Real Madrid makes history defeating Juventus to be back-to-back Champions of Europe
The big day was finally here. Cardiff and the whole world watched as two of the biggest clubs in the history of European soccer and arguably the two best teams to play the game in the past months met face to face for a chance at winning the UEFA Champions League trophy. The entire world was divided as we watch the UEFA Champions League Final and Real Madrid makes history.
Real Madrid were looking to win their 12th UCL title and to become the first ever back-to-back champions under the new UEFA Champions league format as they faced Italian Champions Juventus, who were not only looking to break their losing streak in UCL finals, having lost the last two they participated in, but also to win the only trophy captain and legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon hadn’t been able to win. You can read more about this match-up from our previous article UEFA Champions League Final Preview-Conquering Cardiff.
As the whistle blew in Wales, the game begun with a tough and inspired Juventus pressuring the Spanish club during the first minutes of the match, not letting Real come out of their territory or manage to build up any counters. Juventus came out with their usual 5-3-2 formation that on attack became a very offensive 3-3-4 that managed to complicate Real Madrid during the beginning of the first half. It seemed Real would have a tough night when, in the 6th minute of play, Keylor Navas barely managed to stop a complicated shot from Pjavic from outside the box.
But soon after this chance was created, Real Madrid slowly began to get back in the game and dominate, slowly intercepting more and more passes, and being able to turn them into dangerous counter attacks. And then at the 19th minute, one of these counters using quick passes ended up in the feet of Carvajal, who after dribbling up the wing, delivered a perfect diagonal cross that Cristiano Ronaldo sent into the net from outside the box to give the galacticos the lead.
Juventus took the goal as a wake up call and dominated possession in the next minutes, constantly creating chances as Madrid were more and more pushed back towards their own goal to defend, and did not manage to recover the ball to create any more counters.
At the 26th minute, this constant dominance paid off as Manzukic scored the most beautiful goal of the night, hitting the ball with a backwards scissor kick-volley mix from outside the box to but the ball over Keylor Navas and tie the game at 1-1.
Minutes passed and the game became more balanced and both teams traded possession constantly, delivering chances on both ends of the pitch until the first half came to a close.
The second half began with Real Madrid using the same 4-3-3 formation from the first half, only this time they seemed to try to pressure with more intelligence than on the first half, especially in the midfield, always patiently waiting in the line of pass to try and anticipate Juventus’ passes and steal the ball to create some slingshot quick counters. That became more and more overwhelming to Juventus, who was pushed farther away from the opposing goal as the minutes passed. And at the 60th minute, the pressure proved to be too much to handle as Casemiro hit the ball from far outside the box after a rebound to beat Buffon and give Real Madrid the lead once again.
The Spanish pressure continued, with a Juventus side that didn’t manage to recover and struggled to take control of the ball and get back at the game, losing more and more passes until the 63rd minute, where after a recovered ball by Real Madrid, Luka Modric took it to the wing and delivered another cross to Cristiano Ronaldo, who in a genius burst of speed, anticipated the Italian defenders to send the ball past Gianluigi Buffon once again to make it 3-1 and complicate the bianconeri hopes at winning the UCL trophy.
Allegri tried to move his players on the field to try and make Juventus react and keep fighting, as he substituted central defender Barzagli for Cuadrado and Pjanic for a more offensive midfielder like Marchisio. But none of it seemed to work, as Madrid only dominated more by taking advantage of the spaces in the midfield and backline left by a now more offensive player filled Juventus. Things went from bad to worse for the Italians as Cuadrado got sent off at the 80th minute, and at the 90th, against a 10-man, emotionally and physically beaten Juventus, Asencio sealed the deal after a great Marcelo play on the wing, putting the ball in the net for a final score of 4-1, and Real Madrid’s 12th UEFA Champions league trophy.
Real Madrid managed to deliver a superb performance under Zinedine Zidane once more and are going back to the Madrid, becoming the first team to win back to back championships under the UEFA Champions league format.
It was also a great night individually for Cristiano Ronaldo, who has now scored on all three UCL finals he has participated in and with his two goals, beat Leo Messi to become this edition’s TOP scorer.
In a historical night at the Millennium Stadium, Real Madrid are the new back-to-back European Champions, led by an out-of-this world Ronaldo, who has now conquered Europe once again, and will add another epic performance and trophy to go with it, to the already amazing set of conquests behind the doors of the legendary Santiago Bernabeu.
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