Sports Desk, May 28 (EFE).- Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was the man of the match in Saturday’s Champions League final, making nine saves in a 1-0 victory over Liverpool that saw the Blancos hoist the trophy for a record-extending 14th time.
The LaLiga winners, who got past Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to reach the final, have won Europe’s elite club competition twice as many times as the next best team, AC Milan.
Liverpool dominated possession and outshot Real Madrid 24-4, but Courtois was perfect and budding star Vinicius Jr.’s goal just before the hour mark proved to be enough to make Carlo Ancelotti the winningest coach in the history of Champions League.
The Italian won the trophy twice with Milan and Saturday was his second triumph at Real Madrid.
Jürgen Klopp, meanwhile, now has the unwanted distinction to be the only coach with three losses in the Champions League final, including two at the hands of Real Madrid. Though the German was also at the helm for the Reds’ triumph in 2019.
While Liverpool still have two trophies to show for their efforts this season, the Carabao and FA Cups, Saturday’s result – coming six days after they finished a point behind Premier League winners Man City – will leave a bitter taste.
Spain’s King Felipe VI was in the stands at Stade de France in Paris to see the “royal” team claim the trophy, as was tennis great Rafa Nadal, who took time out from preparing for his French Open fourth-round match on Sunday.
The final got under way 35 minutes late due to problems at the Liverpool end of the stadium that UEFA blamed on “thousands (of) fans who had purchased fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles.”
But others pointed the finger at UEFA and French police, who used pepper spray against fans.
“Supporters should not have to experience the scenes we have witnessed tonight,” Liverpool FC said. “We have officially requested a formal investigation into the causes of these unacceptable issues.” EFE