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Liverpool, Real Madrid clash in Paris


Welcome to ESPN’s LIVE coverage of the 2021-22 Champions League final! Premier League giants Liverpool take on LaLiga champions Real Madrid in a repeat of the 2018 final.

This year went the same as 2018, as Real Madrid rode some luck — and strong goalkeeping from Thibaut Courtois — to beat Liverpool 1-0 in Paris and take home the prize. After a 40-minute kickoff delay due to delays getting fans into the stadium, the Spanish side walked away worthy winners. Just refresh the page to get the latest updates.

– Marcotti: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid final will be box office
O’Hanlon: Can science explain Real Madrid’s remarkable run? (E+)
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LIVE BLOG

5:54 p.m. ET / 10:54 p.m. BST: What a night in Paris

The Champions League final began late due to some shocking scenes outside the stadium, but it ended with Real Madrid walking away with their 14th European title, beating Liverpool 1-0 in Paris on Vinicius Jr.’s second-half goal.

Our first reaction file from Paris is live, with Mark Ogden quick to put that final into context.

Thank you so much for joining us. Check back later for more from Gab Marcotti, James Olley, Mark Ogden and Julien Laurens.

5:50 p.m. ET / 10:50 p.m. BST: Congrats to Real Madrid!

5:48 p.m. ET / 10:48 p.m. BST: Real Madrid were the team of destiny

5:46 p.m. ET / 10:46 p.m. BST: A word on the winning manager

Carlo Ancelotti extends his amazing success record in the European Cup into a fifth decade. Incredible considering he’s only 62 years old.

And it’s even weirder considering he was Everton manager 12 months ago.

5:43 p.m. ET / 10:43 p.m. BST: Heartbreak for Klopp

Defeat for Liverpool means that Jurgen Klopp draws level with former Juventus boss Marcello Lippi as the two managers who have suffered the most defeats in Champions League finals (3), having fallen at the final hurdle with Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and Liverpool in 2018 and 2022.

5:37 p.m. ET / 10:37 p.m. BST: A staggering accomplishment

5:33 p.m. ET / 10:33 p.m. BST: FULL TIME! Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

It’s all over in Paris. Real Madrid have won the Champions League again! They are champions of Europe for a record-extending 14th time as the final whistle sounds around the cavernous Stade de France.

Liverpool gave it a valiant effort but in the end an inspired rearguard display from Los Blancos, coupled with Vinicius Junior’s decisive goal, was enough to land the Spanish giants the victory.

Throughout the tournament, Carlo Ancelotti’s side made a habit of never knowing when they were beaten and that same grizzled hardiness held them in good stead all the way to the end of the road. The Reds wilted. The Whites refused to go under.

5:29 p.m. ET / 10:29 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Is this bad?

Fede Valverde’s lively evening comes to an end in the 86th minute as the tireless Real winger makes way for Eduardo Camavinga. Ancelotti then follows up by making another tactical switch mere minutes later as Dani Ceballos replaces veteran Luka Modric on the stroke of the 90th minute.

With one hand on the trophy, Real are trying to see this out.

5:26 p.m. ET / 10:26 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Is this good?

5:24 p.m. ET / 10:24 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

None shall pass! Courtois looks to be in utterly unbeatable form as the Real goalkeeper denies Salah once again. We’ve lost count of the amount of saves the Belgian has made, but it’s safe to say he is currently the front-runner when it comes to the Man of the Match honours.

5:22 p.m. ET / 10:22 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Some fine approach play from Firmino presents Naby Keita with a golden chance to purloin a vital equaliser but the Liverpool man makes a dreadful hash of his shot.

The midfielder attempted to drive a shot at goal with the outside of his foot but instead made contact with his instep, ballooning an embarrassing effort high and wide.

5:18 p.m. ET / 10:18 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Barely 10 minutes left in Paris! Can Liverpool level?

Trent Alexander-Arnold drags a low shot wide of the mark and Jurgen Klopp has seen enough. Indeed, the German rolls the dice with a double substitution that sees Naby Keita replace Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino come on for Thiago.

5:14 p.m. ET / 10:14 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Another wild fact about tonight’s only goal scorer…

5:10 p.m. ET / 10:10 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Aged 21 years and 320 days, Vinicius Junior is now the fifth-youngest goal scorer in UCL final history behind Marco Asensio (21 years and 133 days), Lars Ricken (20 years and 322 days), Carlos Alberto (19 years and 167 days) and Patrick Kluivert (18 years and 327 days).

5:09 p.m. ET / 10:09 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

The first substitution of the night sees Diogo Jota come off the Liverpool bench to replace Luis Diaz on the left-hand side.

5:06 p.m. ET / 10:06 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Thibaut Courtois pulls off another decent save to thwart Mohamed Salah as Liverpool try to haul themselves back into the game. The Reds forward sent a curling shot toward the far post, but the tall Belgian was more than equal to it. The Real stopper has been a human wall for Real so far tonight.

5:02 p.m. ET / 10:02 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

There’s just under half an hour left in Paris and Liverpool need a goal.

Vinicius has now scored 22 goals in all competitions this season after only managing six for Real last campaign. What a year the young forward is having!

4:55 p.m. ET / 9:55 p.m. BST: REAL MADRID TAKE THE LEAD

Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Real Madrid go roaring into the lead thanks to Vinicius Junior, who taps in Fede Valverde’s low cross at the far post. The Brazilian winger was left in acres of space inside the box after pulling away from his marker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the Stade de France erupts in a cacophony of noise.

4:51 p.m. ET / 9:51 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

The second half has kicked off in Paris and both teams have continued in much the same vein. Liverpool have sent a few hopeful crosses into the Real penalty area, but possession keeps getting turned over before anybody can make anything significant happen.

4:44 p.m. ET / 9:44 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

Liverpool registered 10 shots against Real Madrid in the first half. Only one side have ever attempted more shots in the first half of a Champions League final and that was Bayern Munich (16 shots) against Chelsea in 2012.

For the record, Chelsea went on to win that game by holding on to down the Bavarians via a penalty shootout.

4:42 p.m. ET / 9:42 p.m. BST: Second half begins!

Real Madrid have rigged up a big screen at the Bernabeu in order to allow fans unable to make the trip to Paris to watch the final inside their stadium instead.

The collective reaction to Benzema’s disallowed goal just about sums up the confusion and controversy surrounding the decision.

4:37 p.m. ET / 9:37 p.m. BST

So just how was that goal disallowed? Leave it to Dale for the explanation/context.

4:33 p.m. ET / 9:33 p.m. BST

As for the half-time state of play, it’s been an interesting one.

4:27 p.m. ET / 9:27 p.m. BST: How is it Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0 at half-time??

Well, we’ve made it through 45 minutes but not without a dramatic end to the first half.

With just three minutes of the half remaining, Karim Benzema has the ball in the net for Real Madrid but the goal is chalked off after an offside is flagged in the buildup. Liverpool were extremely sloppy at the back and must feel like they’ve gotten away with one there.

With Allison, Konate and Fabinho flailing, Liverpool looked to be in utter disarray as Benzema pounced but the Reds escape after a protracted VAR check ruled that the penultimate touch in the buildup was an inadvertent nudge off the knee of Fabinho. As the Brazilian didn’t play the ball intentionally, Benzema was adjudged to be offside — but only after several minutes of frustrating consultation between the officials.

4:23 p.m. ET / 9:23 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

With Liverpool fans perhaps getting a little carried away by Real’s inability to lay a glove on them, let this serve as a timely reminder that Carlo Ancelotti’s side failed to get going for 89 minutes against Manchester City in the semifinals only to somehow still win the game by a hefty margin.

4:16 p.m. ET / 9:16 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

Trent Alexander-Arnold fires a cross into the Real penalty box and Salah directs a header on goal only to see his effort fly straight into the midriff of Courtois once again.

4:12 p.m. ET / 9:12 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

The rhythm so far has been steady, not scintillating. Neither side has carved out much of a foothold, with plenty of milling and probing, but nothing else of note besides a brief peppering of attempts on Courtois’ goal. At the other end, Real are still awaiting their first shot of goal with 30 minutes elapsed.

4:07 p.m. ET / 9:07 p.m. BST: We weren’t kidding about that Courtois save

Mane really did look like he was going to score…

4:04 p.m. ET / 9:04 p.m. BST: Issues continue outside

4:01 p.m. ET / 9:01 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

Sadio Mane strikes a fierce shot against the post after wriggling past two defenders and into the Real penalty area. Replays reveal that Courtois made yet another reflex save to deflect the effort onto the upright.

3:58 p.m. ET / 8:58 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

Mohamed Salah forces a scrambling save from Thibaut Courtois with the first shot of the final. The Real keeper then did well to gather a speculative Thiago effort as Liverpool kept the pressure on in the aftermath.

3:55 p.m. ET / 8:55 p.m. BST: New video above

ESPN’s Mark Ogden reports on the chaos at the Champions League final outside the Stade de France as Liverpool fans were tear-gassed by police.

3:52 p.m. ET / 8:52 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

Karim Benzema is obviously in the mood, raising eyebrows with a slick little back-heeled flick pass but still we patiently await the first effort on goal from either side as we creep past the 10-minute mark.

3:45 p.m. ET / 8:45 p.m. BST: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 0

Fairly tentative stuff from both teams in the opening five minutes as the finalists scope each other out. Liverpool are pressing aggressively out of possession, but Real look more than capable of playing their way out of trouble so far.

3:40 p.m. ET / 8:40 p.m. BST:

ESPN spoke to fans outside the stadium after the scheduled kickoff time and some showed match tickets for the game which should have secured their entry. A young female supporter, with tears in her eyes, complained of being sprayed with pepper gas by riot police and ESPN witnessed and filmed a subsequent incident of fans being sprayed. While they queued outside, the Liverpool supporters were calm and well-behaved as they waited to be allowed into the stadium. — Mark Ogden

3:38 p.m. ET / 8:38 p.m. BST: WE ARE UNDERWAY!

The 2021-22 Champions League final has kicked off! Nearly 40 minutes later than scheduled, but things are finally underway at the Stade de France and it begins with Liverpool in red winning the toss and kicking off against Real Madrid in all-white.

3:37 p.m. ET / 8:37 p.m. BST:

The two teams have finally emerged from the dressing rooms and lined up for the pregame formalities but unsurprisingly a chorus of boos greet the playing of the UEFA Champions League anthem.

3:36 p.m. ET / 8:36 p.m. BST: A little more reporting on the issues outside

James Olley was also checking out the situation with fans being unable to get in.

Talking to Liverpool fans outside the ground, they spoke of supporters being teargassed or pepper-sprayed and French locals spread among them trying to get in without tickets and rattling fences. A cameraman filming outside the stadium suggests two of the turnstiles in the Liverpool end were closed around 45 minutes ago because of fears people were forcing entry without tickets. UEFA’s stadium announcement that the kickoff delay was “due to the late arrival of fans” has only angered those outside even more. — James Olley

3:30 p.m. ET / 8:30 p.m. BST: The game will kick off at 3:36 p.m. ET / 8:36 p.m. BST, per UEFA.

At least tennis champion Rafael Nadal has made it to his seat in time for kickoff.

3:26 p.m. ET / 8:26 p.m. BST: The scene outside the Parc des Princes

ESPN’s Mark Ogden was outside and saw fans being sprayed with tear gas or pepper spray by the gates.

3:21 p.m. ET / 8:21 p.m. BST: UEFA’s reasons for the delay

3:09 p.m. ET / 8:09 p.m. BST: KICKOFF DELAYED ANOTHER 15 MINUTES

UEFA has pushed the start time back to 3:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. BST) in order to make sure fans are in the stadium safely.

Our story on the delays is HERE.

The delays mean that both teams are back out to warm up again/stay warmed up.

3:05 p.m. ET / 8:05 p.m. BST

A reminder of your starting lineups!

LIVERPOOL: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Diaz.

REAL MADRID: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.

After all, we’re expecting a game in roughly 10 minutes…

2:59 p.m. ET / 7:59 p.m. BST

Chaotic scenes outside the ground as UEFA cite “late arrival of fans” as the reason for kickoff being delayed. Those hundreds of supporters who have been waiting idly outside for the last few hours unable to enter through the crowded turnstiles would probably beg to differ.

2:50 p.m ET / 7:50 p.m BST: KICKOFF DELAYED BY 15 MINUTES

Breaking news from Paris…

The delay is due to issues with Liverpool fans safely getting into the stadium after some bottlenecks and congestion heading towards the gates.

2:44 p.m. ET / 7:44 p.m. BST: Real Madrid’s veteran left-back Marcelo’s stock has dipped of late, but there’s no arguing with the legacy he could extend his record as the most-decorated player in the club’s history with a fifth Champions League winners’ medal tonight.

– Lowe: Marcelo’s Madrid career may be over, but he’ll leave a legend

2:39 p.m. ET / 7:39 p.m. BST: Late lineup drama for Liverpool around Thiago

However, sources say Thiago is still in the starting lineup despite the intense on-pitch deliberations during warm-ups!

2:39 p.m. ET / 7:39 p.m. BST: Route to the final

After both finishing top of their group, Liverpool (who won all six of their Group A games) and Real Madrid have had to see off some heavy hitters on the way to the final. Jurgen Klopp’s side dispatched Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal in the knockout rounds while Carlo Ancelotti led his team past Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in a series of comeback wins.

Real are W10 L1 D1 in the competition this season, with their one defeat coming in their shock 2-1 home loss to Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol. Liverpool, meanwhile, are yet to be beaten with a record of W8 L0 D4. The Spanish side have scored 30 goals and conceded just 13 goals in 12 games thus far, while the English side have scored 28 and allowed 14. Both have kept four clean sheets.

– O’Hanlon: Can science explain Real Madrid’s magical run?

2:34 p.m. ET / 7:34 p.m. BST: The head coaches

Having already become the first manager in history to win the title in all of Europe’s big five leagues this season, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is finishing off his stellar campaign by leading a team into the Champions League final for the fifth time in his career, another record.

Jurgen Klopp is doing so for a fourth time, which puts him joint-second with a whole host of luminaries including Sir Alex Ferguson, Marcelo Lippi and Miguel Munoz, Real Madrid’s great coach of the 1940s and ’50s.

Ancelotti could become the first coach to win four European Cups, having already won twice with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007, and Real in 2014.

By that same token, a loss for Klopp would mean the German would draw level with former Juventus boss Lippi as the manager who have suffered the most defeats in Champions League finals with three (after losing the Bayern Munich with Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and against Madrid for Liverpool in 2018).

– Ogden: Ancelotti, the players’ coach, on brink of UCL history

2:29 p.m. ET / 7:29 p.m. BST: Karim Benzema has goal record in his sights

Los Blancos boast the competition’s top goal scorer this season, with Karim Benzema scoring 15 goals in just 11 games en route to the final in Paris.

Benzema has also scored a career-high 44 goals in 45 games for Real in all competitions this season, with Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich (50 goals) the only player in all of Europe’s top five leagues to have registered more in 2021-22. Two more goals in the final would…



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