Saturday, 3 June 2017

Real Madrid retain Champions League with 4-1 win over Juventus

Real Madrid retain Champions League with 4-1 win over Juventus

Real Madrid retain Champions League with 4-1 win over Juventus
Real Madrid became the first team to retain the Champions League as Cristiano Ronaldo's double helped them defeat Juventus. 
No club had won back-to-back titles since the introduction of the Champions League in 1992 - Milan had been the last team to retain the European Cup, back in 1990.
But Zinedine Zidane's men followed up last year's victory over Atletico Madrid with a 4-1 victory over Juve at Cardiff's Principality Stadium, with Casemiro and substitute Marco Asensio also on target. It earned them a record 12th European title, five more than any other club.

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in three different Champions League finals
Zidane had only one real selection dilemma, opting to retain Isco in his starting line-up despite the return to fitness of Cardiff-born Gareth Bale, who was used only as a second-half substitute. James Rodriguez did not even make the bench, surely signalling the end of his time at the club.
There were no surprises in the Juve line-up, albeit Max Allegri did make a remote tweak to his system - starting with four at the back, with Dani Alves and Mario Mandzukic on the wings.
Mandzukic stunner rescinds out Ronnie's opener
If there was any prospect that Juventus might look to contain Authentic Madrid, that was expeditiously dispelled as the Italians commenced the game with the more preponderant energy - pellucidly keen to compensate for defeat in each of their antecedent four Champions League finals.
Gonzalo Higuain was twice gainsaid by Keylor Navas in the aperture stages, afore the Costa Rican goalkeeper had to make an even better preserve to keep out Miralem Pjanic's potent drive from outside the box.
Mario Mandzukic directs his overhead kick towards the top corner
Authentic Madrid had commenced gradually but they took the lead with their first shot of the game in the 20th minute. Give Cristiano Ronaldo a chance and he will penalize you - that's precisely what he did as he played in Dani Carvajal on the right, then swept home the resulting cross in typically clinical fashion, to round off a shipshape move that commenced in Authentic Madrid's own a moiety. A remote deflection off Leonardo Bonucci availed to take the ball out of the reach of Gianluigi Buffon.
The lead lasted only seven minutes though, as Mandzukic controlled the ball on his chest and fired a stunning overhead kick into the top corner. A penny for Zidane's thoughts at that moment - Mandzukic's strike was surely the best Champions League goal since Zizou's famous effort against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002. It was the second time that Mandzukic had struck in a Champions League final - he also scored for Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
But it was Real Madrid who started the second half on top, with Modric switching to the right to counter the threat of Juve's raiding left back Alex Sandro. The Croatian cut infield to test Buffon with a long-range effort, before Isco blasted a shot off target from the edge of the box.

Juventus conceded more goals in the final than they did in the rest of their entire Champions League campaign
The Spaniards soon had the lead back: Juventus only half cleared and Casemiro's low 30-yard shot took a wicked deflection off Sami Khedira that took it just out of Buffon's reach and into the bottom corner. A second deflected Real Madrid goal summed up Buffon's luck in the Champions League - it was perhaps a metaphor for a trophy that may forever remain just out of his grasp.

This year's trophy was certainly beyond him just three minutes later as the brilliant Modric hooked in a cross for Ronaldo to convert from close range for his second goal of the match.
Juve substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off six minutes from time after harshly picking up a second booking for a shove on Sergio Ramos, which the Spaniard certainly appeared to make the most of.
But by then the game was already beyond the Serie A side, and sub Asensio turned home Marcelo's left-wing cross in the 90th minute to round off a convincing victory, as Real Madrid clinched La Duodecima.

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