Liverpool fans at the Champions League final in Paris described being tear-gassed by French police outside the Stade de France as ‘terrifying’
A Vinicius Junior strike helped Real Madrid to a record 14th European Cup — their eighth in the Champions League era — with a 1-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday in the final at the Stade de France in Paris.
Vinicius struck on 58 minutes as he fired into an empty net from a low cross from the edge of the 18-yard box from Federico Valverde, with Liverpool unable to score amidst a superb performance from Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Madrid striker Karim Benzema had a goal controversially disallowed just before half-time, striking home from an offside position on the edge of the six-yard box after the video assistant referee judged Fabinho to have unintentionally deflected the ball to the striker’s feet.
Madrid’s victory means Liverpool have been denied both the Premier League and Champions League titles at the final hurdle, leaving them having won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season despite still chasing a historic Quadruple as recently as last week.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti becomes the first manager to win four Champions League trophies — he previously won European titles with AC Milan (2003 and 2007) and Madrid (2014).
The Italian coach also became the first manager to win league titles in all of Europe’s five major leagues as Madrid clinched LaLiga last month.
“I am a record man. I had luck to come here last year and have a fantastic season,” Ancelotti told BT Sport after the match.
Madrid finished off a remarkable journey to this season’s final: First leading a comeback victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, then edging Chelsea in extra-time in the quarterfinal, and finally leading an unprecedented comeback over Manchester City in the semifinals.
The match was delayed by 30 minutes amid chaotic scenes outside the stadium as thousands of Liverpool fans were stuck outside and police deployed pepper spray and tear gas on supporters.
Jurgen Klopp’s side dominated possession early on, peppering the Madrid goal and forcing Courtois into a number of diving saves.
Mohamed Salah had the first chance of the game on 16 minutes as he flicked a low cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold only to be denied by Courtois, and Sadio Mane shortly after when he fired a shot into the left bottom corner only for the Madrid goalkeeper’s outstretched arm to tip the ball onto the post.
Thibaut Courtois starred with a number of superb saves and helped Real Madrid to an all-important clean sheet.
Courtois continued to keep Liverpool at bay, notably with a superb save from Salah on the right-hand side of the 18-yard box to push the ball past the far post as Ancelotti’s side ran out 1-0 winners.
“Yesterday in the press conference I said that when Madrid plays finals they win. I was on the good side of history,” Courtois told BT Sport.