03.06.2017 23:07 - in: UCL S

      Real prevail in Cardiff

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      Real Madrid win the Champions League after beating Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff

      Real Madrid claimed the 2017 Champions League title after emerging 4-1 winners from Saturday night’s showpiece event in Cardiff.

      Mario Mandzukic’s 27th-minute equaliser gave Juventus hope of a comeback after Cristiano Ronaldo had handed Real the lead, but Casemiro’s long-range strike after an hour saw Los Blancos restore their lead.

      From that point, Zinedine Zidane’s men never looked back and further goals by Ronaldo and Marco Asensio, either side of Juan Cuadrado’s dismissal for a second bookable offence, effectively ended the tie.


      The Bianconeri raced out of the traps and created a trio of chances within the opening seven minutes: Gonzalo Higuain tested Keylor Navas twice, first with a glancing header, saved quite comfortably by the keeper, before unleashing a pile-driver from distance that the Costa Rican had to get everything behind.

      Juve’s third opportunity saw Miralem Pjanic hammer a volley towards the bottom corner, which Navas did well to palm away to safety.

      Therefore, it was somewhat against the run of play that Real Madrid took their lead when in the 20th minute Ronaldo swept Dani Cavajal’s cross low and hard past Gianluigi Buffon.


      The Bianconeri never dropped their heads. Instead, they got back to bossing possession as they had before conceding and, within seven minutes, were back on level terms in the most spectacular fashion imaginable.

      Lovely build-up play around the Real box saw Mandzukic, with his back to goal, control with his chest and send a truly beautiful bicycle kick over Navas and into the top corner. Game on again.


      To be on level terms was the least the Bianconeri deserved at the midway point of a game they’d had the better of, but the second half would not go at all to plan.

      From the restart, Madrid immediately applied pressure on Juve’s goal with Buffon having to leap across to his left to block Luka Modric’s stinging effort from distance.

      On 61 minutes however, Casemiro’s own long-range effort had a much larger impact: the midfielder’s bending shot sending Real into the lead.

      Los Blancos now had the bit between their teeth and were making it count. Three minutes later, Ronaldo latched on to Modric’s cutback from the right to strike his second of the match and put the Champions League holders in command.

      Juve might have reduced the deficit when Alex Sandro nodded Dani Alves’ free-kick narrowly wide of the far post, but Cuadrado’s second yellow card made an uphill battle too steep to overcome for the men in black and white.

      And Real would make the most of their numerical advantage moments into injury-time when Marco Asensio prodded in from close-range.

      This was far from the night Juve had hoped for, but this will still go down as an extraordinary season and one during which Biaconeri fans across the world have been a credit to this club.

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