Friday, 20 July, 2018

Brilliant Bale guides Real to Champions League three-peat

Liverpool, Real Madrid set to clash in Champions League title game Ronaldo hints at exit: “It has been very nice playing for Real Madrid”
Freda Brock | 27 May, 2018, 03:43

Bale, who had been controversially left on the bench despite his recent good form, scored twice in a final packed full of memorable moments for good and bad reasons.

And then there is Sergio Ramos, the serial victor, defensive rock and captain, whose cynical challenge on Mohamed Salah - which left the Liverpool forward with a suspected dislocated shoulder - added to the sense of Real being a team that is easier to dislike than love.

"It's a serious injury, a really serious injury", Klopp said.

But just like it was a year ago, after Juventus were beaten in Cardiff by Zidane's men, there is nearly a rush to avoid putting this Real team on the pedestal that many clubs before them have occupied for achieving far less.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring the 1-0 lead during the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC at the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kiev. We didn't win the final, we lost a very important player and Egypt maybe lost a very important player for the World Cup.

Madrid benefited to claim their 13th title - and fourth in five years - as Zidane became the first manager to win three successive Champions League finals, with Cristiano Ronaldo lifting his fifth European Cup. The Egypt worldwide tried to play on but the pain proved too much, forcing Klopp to replace him with Adam Lallana. He was replaced by Nacho.

Real Madrid celebrate winning the Champions League with the trophy
Real Madrid celebrate winning the Champions League with the trophy

After collecting a shot, Karius rolled the ball out too casually, neglecting the presence of Benzema who struck out his right foot and dispatched the ball into an empty net.

He said: "Nobody expected us to be here, but we are because we are Liverpool".

For Madrid it was about one man proving Zidane wrong. Tonight they were the better team and were able to take full advantage of the chances that came their way.

"I felt like I deserved it but the manager makes the decisions and what can you do?"

Bale then sealed Madrid's record-extending 13th European Cup win and piled more misery on Karius with a long-range strike in the 83rd minute which went straight through the hands of the hapless goalkeeper.

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