CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL (LIVE UPDATES): Fast Liverpool challenges experienced Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring (Photo Credit: La Liga, Twitter)
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring (Photo Credit: La Liga, Twitter)

Mohamed Salah can cap a wonderful season by helping Liverpool to a sixth European title, while Cristiano Ronaldo can help himself to a fifth title and clear the way for a sixth World Player of the year award.

Fiery and fast front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane lead the Reds, but Los Blancos possess experience in abundance from Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, and Ronaldo.

Will speed trump experience? Or will patient heads get the better of the fast and furious?

Stay with PREMIUM TIMES for Live Updates from the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv. Kickoff is 7:45pm.


Lineups

Liverpool: Karius, Alexandar-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah

Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo


The captains exchange pennants – Sergio Ramos for Real Madrid and Jordan Henderson for Liverpool


Will Liverpool speed trump Real Madrid experience? Or will patient heads get the better of the fast and furious?


1min – Immediately Liverpool on the attack rebuffed by Varane


2mins – Offside on Isco as Karius makes a brave save

3 mins – Firmino pinches the ball off Casemiro – a template of how Liverpool will hope to hurt Real


4mins – First foul called by Milorad Mazic by Ramos on Salah


6mins – Mane almost in but Varane makes a desperate clearance


Navas saves off the feet of Alexandar-Arnold


Liverpool with more possession as Real Madrid try to douse the Reds’ energy


9mins – Foul by Mane on Modric


10mins – Marcelo with Madrid’s first shot but well off target


14 mins – Bedlam in the Madrid box but Alexandar-Arnold’s cross is finally punched away


15 mins – Ronaldo bears down on goal and shoots from a tight angle but rises over the bar


17 mins – Wild pass from Carvajal finds touch and gives Liverpool a cheap corner kick


18 mins – Van Dijk beat Navas to the corner but his header is over


Isco not up to speed as Liverpool midfield constantly overwhelms the Spaniards


Real Madrid cannot find an out ball from defence as Liverpool keep up their relentless pressing


22 mins – Good save from Navas off a fierce drive from Alexandar-Arnold


Liverpool have five shots an target already to none from Real Madrid


25mins – Salah on the floor after a wrestling match with Ramos


Concern for Liverpool as Salah requires treatment on the pitch. Hoping there is no damage to his shoulder or collar bone


Salah is back on his feet


27 mins – Mane wins a corner off Carvajal


Real concern here for Klopp as Salah goes down and is in tears


Salah’s night ends in the 29th minute. What will Klopp do? Adam Lallana is coming on


31 mins – Real Madrid move the ball sweetly from back to front but Modric’s final shot is well blocked


32 mins – Benzema has his shot blocked in the box


34 mins – Carvajal now on the floor and looks really injured


And the right back is going off.


36 mins – He is also in tears as Nacho prepares to replace him. Hope he heals before the World Cup


37 mins – Through ball from Henderson but Navas gathers before Lallana can pounce


38 mins – Good play down the right flank wins a corner for the defending champions


A little lull in the action as both sides try to regroup after suffering injuries


Gooaall…No – Offside called on Ronaldo, marginally


Goallllllllllllll – An error from Karius leads Benzema to tap in


54 mins – That would have been the equaliser but for a small nick from Varane


Gooaaaalllllllllll – Mane gets on the ball from the corner kick


Mane with 10 Goals; Salah with 10 Goals; Firmino with 10 Goals


60 mins – Karius palms away Isco’s goal-bound shot on the turn


60 mins – Isco going off for Gareth Bale as Zidane brings speed into play


Bale just on does the acrobatics to give Real the lead once again


63 mins – What a goal from Bale


67 mins – Bale if he does not score another goal will have a pension from football!


68 mins – Lallana caught offside


69 mins – What a desperate clearance from Ramos or else Sane was in for the equaliser


Mane hits the post and Bale concedes a corner on the follow up


Navas was well beaten but the post held firm


Ronaldo thought about falling down…


73 mins – Fantastic block on Ronaldo by Robertson as the Portuguese got ready to shoot


74 mins – Bale offside from the freekick


77 mins – Liverpool increase the pressure as they look for another equaliser


79 mins – What can Klopp do to force the issue?


81 mins – Karius makes the save off a volley from Benzema. What a cross from Bale


82 mins – Ramos taunts Mane into getting a yellow card…That is experience!


84 mins – Another howler from Karius and Bale gets his second. Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool


85 mins – Bale denied a hattrick by a Lovren tackle. He could have passed to Ronaldo


Klopp needs a new goalkeeper for next season


87 mins – Firmino fouls Nacho in the Real Madrid box. Asensio to come on for Benzema


87 mins – Firmino fouls Nacho in the Real Madrid box. Asensio to come on for Benzema


89 mins – Liverpool get a free-kick near the Madrid box


Three minutes of additional time


92 mins – Van Dijk cuts out the cross from Bale, or it would have been a tap in for Ronaldo


An intruder runs into the box with Ronaldo bearing down on goal


Final whistle!!! Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: Real Madrid win a third consecutive UCL title, their 13th in total and Cristiano Ronaldo’s fifth European triumph


Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool | Karius howlers hand Madrid 13th UCL triumph

Real Madrid proved once again that they are uniquely made for European final nights but it had a lot to do with early Christmas gifts from Liverpool goalkeeper, Loris Karius, who handed the defending champions two goals.

One goal from Karim Benzema and two from Gareth Bale confirmed Real Madrid as champions of Europe for the 13th time despite an equaliser from Sadio mane in the 55t minute.

After a frenetic start from Liverpool, in which they kept Real Madrid pinned in their own half, it took the shoulder injury to Mohamed Salah to give the Spaniards a foothold in the match. Before the Egyptian left the pitch in tears, Liverpool had attempted eight shots but immediately after he went off, Liverpool were seemingly doused.

They were on the ascendancy toward the end of the first half and took the lead, rather fortuitously in the second half as Karius rolled the ball against Benzema’s outstretched leg.

But it was also Bale’s crowning moment. The Welsh speedster came on in the second half and just seconds later scored a wonder goal, that left everyone watching stunned. Karius then further stunned the crowd as Bale’s speculative shot melted through his fingers.

Real Madrid are champions for a third consecutive time a second time in their history.

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