Real Madrid clinch back-to-back UCL titles, with win over Juventus
Real Madrid recorded a 12th UEFA Champions League title, after defeating Juventus 4-1 in Saturday’s final in Cardiff.
Zinedine Zidane‘s side used a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo to make it back-to-back European titles, and their third out of the past four seasons.
Ronaldo opened the scoring after 20 minutes, sweeping home Dani Carvajal‘s assist to the bottom left corner. Los Blancos held off an early Juventus attack which saw both Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic kept out by Keylor Navas.
However, the Old Lady equalized seven minutes later as Mario Mandzukic chested a pass to himself, and lobbed it over a diving Navas. It was glorious control from the Croatian, who made it 11 goals on the season with the wonder strike.
Following halftime, Real Madrid used a quick pair of goals to distance themselves from their opponents. Casemiro‘s long-range effort after 61 minutes, put Zidane’s team back in front, before Ronaldo netted his second just three minutes later.
Juventus’ day was ultimately summed up when winger Juan Cuadrado was sent off after 84 minutes. The Colombian’s appearance only lasted 18 minutes, after coming on a second-half sub.
21-year-old Marco Asensio capped off the perfect evening for Los Blancos, finishing nicely inside the box. It was the former Espanyol midfielder’s ninth goal across all competitions.
At the final whistle, Real Madrid celebrated a comfortable 4-1 win in Cardiff over a disappointing Juventus side. Navas made three saves in the win, while Gianluigi Buffon made one.
Juventus have now lost five Champions League finals, since their last win back in 1996. Massimiliano Allegri‘s side lifted both the Italian Serie A title this season, but also the Coppa Italia crown earlier this spring.
Since taking over in January 2016, Zidane has now led Real Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles, while also snatching this year’s La Liga title.
Much will be said about Juventus’ breakdown in the second-half against Real Madrid. The Italians came into this final, unbeaten in the Champions League through all rounds (9-3-0). They were able to keep Barcelona off the scoreboard through two legs, while also limiting Monaco to only one goal in the semifinals.
Historically having a very strong defensive unit in front of him, Buffon had nothing in the second-half and you surely have to feel for the 39-year-old.
Ronaldo on the other hand, eclipsed the 600 goal mark between club and country with a brace today. Now with four Champions League titles to his name, and a Euro medal from last Summer, he certainly has a case for the best forward ever in international soccer.
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