A typically drama-filled 90 minutes at the Stade de France on Saturday night ultimately culminated in Real Madrid emerging triumphant, to add an eye-watering 14th Champions League title to the club’s trophy case.
Liverpool, as expected, opened the clash on the front foot, with Thibaut Courtois forced into a number of smart saves to keep Real Madrid on level terms early on.
Nevertheless, though, it was Los Blancos who were first to find the net on the stroke of the interval, when Karim Benzema slotted home from close range.
On the back of a protracted VAR check, however, the prolific Frenchman’s effort was eventually ruled out, owing to an offside call which left fans across the globe altogether bemused.
Karim Benzema’s opener is ruled out for offside! ❌
What do you make of this decision? 🤔#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/dnez8spmJA
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2022
Carlo Ancelotti’s troops were soon on target once more, though, and this one stood…
After Fede Valverde made a yard of space for himself down Liverpool’s left, his ensuing delivery across the face of goal was slotted home by match-winner Vinicius Jr, aided by some less than impressive positional awareness on the part of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
REAL MADRID LEAD! 🔥
Vinícius Júnior steals in at the back post to tap home from close range ⚽️#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/owgAzrA75V
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2022
And that proved all she wrote at the Stade de France, as Real Madrid stretched their lead over the chasing pack ever further courtesy of a 14th Champions League crown.
Alisson – 5.5
Vinicius’ winner aside, Liverpool’s no.1 had next to nothing to do all night.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5.5
Looked typically dangerous in the attacking third, and, for the most part, dealt well with the threat of Vinicius Jr. As has proven the case on more than one occasion in the past, though, a momentary lapse in concentration proved fatal for his side on the night.
Ibrahima Konate – 7
What a talent Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have secured for themselves in Konate. A giant at the back for Klopp’s troops, particularly when faced with the daunting task of dealing with Vinicius’ surging runs.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
A quieter night than his defensive partner, but nonetheless hardly put a foot wrong.
Andy Robertson – 5
Afforded a difficult task in dealing with the ever-lively Valverde, limiting the Scot’s influence going forward. Solid if unspectacular. Also could perhaps have done more to prevent the game-winning assist.
Fabinho – 5.5
Far from his best on the back of a lengthy spell out of action.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Typically neat and tidy in his role as leader in the middle of the park, Henderson’s pinpoint deliveries into the box proved a key outlet for Liverpool throughout.
Thiago Alcantara – 5
Started well after being labelled a last-minute fitness doubt, but saw the game largely pass him by as Real began to take control beyond the interval. Hooked 15 minutes from time.
Mohamed Salah – 6
Grew into proceedings courtesy of more than one fine effort at goal as the clash wore on, only to by met by the unbeatable Courtois between the posts for Real. Liverpool’s biggest threat in the final third.
Sadio Mane – 5.5
Desperately unlucky to see a moment of early brilliance fail to produce the evening’s opener. Did his utmost to produce a key moment of quality for the Reds, but came up short in the face of a stellar Real backline.
Luis Diaz – 5.5
Exploded out of the blocks in characteristic fashion, but saw his influence wane badly as proceedings wore on. The victim of a masterclass on the part of Dani Carvajal.
Diogo Jota – 5
Struggled to have the desired effect after being introduced early in the 2nd-half.
Roberto Firmino – 4.5
Saw his creative endeavours come up short in search of an equaliser.
Naby Keita – 4
Should have done better with a late effort at goal.
Thibaut Courtois – 9
Kept Liverpool at bay time and time again courtesy of stunning reflex saves. The undisputed man of the Match.
Dani Carvajal – 8.5
An absolutely masterful display on the right of Real Madrid’s defence, keeping the explosive Diaz just about as quiet as any full-back could hope to, all the while providing his side with a constant outlet beyond Valverde.
Eder Militao – 6.5
Looked set for a testing evening’s work after being turned inside out by Sadio Mane early on, but soon recovered to dominate, particularly in the air.
David Alaba – 7
Barely troubled all evening, Alaba continues to prove himself as one of world football’s most dependable defenders, no matter his position.
Ferland Mendy – 6.5
Dealt impressively with the threat of Mo Salah down the Liverpool right, whilst looking equally comfortable in possession. A fine display.
Casemiro – 7
The very definition of an unsung hero. Patrolled the middle of the park with grit and superb reading of the game, with his endeavours beyond the interval particularly superb.
Luka Modric – 7.5
Masterful, magisterial, world-class… What words remain to describe Real Madrid’s veteran midfield standout? Modric sauntered through the action in Paris, pulling the strings amid yet another memorable performance on the biggest stage.
Toni Kroos – 6
The least influential of Los Merengues’ midfield three. The German’s 2nd-half showing proved considerably better than his first.
Federico Valverde – 7.5
What an outing on the part of Real’s all-action midfielder. Shifted into a berth on the right flank once more, Valverde proved a real difference-maker on both sides of the ball. Bagged the assist for Vinicius’ winner, too.
Karim Benzema – 6.5
Far from his most head-turning showing, but, in the end, that simply didn’t matter. Benzema’s hold-up play and remarkable ability to maintain possession in all areas of the pitch proved absolutely crucial
Vinicius Jr – 7
Far from the explosive Brazilian’s finest outing, but his clever run and equally smart finish made the difference on the night.
Eduardo Camavinga – N/A
Dani Ceballos – N/A
Rodrygo – N/A
What the experts said
“Benzema’s goal should have stood. The referee is wrong.”
– Arsene Wenger pic.twitter.com/Lr9XmYr1qG
— BRGoals (@BRGoals) May 28, 2022
What the fans said
How was the hour before the game 10x more interesting than the actual game
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) May 28, 2022
The goal should have stood. Saying that is not a goal is a farce to the rules of football.
But everything about UEFA has been a farce. So that’s how it is.
— The Real Champs (@TheRealChampsFS) May 28, 2022
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The Premier League table as it stands
|7||West Ham United||38||16||8||14||60||51||9||56|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||38||12||15||11||42||44||-2||51|
Last updated: 1 min ago