The Champions League Final was played yesterday night between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid FC. This was a recap of the 2017-2018 Champions League Final. The Los Blancos won their 14th UCL title by beating the men in red by 1-0. Vinicius Junior was the one to score the winning goal for Madrid. It was scored in the 59th minute. The top performers of the game were Trent Alexander Arnold, Mohammad Salah, and Thibaut Courtois. Here is an in-depth look at the game:
The Starting 11 for Liverpool:
Luis Diaz (Left Wing), Sadio Mane (Striker), Mohammad Salah (Right Wing), Thiago Alcantara (Right Mid-field), Fabinho(Central Midfield), Jordan Henderson (Left Midfield), Andrew Robertson (Left Wing Back), Virgil Van Dijk (Centre Backs), Ibrahima Konate (Centre Backs), Trent Alexander Arnold (Right Wing Back).
The Starting 11 for Real Madrid in the Champions League Final:
Vinicius Junior (Left Wing), Karim Benzema (Right Wing), Federico Valverde (Right Wing), Toni Kroos (Left Midfield), Casemiro (Central Midfield), Luka Modric (Right Midfield), Ferland Mendy (Left Wing Back), David Alaba (Centre Backs), Eder Militao (Centre Backs), Dani Carvajal (Right Wing Back).
First Half of the Champions League Final:
The game was a very conservative one. Both the teams were skeptical about making those changes. However, Liverpool was more expressive on the pitch. They were the ones having most of the possession. Real Madrid was implementing the Jose Mourinho strategy of playing on the counterattack. The first effective attempt came in the 10th minute of the game and it was by Liverpool. Sadio Mane crossed the ball in and Mohammad Salah fired a shot far from goal.
The next effective attempt was again made by Liverpool. It was Trent this time who moved in swiftly. He slammed the ball in towards Salah. Salah directed it towards goal with a heel flick but it was Courtois to the rescue. In the 30th minute, Sadio Mane pulled the trigger once again. This time it was again Thibaut to the rescue. He just got his fingertips and the ball hit the woodwork. The 36th minute saw Mo Salah get a cross in from Alexander-Arnold. He headed it towards goal but Thibaut again was perfectly placed.
Real Madrid’s first great attempt came in the 46th minute. It was Karim Benzema against Alisson Becker after Mendy floated an elite ball towards Karim. Alisson was great while shielding it but the Liverpool defense made a mess of it while clearing. It went in after Benzema struck the ball. But it was called off-side.
Second Half of the Champions League Final:
The second half of the game was the more boring part of it as Real were very keen on keeping possession the moment they got the lead. The 50th minute saw the boys from Anfield making one more attempt. Arnold floated the ball towards Firmino who came in as a sub. But the Brazilian missed the header. 53rd minute, another attempt by Trent to fire the ball across the mouth of the Real Madrid goal but it was palmed safely by Courtois.
The 59th minute saw the winning goal of the game. Valverde fired across the ball after making an exquisite run. The ball moved towards the far post. Alexander-Arnold expected free space at his back and let the ball go, but in came Vini! He was exactly behind Trent. He received the ball and made a clean and calm finish. 1-0, Real Madrid.
Fabinho conceded the first yellow of the game in the latter part. It was just a sign of his frustration. It was a terrible challenge on Valverde. The 64th minute saw Mo Salah fire a shot at the Madrid goal. It was again, the hero of the match, Courtois to the rescue. The stats at the 78th minute were as follows, Liverpool made 19 shots and 7 were on target, each one saved by Courtois. Real Madrid made 2 shots and scored 1! With each passing minute, the frustration of the reds was visible.
Performer of the Match:
Courtois has to be the top performer in the game. He made 9 to 10 saves and it was visibly, Courtois against Liverpool. He was pin-point with his positioning on goal. His calling was clear and saw was his timing.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohammad Salah have to be acknowledged on the losing side. Trent was making life hell for the Los Blancos. It wasn’t his mistake that Liverpool conceded. A player cannot certainly have eyes on the back, right?
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