvajal and Militao.
Back come Liverpool, though. Mané unsuccessfully tries to play a give-and-go with Salah just outside the Madrid box, before the Reds then work it wide to the left to Robertson to cross. His ball into the box gets a deflection, however, and Mendy chests it back to Courtois.
Mané is released in behind the Real Madrid defence, into space to advance into the box and cut it back from the byline. Cut it back from the byline he does, but not before the ball rolls just out of play. Goal kick to Real Madrid.
Luis Díaz controls on the left wing, and plays it inside to Mané. Díaz then sets off behind Dani Carvajal and into space for the return from Mané, but the Senegalese takes just a moment too long to play the ball. By the time Mané releases it, Díaz has checked his run.
Now it's Liverpool's turn to keep the ball for a prolonged spell, to a chorus of whistles from the Real Madrid fans. Those jeers turn to cheers when Madrid win it back and work it to Valverde on the wing. He thunders forward down the right, but can't get his cross away.
Real Madrid finally get their foot on the ball for more than a moment, knocking it from side to side inside their own half before searching or Valverde's run down the right wing with a long, high ball.
Valverde wins a throw-in, and Madrid pin Liverpool back for the first time. Until, that is, Militao overruns the ball and loses it.
It's all been played inside the Real Madrid half so far. Liverpool win a free-kick in crossing range on the left, but Trent Alexander-Arnold's whipped ball into the area is headed clear.
Moments later, Alexander-Arnold curls a long ball down the right wing for Mané to chase, but Militao is quickly across to mop up.
Liverpool immediately flex their aggressive, high press, winning the ball back midway inside the Real Madrid half. Thiago looks to slip the ball into Sadio Mané's run into the Madrid box, but the Senegalese can't bring the ball under his spell and the chance is lost.
Peeeeep! Underway in Paris!
Out come the teams!
Clément Turpin leads the teams out at the Stade de France, and they line up one last time this season for the Champions League anthem.
By the way, Thiago is among the Liverpool players who take to the field.
Singer Camila Cabello performs before the Champions League final.
(Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)
Opening ceremony over
Camila Cabello's performance ends, and finally, finally it looks like the teams are going to take to the pitch and we can start readying ourselves for kick-off.
First, Raúl and Ian Rush carry the Champions League trophy out and place it on its pitchside stand.
Zidane at the Stade de France
Zinedine Zidane, the man who was in charge for Real Madrid's last three Champions League final wins, is among the big names in the Stade de France stands tonight.
AS journalist Débora Paz has put together this profile of Cabello, who is a three-time Grammy Award nominee.
Kick-off delayed by a further six minutes
Kick-off is now scheduled for 9:36pm CEST/3:36pm ET.
Finally, the opening ceremony gets going, starring singer Camila Cabello.
"Do not force entry"
Amid reports of fans climbing over fences to get into the Stade de France, French police have tweeted in English and Spanish asking supporters not to "force entry".
"We’ve just been peppered sprayed yet no sign of crowd disorder where I am"
BBC Radio Merseyside reporter Paul Salt has tweeted: "Disgraceful this from @championsleague been waiting an hour and a half to get in and no sign of being successful. Gates closed so no way of gaining entry. We’ve just been peppered sprayed yet no sign of crowd disorder where I am. Crowd building up outside. Joke".
Lineker: "Absolutely shambolic and dangerous"
BBC Match of the Day host Gary Lineker tweeted around 30 minutes ago (see post below) that he was "finding it impossible to get in the ground", adding: "This appears to be very dangerous. Absolute carnage."
Lineker has now also tweeted: "I’m not sure it’s possible to have a more poorly organised event if you tried. Absolutely shambolic and dangerous."
Kick-off now delayed by 30 minutes
It wasn't looking like kick-off was going to happen at quarter past, and as expected it has now been announced that the game has been pushed back until 9:30pm local time (3:30pm ET).
The players are back out for second warm-up.
"Nonsense for UEFA to suggest this is down to fans arriving late"
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo says UEFA's claim that the kick-off delay is down to late-arriving fans is "nonsense". He has complained of a "complete lack of organisation" among the stadium staff.
"Zero communication" with "tear gassed" Reds fans
Merseyside-based journalist Andy Kelly reports that Liverpool fans have been tear gassed outside the Stade de France, and says there has been "zero communication" with the fans still waiting to get inside.
Swathes of empty seats in Liverpool end
As you can see from this photo taken just now by our man inside the Stade de France, there are still heaps of empty seats in the Liverpool end.
Many Reds fans still outside Stade de France
The problems with accessing the stadium appear to be in the Liverpool end.
Kick-off delayed by 15 minutes
It has been announced at the Stade de France that kick-off has been delayed by 15 minutes due to congestion outside of the stadium, with a large number of fans still waiting to get inside.
Keïta in for Thiago?
Still no official word on Thiago, but Goal's Liverpool correspondent Neil Jones has just tweeted this. It's looking rather like Naby Keïta may start ahead of the Spaniard.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is better than Thibaut Courtois when it comes to saving penalties. The 29-year-old Brazilian goalkeeper has saved four of the 25 penalties he has faced in his career, a save percentage of 16%.
Tonight's match referee is France's Clément Turpin, who was the fourth official in Liverpool and Real Madrid's 2018 Champions League final.
Ancelotti explains why he chose Valverde over Rodrygo
Carlo Ancelotti spoke briefly to Cadena COPE about his team selection ahead of the game and why he decided to go with Fede Valverde and not Rodrygo in his starting XI.
Rodrygo, who scored last-ditch goals against City in the semi-final, will be reserved for the final part of the match. The Madrid boss was asked if he'd had a siesta this afternoon, "Yes, just a one-hour nap," he replied.
"We're prepared for the difficulties that obviously we are going to have. The squad's very relaxed. They are used to these kinds of games - the veteran players handle the atmosphere well. I think it's going to be an intense game early on and we've got to be ready for that. Valverde can play in any position because we have to bear in mind that Rodrygo will be taking part in this game or could make the difference. Madrid will fight to the end, we never give up".
Thiago to drop out of Liverpool XI?
There are some late doubts over whether or not Thiago will finally start for Liverpool. The Spaniard has been warming up separately from his team-mates, and TV images have just shown him deep in conversation with head coach Jürgen Klopp.
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: how to watch
If you're still wondering how you can tune in to tonight's Champions League final on the telly or online, let me point you in the direction of our guide on how and where to watch.
Warm-ups underway in Paris
Both teams are out and warming up at the Stade de France. Just over half an hour to go until kick-off; before then, we'll have the Champions League final opening ceremony, starring singer Camila Cabello.
(Photo: REUTERS/Molly Darlington)
Liverpool pay respects to Heysel victims
Inside the Stade de France, legendary former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish has laid a wreath on the club's crest as a mark of respect for the victims of the Heysel Stadium disaster, whose 37th anniversary is on Sunday.
My colleague Andy Hall has written this profile of Paisley, the man in charge of Liverpool when the Reds last met Real Madrid in a European Cup final in Paris.
Ancelotti on the cusp of European Cup record
Incidentally, Carlo Ancelotti can become the European Cup/Champions League’s most successful ever coach tonight. A Real Madrid victory would earn be his fourth winners’ medal as a coach, adding to those that he has already picked up with Madrid in 2014, and with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007.
Ancelotti is currently level on three with his former Madrid assistant Zinedine Zidane, who led Los Blancos to the Champions League in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and Bob Paisley, who managed Liverpool to continental glory in 1977, 1978 and 1981.
Ancelotti also won the European Cup twice as a player with Milan, in 1989 and 1990.
What the coaches said: Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid
Real Madrid's approach to the final:
“We have to approach the game with the aim of showing our ability. What we’ve been able to show this season, we have to do tomorrow too. It’s a massive team commitment, and it’ll come down to individual quality and the players who’ve come in, proven themselves and made the difference. Liverpool will play with intensity. They’re got a lot of talent and play directly. The team that’s capable of showing their quality will win”.
“We’ve deserved to get to the final. In football, to win it comes down to more than individual quality. You have to show it together, with the commitment of the team that we’ve shown. The club’s history has driven us in moments of difficulty and that’s why we deserve to be in the final. But to win it, we have to deserve to do so tomorrow, there’s no other way”.
Ancelotti's previous finals:
“I’ve got great memories of all the finals and I think the final when we played the best, was the one against Liverpool when we lost [in 2005, while Ancelotti was in charge at AC Milan]. Anything can happen in a final, we have to be ready for anything. We’ve had time to prepare for it and I think we go into it at a good time. We’re going to give our all. I’m not convinced that will be enough to win, as we know in football that you can’t control some things. But it’s the final and the build-up is a nice thing and we have to enjoy that until the referee blows the whistle”.
(Photo: Michael Regan - UEFA via Getty Images)
What the coaches said: Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool
Concerns over state of hastily laid pitch at Stade de France:
“You can see the lines where they put the different pieces of the pitch in; that’s obviously not probably what we are all used to. But, again, that’s not a problem because the good news is both teams play on this pitch. That somebody thought it’s a good idea to bring the pitch the day before the game into the stadium, that’s an interesting idea, to be honest. It didn’t kill my mood for a per cent. I’m really happy that we are here. Now we are here and we play the game and that’s it. As long as both teams have the same circumstances, I’m fine with it.”
Liverpool's tactical approach to final:
“If I would do now something surprising for my players, for example, then they could think I’m nervous; if I pull now a rabbit out of the hat and these kind of things. I believe when you do the right stuff all the time then it is the right thing to do in the final as well. But, it has to be on the highest level possible. We obviously played some really, really good stuff this season, we are not here by surprise or we got a ticket or something like that – we deserved it as well. So, being us on the highest level would be cool. If we could do that then, as I said, we are a really uncomfortable opponent. A really uncomfortable opponent. That’s what we have to be.”
Salah out for revenge after 2018 final:
“It’s normal that he wants to put things right. We want to put things right. We didn’t forget what happened that time, it’s just a while ago and we cannot come here and tomorrow I show the movie of that game and it’s enough motivation for the game, that makes no sense. We have so many reasons that we give our absolute everything tomorrow night and this might be one reason but not the reason.”
(Photo: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)
Fabinho, Thiago both start for Liverpool; Konaté gets nod over Matip
For Liverpool, the chief news is that Fabinho and Thiago Alcántara both start in the midfield. They’d been fitness doubts because of thigh and Achilles issues, respectively, albeit Klopp said in his pre-match press conference that the pair were looking “good” to play in Paris.
In all, Klopp makes three changes to the team that started against Wolves last weekend, as Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho and Mohamed Salah all return to the team. Ibrahima Konaté is preferred to Joel Matip alongside Van Dijk, while Naby Keïta and Diogo Jota join Matip in dropping to the bench.
Liverpool team news
Liverpool's Champions League final XI is in!
The Reds' line up is: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Mané, Díaz.
Vinicius was on the radio earlier this week and gave his thoughts on the season and this game. He said he doesn't have anything planned if he scores, but might "go a bit crazy". Read the whole interview.
Liverpool arrive at Stade de France... finally
Liverpool's team bus appears to have got stuck in traffic on its way to the Stade de France, but the Reds have now arrived at the stadium, a little later than their final opponents.
Benzema in sight of UCL goals record
Karim Benzema leads the Real Madrid line with the chance not only to win his fifth Champions League winners' medal, but also to claim an individual record held by former club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Benzema is currently on 15 goals in 11 Champions League appearances this season, so another hat-trick for the Frenchman - he has two already in the competition this term - would take him past Cristiano's single-season record of 17 UCL goals.
The Portuguese set the record in a Madrid shirt in 2013/14, leading Los Merengues to their 10th European title.
Camila Cabello will be performing ahead of the game this evening, here's the lowdown on the Cuban-American singer.
Alaba returns for Real, Valverde preferred to Rodrygo
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti makes two changes to the team that began last weekend’s final-day LaLiga draw with Real Betis.
In defence, David Alaba returns to the team in place of Nacho, the Austrian making his appearance for Madrid since the first leg against Manchester City a month ago. He’s been troubled by a hamstring injury.
The other change to the side sees Fede Valverde get the nod over Rodrygo Goes. This wasn’t unexpected: it was felt Ancelotti might well opt for the extra midfielder in Valverde, who also brings the kind of energy Los Blancos are likely to need against this Liverpool side.
Expect to see Rodrygo in the second half, though.
Real Madrid team news
Real Madrid have gone very early with their line-up!
Los Blancos' starting XI is: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Valverde, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Benzema, Vinícius.
Liverpool's UCL campaign: at a glance
Our chums at SofaScore have also knocked up an at-a-glance recap of Liverpool's route to Paris.
Liverpool's road to their 10th European Cup/Champions League final has certainly been smoother than Real Madrid's. Indeed, Jürgen Klopp's men were the first Premier League side to win all six of their games in the group stage.
That said, the knockout stages weren't without the odd little fright; most notably, when Villarreal briefly threatened to pull off an astonishing semi-final comeback.
Real Madrid's UCL campaign: at a glance
If a bitesize summary of Madrid's road to the final is more your thing, then we've also got you covered: our friends at SofaScore have put together this bitesize summary of Los Blancos' 2021/22 campaign.
As they bid to win a fifth European title in nine seasons, Real Madrid will be appearing in the 17th European Cup/Champions League final in their history. In other words, Los Vikingos have been involved in a quarter of all finals since the tournament's inception in 1955/56.
And it's fair to say that Madrid's comeback-tastic path to yet another final began has been an utterly wild ride. AS USA's Paul Rudder takes a look back over the Spaniards' Champions League campaign so far.
Can Madrid crown dramatic UCL campaign with 14th European title?
As for Real Madrid, who are still digesting the disappointment of missing out on Kylian Mbappé, victory at the Stade de France tonight would leave them with 14 - FOURTEEN - European Cups to their name. Exactly twice as many as Milan.
And given their Champions League campaign so far, they’re not only the kings of Europe, but the comeback kings of Europe. In three knockout ties against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, they have: overturned a two-goal deficit with half an hour of the tie to play; recovered from relinquishing a two-goal first-leg lead to prevail in extra time; and, most dramatically of all, come back from two down as the second leg ticked into injury time.
Liverpool, beware: as they often say in Spain, you have to kill Real Madrid twice.
(Photo: Ángel Martínez/Getty Images)
Liverpool and Salah seek Real revenge
For Liverpool, and particularly Mohamed Salah, this is a chance for revenge for 2018’s final defeat to Real Madrid in Kyiv. Having been pipped to the Premier League title at the weekend, it’s also a chance to avoid the ‘nearly-men’ tag which, inevitably, they’d be slapped with were their tremendous season to end with ‘only’ the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
And, of course, it’s a chance to lift a seventh European title, in the process equalling AC Milan as the tournament’s second-most successful club side.
(Photo: AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOV)
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: welcome
Hello there. To borrow a phrase from the great Des Lynam, you’ve obviously heard there’s a football match on. Today’s Champions League final, the conclusion to the 67th season of this fabulous competition, really is the most mouth-watering of mouth-watering prospects. For the third time in the history of the European Cup - no other teams have met more often in the final - Liverpool and Real Madrid will slug it out for that famous, big-eared trophy.
Kick-off at Paris' Stade de France is at 9pm local time (3pm ET).