This weekend, Real Madrid and Liverpool will meet in the UEFA Champions League final. Real Madrid is the current leader of the competition with 13 titles, while Liverpool is in third place with six titles. A Real Madrid victory would tie them with AC Milan for second place in the competition. However, Liverpool is also in a strong position and could upset the defending champions.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool UEFA Champions League final
Real Madrid has been a regular in the Champions League final for the last decade, and will be aiming to win their fifth title. In the last five years, Real have won the trophy four times. Liverpool have reached the final twice, once in 2018 and once in 1981.
Both Real Madrid and Liverpool are known for their trademark 4-3-3 formation and stellar midfield triangle. Carlo Ancelotti has been using this formation in virtually every match this season, and his side has been tough to break down. Moreover, Real have had to rely on their older players, and they’ve been performing very well. However, Liverpool have been able to dominate the competition all season long.
At the start of the game, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema nearly scored a goal. He played a cross into the box but it was deflected and ended back at the player’s feet. Eventually, the ball was played to Vinicius, who scored a goal in the 59th minute. The game continued to be entertaining, but there was no real drama.
Real Madrid’s success in this competition has been a testament to their ability to win. The team has been able to win the Champions League for the last five years, and they have been able to do it without any help from magic. Their plans and strategies have been meticulously prepared and they held up the European Cup with aplomb.
Fabinho and Thiago return to training
Liverpool have been given a major boost ahead of Saturday’s match against Real Madrid with Fabinho and Thiago returning to training. The midfield duo have been out of the team for the past few weeks and have not played for the Reds since May 10 against Aston Villa. Despite their absence, both players will have ‘every chance’ of featuring against the Spanish giants. Liverpool are looking to complete their treble next season, having won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup this season.
Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara both returned to training this week after missing the Wolves game through injury. Fabinho, who had to sit out the match with a hamstring injury, was included in the Liverpool squad following his return to training. The pair will both start the game against Real Madrid.
Fabinho and Thiago are expected to be available for the Champions League final, but both players will undergo fitness tests before the match. Thiago is expected to be available for the game, but Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp remains cautious about the striker’s availability. Thiago made just 25 Premier League appearances last season, but was often Klopp’s first choice midfielder.
Benzema scores 15th goal in 11 Champions League appearances
Karim Benzema has been one of the greatest strikers of his generation, and his performances for Real Madrid have not shown any sign of slowing down. The Frenchman has made over three hundred goals for his club and country and is a proven winner. Benzema scored his first goal for Real Madrid when he made his debut for the club. His impressive goalscoring record is impressive and he has 11 goals and 10 assists in 41 El Clasico appearances.
In the previous round, Benzema had scored three goals in 17 minutes. It was a repeat of the hat-trick he scored against Paris Saint-Germain. The goal against the Blues came with just half an hour remaining. He netted two headers, one on 21 minutes and the other on 24 minutes. Chelsea were able to score one goal through Kai Havertz, but Ancelotti’s men had to settle for a point.
In October 2013, Benzema broke his goal drought against Australia. His team defeated Australia 6-0. Benzema also scored in a 3-0 win against Ukraine.
Alisson saves penalties
In Liverpool’s FA Cup final victory over Chelsea, Alisson made two crucial penalty saves. He has played a key role in the club’s revival and was named as one of the club’s ‘Six Captains’. His all-round performance brought the Reds a famous FA Cup win. Achterberg praised Alisson for his all-round performance and said: ‘Alisson has been outstanding. He has saved crucial penalties in the past and has a good chance of achieving his seventh European crown this season.
Alisson has 20 league clean sheets this season. He was also crucial in Liverpool’s FA Cup final penalty shootout win over Chelsea. Alisson saved the penalty attempt from Mason Mount, but his teammates scored the winning penalty themselves. Liverpool’s new signing could be on the verge of a signature moment if they win the European Cup.
Liverpool are settling into a threatening rhythm. Robertson plays in a through-ball for Salah, and he heads the ball towards the box. It’s a good height for Courtois, but Salah doesn’t have the best contact on the ball.
Rodrygo’s heartbreak of defeat
After Riyad Mahrez’s strike in the 73rd minute, Manchester City were on course to reach the Champions League final. But Real Madrid put in a late fightback to win 3-1 on the second leg and 6-5 on aggregate. Substitute Rodrygo scored twice in the dying minutes to seal a dramatic victory for the Spanish club.
After watching the Brazil game at Anfield, Rodrygo decided to join Real Madrid. He had rejected a number of other clubs. He was adamant that he wanted to play for Real. But the disappointment of defeat at the hands of Liverpool was too much for him. He went on to sign a three-year contract with the club, despite receiving several offers from other clubs. Rodrygo claims the team’s spirit will be a huge factor in the final.
After being robbed of the lead, Rodrygo poured in the frustration by scoring twice in stoppage time. The late goals forced extra time, when Karim Benzema scored the decisive penalty.
The first half was all about defending, as the Reds pressed Madrid’s back three with their front three. Real’s double pivot was vulnerable to Liverpool’s pressing because Benzema, Modric and Salah were all moving away from the center of the pitch. The high press forced Real to concede dangerous areas to Liverpool’s midfielders and allowed them to build a sustained attack.
Real Madrid were unable to break through the Liverpool defence, but they did have spells of possession. As early as the sixth minute, Liverpool had a good opportunity to score, but Courtois was equal to it. After a period of pressure, Salah headed the ball towards goal but Courtois was alert to block the effort. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s defence was in good shape, as Konate made several impressive saves against the attacking Reds.
Liverpool’s defence has more interceptions and blocks than Real Madrid’s. The Reds’ best defensive players include Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander Arnold, Aurelio Tchouameni and Daniel Carvajal.
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