PARIS (AP) — Real Madrid became European champions for a record 14th time after beating Liverpool 1-0 in a Champions League final that started 37 minutes late due to disturbing crowd issues. outside the Stade de France on Saturday.
Brazilian winger Vinícius Júnior applied a 59th-minute close-range finish to Federico Valverde’s strike in front of goal, securing a victory that gave Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti a record fourth European Cup title.
While Madrid completed a Champions League-Liga double, Liverpool ended a season that held so much promise – a week ago they were in contention for an unprecedented quadruple of major trophies – with both domestic cups in England.
The English side failed to get past Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois, who tipped Sadio Mane’s first-half shot off the post and made an even better save to deflect Mohamed Salah’s effort away. the 81st.
Madrid have cemented their status as the kings of European football, as the Spanish giants boast twice the number of European Cups as No.2 on the list, AC Milan. Liverpool stayed on six.
However, pre-match crowd issues marred this final and will certainly be investigated by UEFA and the authorities in the coming days.
With 45 minutes remaining before kick-off, there were still long lines of Liverpool fans waiting to be allowed into the stadium, and there were sporadic instances of fans breaking through security and sprinting into the hall .
The Associated Press saw two fans – one wearing Liverpool gear – wrestled to the ground by stewards and carried out of the gates, while others managed to enter the arena.
The situation began to spiral out of control when riot police deployed tear gas at Liverpool supporters in the lines, while some supporters were seen scaling the fences. Officers with batons and riot shields ran from door to door to prevent pockets of supporters from forcing entry into the stadium without showing tickets.
Around 15 minutes before the scheduled 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT) kick-off, an announcement was made that there would be a delay, blaming the late arrival of fans at the stadium. He was greeted with mockery inside the stadium, given that those fans had already endured long queues.
The scenes recalled the chaos outside Wembley Stadium ahead of last year’s European Championship final between England and Italy.
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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press