A superb performance by Real Madrid saw them easily overcome Juventus by 4-1 to lift the biggest trophy in club football for a second consecutive season. Real’s record 12th triumph in this competition and third in four seasons was orchestrated by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has now scored in three different Champions League finals. The competition’s most successful club in history had yet another magical night under a closed roof in the Principality Stadium on the biggest stage in European club soccer.
The match looked set to live up to its billing and pre-match hype as the world’s best defensive and best-attacking team clashed for the title.Juventus were clearly the better side in the first 20 minutes outplaying Madrid both physically and tactically on the field, creating a host of chances. But it was Madrid who struck first with a powerful strike from Ronaldo. Juventus, however, continued their attacking style of play and leveled back with a world class goal by Mario Mandzukic who scored arguably the best goal of the tournament and perhaps the best in the history of the tournament.
The second half was a complete contrast as Madrid started strongly and showed signs of why they are considered the most lethal team in the world. Back to back goals by Casimiro and Ronaldo in just 3 minutes put Juventus on the back foot who failed to turn up entirely in the second and put in a rather poor performance. Unsportsmanlike conduct by Sergio Ramos saw Juan Cuadrado getting a questionable red card which was the final nail in the coffin for Juventus.Marco Asensio completed the rout to score the fourth goal as Juventus conceded more goals on the night than they have in the entire tournament(3).
It was heartbreak once again for Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who again failed to lift the trophy. Last night was a perfect example of how football at time embraces sentimentality and at times leaves a million dreams broken.
The man of the match was Cristiano Ronaldo who set a new record of being the first player to score 100 Champions League goals and 600 goals for club and country. Ronaldo was adjudged man of the match for his scintillating performance and also became the highest scorer in this season’s tournament with 12 goals to his name. It was also another feather in the cap of Real Madrid manager Zinadane Zidane who lifted his second Champions League trophy with them in just 18 months after also having guided them to the La Liga title in this season.
This was the performance of a world-class team, ripping apart a defense that has a reputation as one of football’s meanest. Real Madrid will now face Europe League winners Manchester United in the 2017 Urfa Super Cup in Skopje, Macedonia, on 8 August.
|Shots on Target|