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Champions League Final: Real Madrid Steal

They didn’t unleash a single shot for nearly 60 minutes. They were saved by the vast limbs of the post and goalkeeper, but for almost an hour, the underdog in the 2022 Champions League final seemed to delay the inevitable. They are classified, overrun, unmanned and will certainly succumb to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool machine at some point.

But in the 59th minute, they presented the ultimate counterpoint: they are Real Madrid.

And, as the heroic goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said the day before, “when Real Madrid play the final, they win it.”

They are real madrid, The most successful club in European football history, won the 14th European title on Saturday and beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Stade de France in Paris. The match went on to score no points in the second hour, and Vinissius Jr. sneaked behind Trent Alexander Arnold in a distant post. Their first shot was his tap-in and was the only goal of the chaotic game of chaotic nights.

they are real madrid, And they have now conquered Europe twice as many times as the second-winning club. But due to the tremendous stretch along the way, they didn’t play like that. They lost to Moldova’s minnow Sheriff Tiraspol and launched the Champions League campaign in the astonishing Santiago Bernabeu. They eventually qualified for the knockout round, but seemed destined to finish at all stages.

They chased PSG by two goals, progressing to Round 16 in 30 minutes and Chelsea in the wild quarterfinals in 15 minutes.

They dragged two Manchester City 2 The remaining minutes of the semi-finals declined throughout Round 2. It certainly seemed to eventually kick Real out of the competition.

However, Rodrigo popped up, then Karim Benzema appeared over and over again. And it became clear that the only inevitability was that they would never give in. Even if he wobbles and stumbles many times, he will somehow win the crown of the 14th continent.

Liverpool is probably the most ferocious team ever and has investigated the boundaries of necessity. Mohamed Salah rushed Courtois to the left and then to the right to keep the Reds away. Courtois’ right fingertip was particularly sturdy and awkward for Liverpool. He pushed Sadio Mané’s first half shot into the post, preventing Salah’s second half curler from snuggling up to the sidenet.

Spanish champion Real Madrid hinted at their strength, but rarely chased it. Ibrahima Konate, the center back on the right side of Liverpool, has eaten up all the attacks on the left side of Vinicius in Real Madrid. And that’s exactly why Klopp started him to dominate the space that Alexander Arnold often vacates, just behind Liverpool. After 35 minutes, Liverpool shot 8 and 5 shots to take full control.

However, Benzema sent the first reminder just before halftime. He sneaked behind Liverpool’s centre-back in the calm of play. After a crazy scramble in the penalty box, he pushed the ball into Liverpool’s net — but when he ran the car to celebrate, he quickly found the offside flag.

Then he waited. And he waited. And he waited.

According to the replay, Benzema was in an offside position when the ball twisted towards his foot, but not from Real Madrid’s foot, but from Liverpool’s defensive midfielder Fabinho’s knee. Offside rules that exempt players from “intentionally receiving the ball from the opponent who played it (except for intentional saves)” seemed to wipe out the cheating of the French striker.

The video assistant reviewed the painful minutes of play. They basically had to determine if the Liverpool defender had “saved” a shot from Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde, which itself sent the ball to Benzema. Or whether a save has occurred, after that Another clear “intentional” play pushed the ball into Benzema’s pass.

They insisted on the former interpretation and the call to the scene. The team stepped into a locker room that was stuck 0-0.

However, Liverpool was warned. In 59 minutes the warning was punished. Barberde lifted his head and fired a crossshot at his back post. It is unknown if he chose Vinicius. What is clear is that Alexander Arnold did not.

As the manager said, Liverpool have been Klopp’s “best-ever top team” for months, a team of some weaknesses. It was excavated professionally from July and was professionally managed for 10 months. It reached all 63 games available to the British team and was within four league points and one Champions League win.

But like any other team, there are holes and revocations. And Real Madrid, like any team in modern football, seeks out and publishes them. Alexander-Arnold’s defensive brain was one of the few weaknesses, and Vinicius attacked it.

Liverpool attempted to rebound frequently in the previous month and more recently last weekend. But Courtois was too big, too brave, and too sharp.He lifted Los Blancos They will win the trophy he has known for a long time.

He was on the other side of their inevitable hegemony in 2014. Atletico Madrid knew the Champions League until the downtime and overtime when Real stole it.

“Now,” as Courtois said with a prophetic smile on Friday, “I’m on the right side of history.”

Real Madrid’s Vinissius Jr. celebrates the only goal of the Champions League final. (Reuters / Molly Drington)