Champions League Final - Liverpool vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid miraculously turned the tie against Manchester City around in the closing minutes of the game and laid their hands on the last spot for the UEFA Champions League final. On May 25, Real Madrid and Liverpool once again meet in what will be a replicate of 2018 year’s final in Kiev. Then, Los Blancos won by 3-1 in a game which came to be remembered for Loris Karius horrendous actions in goal. Will Liverpool get their revenge in Paris, or can Real Madrid settle their position as the kings of Europe?
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Road to the Final
LIVERPOOL – For Liverpool it will be their 3rd final in 5 years which is more than any other team has managed to achieve in the same time. Jürgen Klopp has truly turned this team into a winning machine and by looking at the squad today, it is hard to argue why this team should not be regarded as one of the best we have ever witnessed on a soccer pitch.
The road to the final began in Group B for Liverpool where they were drawn together with AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and FC Porto. A tough group, by many called the group of death, but Liverpool showed early on that they were not going to let go of the first place. Six wins out of six gave an early indication on just how strong this Liverpool side is and that it would take something extra to stop them from going far in the tournament. Inter Milan, Benfica and finally Villarreal stood for the opposition in the playoffs, though none can be said to coming close to knocking the 6-time winners out of the tournament.
Last time Liverpool were in a Champions League final was back in 2018/19, then against Tottenham. A game Liverpool won by 2-0 and which signaled the start of a golden era under Jürgen Klopp.
Liverpool vs AC Milan 3-2
FC Porto vs Liverpool 1-5
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool 2-3
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid 2-0
Liverpool vs FC Porto 2-0
AC Milan vs Liverpool 1-2
Round of 16
Inter Milan vs Liverpool 0-2
Liverpool vs Inter Milan 0-1
Benfica vs Liverpool 1-3
Liverpool vs Benfica 3-3
Liverpool vs Villarreal 2-0
Villarreal vs Liverpool 2-3
REAL MADRID – As favorites to go through from Group B with Inter Milan, Sheriff Tiraspol and Shakhtar, Real Madrid had little to none problems living up to the expectations. Despite the chocking defeat against Sheriff Tiraspol at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid cruised through the group stage without any further problems and could easily book a spot in the playoffs. Well in the playoffs they were drawn against PSG in what was meant to be one of the season’s greatest and most anticipated matchups between two European giants. After a first leg where PSG fully dominated, it was up to Real Madrid to turn the tie around in the second leg. Karim Benzema showed why he’s the player of the tournament with a brilliant display as he fired Real Madrid through to the quarterfinal where Chelsea awaited. The story repeated itself against Chelsea as Real Madrid just managed to get through after almost throwing away a 3-1 win from the first leg.
The semifinal against Manchester City was another replay of Real Madrid’s previous playoff rounds where they put themselves in a bad position early on, just to turn things around when we were expecting it the least. With 90’ minutes played at the Santiago Bernabeu and Manchester City leading 1-0, Pep Guardiola's side thought that it was game set and match. 2 minutes later, Rodrygo had come off the bench to score two goals and the tie was suddenly in Real Madrid’s favor. Another goal in the extra time sealed the win for the Spanish side who are now heading toward their 17th final appearance in the Champions League.
Inter Milan vs Real Madrid 0-1
Real Madrid vs Sheriff Tiraspol 1-2
Shakhtar vs Real Madrid 0-5
Real Madrid vs Shakhtar 2-1
Sheriff Tiraspol vs Real Madrid 0-3
Real Madrid vs Inter Milan 2-0
Round of 16
PSG vs Real Madrid 1-0
Real Madrid vs PSG 3-1
Chelsea vs Real Madrid 1-3
Real Madrid vs Chelsea 3-2 (3-1)
Manchester City vs Real Madrid 4-3
Real Madrid vs Manchester City 3-1 (2-1)
- Over 2.5 goals during full time -145
- Liverpool to win during regular time -105
- Any team to come from behind and win +525
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Real Madrid and Liverpool count among the biggest and most successful teams in world soccer. Both clubs have won the Champions League on several occasions and Liverpool as late as in 2019. The two sides have had a rather different road to the final where Liverpool can be said to have had a more controlling journey while Real Madrid has given us three double meetings which will go down as Champions League classics. While Liverpool has been the more convincing side of the two, Real Madrid has for big parts of their playoff ties struggled against high quality opposition. They have however proved that if it’s one thing that you should never do, it is to write of the Spanish side regardless of the result.
Whichever team you hold as favorite to win the final, we can agree on that there is two offensive skilled sides facing at the Parc de Prince. Real Madrid scored a total of 14 goals against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City. With Benzema and Vinicius Jr, Real Madrid will always be a threat for any team and against a Liverpool side who’s not afraid of going forward in numbers, this game can be an entertaining one with goals in both ends.
This Liverpool side is on its way to do something that no other team in England has never done before. Winning the quadruple; Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup, would be a massive achievement for the team who last season had such huge problems with injuries and out-of-form players. The addition of Luis Diaz and Ibrahim Konate ahead of the season, as well as a Thiago who now looks more shaped into Liverpool’s way of playing have made this team an unstoppable force. Except the 0-1 loss against Inter Milan in March, Liverpool haven’t lost a game during 2022 and watching them play one can’t see that run ending in near time.
If Klopp and Liverpool do their homework and analyze how three huge clubs as PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City all could fall apart and let Real Madrid back into the game, they should have a great chance of overcoming the Spanish side. Real Madrid’s impressive Champions League run is a lot thanks to Karim Benzema and his outrageous goal scoring streak this season. While Real Madrid have overperformed expected goals- and points in almost every game throughout the playoffs, Liverpool have shown great composure and strength as they have been the better team in every aspect.
Author: Dan Anderson