Real Madrid Wins Champions League Final 1-0 Over Liverpool
21:34 GMT 28.05.2022 (Updated: 23:13 GMT 28.05.2022)
Real Madrid win the 2021-22 Champions League final 1-0 over Liverpool FC, extending their record of 14 titles in the competition.
European club football's biggest competition ended, as it has so many times before, with Real Madrid being crowned kings of Europe. The most successful club in the competition's history played the unfamiliar role of underdog as they picked off Europe's biggest clubs en route to the final.
Their run saw them best Paris Saint-Germaine in the round of 16, Chelsea in the quarter-finals, Manchester City in the semi-final, and Liverpool in the final.
While Real were victorious in the final, they were second best for most of the night. Liverpool outshot them 24 to 4 and held an edge in possession 54% to 46%. Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois put in a man-of-the-match performance with a dazzling array of saves that prevented Liverpool from taking the lead early in the game and from drawing even in its dying embers.
Madrid's backline remained disciplined and deep, while their attack stuck to playing the ball in behind in counter attacking situations. The strategy almost paid off in the first half, but a controversial VAR decision ruled that Karim Benzema was offsides following a series of Liverpool defensive miscues.
Real took the lead in the 58th minute on a Vinicius Junior goal that started as a Federico Valverde shot and became the pass of the season.
What a pass from Valverde on that winning goal! I mean, they don't come any better than that, do they? Courtois may well be the man of the match but this assist is surely the key element of the play of the match. #LIVRMA #Valverde #RealMadrid #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/hImV2CNHSb— Pavel Vondra (@pavelvond) May 28, 2022
The final was a rematch of the 2017-18 Champions League final, which saw Real Madrid win 3-1. This was Real's first return to the final since then, while Liverpool reached, and won, the 2018-19 final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Real manager Carlo Ancelloti has become the first manager to win the Champions League four times and has now won the competition in three different decades.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is now one for four in Champions League finals.
© AFP 2023 / THOMAS COEXLiverpool fans stand outside unable to get in in time leading to the match being delayed prior to the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on May 28, 2022
Liverpool fans stand outside unable to get in in time leading to the match being delayed prior to the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on May 28, 2022
© AFP 2023 / THOMAS COEX
Before the match even began there was drama. UEFA delayed the start of the game by 30 minutes in what was initially described as "the late arrival of fans," with no explanation having been given over what caused the late arrivals.
Videos on social media quickly filled in the gaps and shed light on the scenes outside of the arena. Liverpool fans had been crammed into one point of entry and seemingly one guard was tasked with the security check of thousands of individuals.
A look at Paris right now as Liverpool fans are stuck outside the stadium due to poor crowd control and can’t get into the Champions League final @StoolFootball pic.twitter.com/ye8cNlA8cS— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 28, 2022
Fans began hopping security fences to get into the stadium and police reportedly wielded truncheons and used tear gas to control the crowd.
UEFA released a statement to explain the delay and chaos that preceded it, claiming the "the turnstiles at the Liverpool end became blocked by thousands [of] fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles."
The statement went on to say, "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."