Spanish giants Real Madrid have won the 2021-2022 Champion League trophy after beating Liverpool FC 1-0.
Liverpool’s hopes of being crowned champions of Europe for a seventh time ended in heartbreak at the hands of Real Madrid in Paris.
Brazilian winger Vinícius Júnior scored in the 59th minute to lead the Real Madrid team to a 14th title in European football.
Liverpool had several attempts on target but were frustrated by a brilliant goalkeeping displayed by Thibaut Courtois, the former Chelsea. He frustrated several attempts by Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah with superb saves.
The final started 36 minutes after the scheduled 20:00 BST kick-off due to “security reasons” after pictures emerged in the build-up of huge crowds of fans queuing to get in the Stade de France.
Jurgen Klopp’s side ran into a one-man wall of defiance as Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois produced one of the great individual performances to thwart Liverpool time and again.
Mohamed Salah, seeking revenge for his early departure through injury in the 2018 final against Real, was denied three times by Courtois who was simply unbeatable.
The victory also sees Carlo Ancelotti make history by becoming the first coach to win a fourth Champions League title.
Real were always a threat and the decisive moment came after 59 minutes when Vinicius stole in unmarked at the far post to score.
This was also a final marred by chaotic scenes outside Stade de France with thousands of Liverpool fans, some targeted with pepper spray by French police, unable to get into the stadium, forcing the kick-off to be delayed by more than 30 minutes.
Liverpool’s magnificent season brought them the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup – both won on penalties against Chelsea – but ended in a double disappointment in the final week of a stellar campaign.
Liverpool were not quite at their best and eventually paid the price for not taking chances as Real pounced in trademark fashion to win this tournament for a record-extending 14th time.
Klopp’s side could not have given any more as they pushed to the final whistle but looked jaded towards the end – no surprise given the demands made of them this season.