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Soccer

Real Madrid win the 2021/22 Champions League

Fede Valverde crossed in the second half for Vinicius Junior to score the match winner from close range for Real Madrid.

Kieran Quaile
Update:
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28: Carlo Ancelotti, Manager of Real Madrid, celebrates after the final whistle is blown to confirm their side as winners of the UEFA Champions League following victory in the UEFA Champions League final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David RamosGetty

Real Madrid became 2021/22 Champions League winners in Paris on Saturday, beating Liverpool at the Stade de France.

After a 36-minute delay due to security issues at the Stade de France, the sides eventually got underway in Paris.

Liverpool had plenty of possession early on but struggled to break the La Liga champions down.

A relatively flat start was ended when Thibaut Courtois made a big save from a close range Salah effort after 16 minutes, in Liverpool’s best early spell of the game.

Liverpool had three attempts on goal in the space of a minute but Courtois stood tall to keep the Reds out.

The Belgian shot-stopper came up with another outstanding save in the 21st minute to deny Sadio Mané from the edge of the box.

Real Madrid gradually made their way into the contest. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos lifted the intensity in midfield.

In the 34th minute, Salah headed straight at Courtois as Liverpool continued to threaten the Spanish side.

Just before half-time, Jordan Henderson drove a volley from 25 yards wide of the Madrid post.

In the 42nd minute, Karim Benzema had the ball in the net but was ruled out for offside after a long VAR check.

The sides couldn’t be separated in the first half and it remained 0-0 at half-time, with Liverpool the better side.

Vinicius scores winning goal

In the 58th minute, Fede Valverde smashed a low cross into the box from the right and Vinicius Junior was at the back post to score from close range and give Madrid the lead.

Courtois was excellent throughout and denied a Salah strike as Liverpool looked to get back into the game.

Madrid’s performance improved in the second half, and their passing was key to preventing more dominant Liverpool spells.

Trent Alexander-Arnold drilled a shot across the goal with just over 15 minutes left on the clock, but Substitute Diogo Jota couldn’t get a touch to steer it goalward.

Naby Keita then blasted over the bar with the outside of his right foot as the clock ticked down at the Stade de France.

Dani Ceballos was sent through on goal from Benzema’s pass, but the Spaniard failed to double Los Blancos’ lead.

Despite some late Liverpool pressure, Real Madrid held on to lift their 14th Champions League title.

Carlo Ancelotti has been fundamental to the club’s success this season, winning the trophy for the fourth time as head coach.

The Italian first won the title in 2003 with AC Milan and his most recent success before tonight came with Madrid in the 2014 final.

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