Liverpool 0 - 1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid: Vinícius 58’
Thiago, who seemed a big doubt before the game, starts in the midfield. After more than a 30 minute delay because of terrible organization by UEFA and the stadium officials, the game kicked off. Hopefully everyone trying to find their way into the ground gets there safely.
Liverpool came out with the most drive in the first few minutes of the game. They got only a few tame free kicks out of their early possession.
Konate proves why he got the start with a neat bit of defending in his own half to dispossess a Madrid player and return the play in the other direction. As if that was the wake up that Liverpool needed, the Reds pushed on into their best chances of the game. Mohamed Salah forced Thibaut Courtois into two saves, one a quick dive to his bottom corner; the second, a much simpler drive down the middle of goal and straight into his hands.
The first 20 minutes of the game was controlled by Liverpool, but they haven’t gotten the best of Courtois yet. As if to prove the point of this humble scribe, Courtois forced a beautiful strike from Sadio Mané to the hit the post.
30 minutes into this match, and Liverpool had all the drive, but still no goals between them. The closer the clock ticks towards halftime and a reset, the more frustrating the game became.
Courtois grabbed a hat trick of saves against Salah when he caught a sharp header from the Egyptian.
Luis Díaz was absolutely relentless down the wing, taking on Carvajal and Valverde with relish.
On the other end, Karim Benzema gets several touches on the ball thanks to a scramble in the box. Finally, he scored in a very controversial fashion. It’s originally called offside, and after a few minutes of a VAR check, the call stood.
The second half continued with Liverpool taking control of the possession once again, but Real Madrid did what they do. 58 minutes into the match, and they get a break. Valverde got it to Vinícius, who was just barely onside and got it past Alisson on their first goal on target.
It was all on Liverpool from then on, because with that goal, Madrid were free to play that reactive game that they preferred, putting the onus on the Reds to get past the defense. Salah had a good chance 60 minutes in, getting the ball onto his left foot and forcing Courtois into yet another save.
Díaz was taken off for Diogo Jota in order to shake things up in the attack.
Konaté continued to excel in the back, batting away all comers and cutting off at the knees any Madrid attacks. Unfortunately, Ancelotti’s men already had what they needed from the match.
75 minutes in, Klopp made a double change and a system change to try and find that goal. Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara made way for Naby Keïta and Roberto Firmino.
Courtois was a superhero for Real Madrid on the night, saving the Spanish side multiple times. It simply seemed that there was no way through the Belgian.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
There was no getting past the wall of Thibaut Courtois, and Liverpool end a tremendous season with two domestic cups.
Who was Liverpool’s man of the match against Real Madrid?
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