Triumph of the royals: Real Madrid won the Champions League final in Paris 1-0 against Liverpool and were crowned European champions. Keeper Thibaut Courtois became the hero of the Spaniards.

Real Madrid crowned themselves Champions League winners just before midnight. The royals around ex-world champion Kroos won the final in Paris, which was postponed by more than half an hour due to major problems with the entrance, happily 1-0 (0-0) against Liverpool coached by Klopp. The Spanish champions celebrated their 14th title in football’s most important club competition, also thanks to the outstanding goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Vinícius Júnior (59th) gave the Royals the lead. For Kroos it was the fifth Champions League title, his coach Carlo Ancelotti rose to the sole record coach with his fourth success. Klopp, on the other hand, had to accept his third defeat in his fourth final and, with the Reds, also missed revenge for the 2018 3-1 final against Real. Instead of the hoped-for quadruple, Liverpool remain with the two national cups.

The kick-off was delayed by over 30 minutes

The thousands of fans in the Stade de France initially had to wait a long time for the kick-off. Pictures and videos on social media showed some chaotic conditions at the entrance gates. Tear gas was used. Nevertheless, the European Football Union stuck to their short opening show with pop star Camila Cabello. The fans acknowledged this with loud whistles and chants for their teams.

Klopp was able to rely on former Bayern professional Thiago from the start. The midfield artist had briefly interrupted the warm-up, but the key player was on the pitch when the game kicked off at 9:36 p.m. Six Liverpool professionals in the starting XI completed their third premier class final for the Reds.

The expected intense game developed with world-class individual players and nominally offensive systems on both sides. Liverpool initially determined the initial phase, Real started much more cautiously. Mohamed Salah was the first to test Liverpool goalkeeper Courtois, who was able to parry and was also there seconds later against Thiago (16′).

Liverpool is superior throughout the game

Klopp followed his Reds’ power play tensely on the sidelines. Sadio Mané, who was allegedly being courted by Bayern, forced Courtois to make another save, and the Belgian just steered the ball to the inside of the post (21′). At this point, Madrid had at most come close to the Liverpool goal.

The star ensemble around Kroos had big problems taking control of the game themselves. Ancelotti was visibly unhappy with his Spanish champions’ performance in the first half. In contrast to Liverpool, the final phase of the season was much less demanding for Real. A supposed goal by Karim Benzema from offside didn’t count after a long review using video evidence (44′). “A right decision,” commented long-time FIFA referee Manuel Graefe on ZDF.

Liverpool actually retained control of the game afterwards. Salah kept causing unrest in the Madrid penalty area. But the Reds didn’t score. Real needed a quick attack for that after the hour: Daniel Carvajal brought the ball sharply into the penalty area, Vinícius Júnior was spot on and scored for the lucky lead. Klopp seemed visibly served.

Liverpool reacted angrily to being behind. Salah found his master in Courtois several times (64th and 68th). The Reds ran – and Courtois saved again against the Egyptian star player Salah (82nd).