June 25, 2024

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Champions League Final: Real Madrid won the 15th European Champions Cup after defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0

Champions League Final: Real Madrid won the 15th European Champions Cup after defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0



CNN

Few teams have faced Real Madrid in a Champions League final with the same intensity as Borussia Dortmund showed at Wembley on Saturday night.

But in the end, the result was the same as always.

Despite struggling and defending for the vast majority of the final, and clinging on for dear life at times, Real Madrid will leave London with a record-extending 15th European Cup trophy after late goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior. Los Blancos Winning 2-0 and breaking Dortmund’s hearts.

It was a particularly cruel end for Dortmund defender Ian Maatsen, who needlessly missed a corner kick for Carvajal’s header before Real gave Madrid the ball for Vinicius’ goal just minutes later.

After a night of toil, Real celebrated again at the final whistle of the Champions League final, with fans in a white wall singing their unbeatable team.

Real Madrid have not been beaten in a European Cup final since losing 1-0 to Liverpool in 1981, a run of nine successive victories now spanning 43 years and taking the club’s total number of victories to 15 – more than double the number that ranks second. Milan has caught on.

Vinicius Junior scored Real Madrid's second goal of the night to seal the win.

The mood inside the stadium was completely different before kick-off. The famous ‘Yellow Wall’ was loud almost an hour before kick-off, as it was carried brick by brick, fan by fan from Dortmund to Wembley without missing a beat.

Sensing that Real Madrid’s end was getting the better of the Dortmund fans, Vinicius directed an early fist strike towards those white-clad fans to coax a thunderous roar.

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However, aside from that explosion, it was the Dortmund fans who made all the noise during the first ten minutes; Their incessant, deafening chants fill the gloomy London sky above Wembley Stadium.

There must be few scenes in football more difficult than facing Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

But Dortmund was brave early. Edin Terzic’s team passed the ball from the back fearlessly, although two dangerous balls almost gave Real Madrid the ball.

It was the team’s fluid passing that created the first real chance of the final, but Julian Brandt caught the ball at his feet and shot wide of goal and it was only Thibaut Courtois who headed it into the penalty area.

The move sparked a wave of great chances for Dortmund.

Niklas Volkrug had a close-range header saved and a shot hit the post and rolled agonizingly across the goal line, while Karim Adeyemi had two great one-on-one chances but failed to convert either.

Borussia Dortmund wasted many opportunities during the first 45 minutes of the match.

Over the years, Real Madrid have developed an unerring knack for pulling off an improbable comeback in the Champions League.

Defender Nacho once said the team had “magic” on such European nights, but tonight it felt as if there was a supernatural force preventing Dortmund from scoring.

The missed chances did not dampen the morale of Dortmund fans, but nearly 40,000 of them jumped in unison to shake the foundations of Wembley.

It was a completely dominating first half from Dortmund, and the team did not care about Real Madrid’s impressive record and aura of invincibility in this competition.

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Dortmund’s players were met with a deafening shout of approval when the referee announced the end of the first half. But the Real fans stood in stunned silence. As they were for most of the first half.

Real Madrid fans watch the final match tensely.

Not only did the team look shaky defensively, they looked completely toothless in attack, with every attack being comfortably blocked by Dortmund’s defence.

It is truly an unusual sight to see Real Madrid floundering so badly in the Champions League, although there is an overwhelming feeling that Dortmund will eventually be left to rue all those missed opportunities.

There were some early signs of life from the men in white early in the second half – Toni Kroos’s free-kick was saved in stunning fashion by Gregor Kupil – but Dortmund came back.

The team continued to dominate in the first 20 minutes and Volkrug had another great chance that was blocked by Courtois.

The Belgian goalkeeper produced one of the best performances ever in the Champions League final when Real Madrid beat Liverpool two years ago, and was at his best again after returning from injury in time for the match.

Then the inevitable happened. Firstly through Carvajal’s header and then when Maatsen passed the ball straight to Bellingham, allowing the Englishman to find Vinicius who slotted the ball over Copil.

Dani Carvajal scored Real Madrid's first goal with a stunning header.

Even as hope faded completely as the remaining seconds of stoppage time ticked away – and in the face of thousands of enthusiastic Real Madrid fans – the Dortmund fans defiantly raised their scarves and continued to sing.

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They thought they finally had a moment to celebrate when Volkrug found the back of the net, but they weren’t given even that as the goal was ruled out for offside.

“Campeones, Campeones olé, olé, olé,” came the chant from Real Madrid fans as Carvajal waited for the trophy to be lifted above his head.

It will be a sleepless night for both teams of players and fans, but for very different reasons.