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Real Madrid defeats Liverpool in Champions League final

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Real Madrid winger Vinícius Júnior’s star was on the rise before the opening kickoff of the Champions League final — which was delayed 37 minutes following a series of crowd-control issues outside Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France.

When it finally began, Liverpool was the more attacking side, but it was Vinícius Júnior’s 59th-minute strike that secured the team’s 14th continental title in Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory Saturday.

Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was impenetrable in goal, making critical saves throughout the match, including an 82nd-minute stop after a would-be game-tying shot by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. Courtois also foiled a Sadio Mané effort in the first half, which ended with Karim Benzema’s 43rd minute goal being disallowed because of an offside call.

But Vinícius Júnior’s goal in the second half moved Madrid’s European Cup/Champions League title count to impressive territory. The club now owns twice as many as the next highest team (A.C. Milan).

Liverpool, which this time last week, nursed dreams of winning an incredible four major trophies in one season, will end the 2021-22 campaign with a pair of domestic cup titles after falling short in Sunday’s Premier League finale and Saturday’s final.

Real Madrid’s most recent Champions League victory invites a host of superlatives.

Madrid extends its European title record to 14, twice as many as the next best, A.C. Milan. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made critical saves throughout the match, ending the game with nine, the most ever recorded in a Champions League final.

And Madrid Manager Carlo Ancelotti now owns more European Cups than any other man (4), adding to the two he won with Milan and a 2014 title with Madrid. The latter was the first of five it has won in the last nine years.





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