Real Madrid have retained the Champions League trophy after they beat Juventus 4-1 in the final in Cardiff on Saturday night the victory makes it the twelfth time Madrid would win.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace, while Casemiro and Marco Asensio scored the other goals for Real to complete a 4-1 win. Mario Mandzukic had leveled with a beautiful effort in the first half, but the Spanish side proved their superiority on the night.
Juventus and Real Madrid go into the break of the 2016/17 Champions League final level after Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored for their respective side in a highly entertaining first half.
Ronaldo opened scoring after 20 minutes – his 11th goal in the competition this season – after a fine pass by Dani Carvajal down the right. Although his effort did slightly deflected off Leonardo Bonucci, but it probably wouldn’t have made much difference anyway, as the ball looked to be going in with Gianluigi Buffon already beaten.
The setback notwithstanding, Juventus looked unfazed, and continued to pile some pressure on Real, and it wouldn’t take too long before they would get a goal of their own to draw level in the match.
Just seven minutes after Ronaldo’s goal, a fine high pass by Gonzalo Higuain found the chest of Manzukic, with the Croatian controlling perfectly and hit it fiercely with a half volley almost completely backing the goal. What an effort it was, and worthy to be called a Champions League final goal.
It was an interesting first half of football and before the half time break, the tackles started flying in, with Paulo Dybala, Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal all getting booked.
Given the frenetic pace with which the first half started, one would have been forgiven to think the second period would begin with such pace, but it wasn’t to be, as it started with a slower tempo. It was obvious that both sides were applying caution.
It would also not be fair to say there were no attacking intents in the second period, as they were both also making attacking forays, but considering how the first half went, it was only wise to try to tidy up at the back.
But the game would spring back to life in the 61st minute, when Real went in front again. Casemiro unleashed a shot from distance, which was deflected past Buffon, who had no chance of stopping it as the ball rapidly changed its direction and found its way into the net and Los Blancos were in front again.
It had been a less than impressive display by the Italian champions on the night, especially given their famed defensive capabilities, as they have afforded the Real attackers far too much time and space on the ball to cause real damage.
The Old Lady defence would cave in again less than two minutes later, when Luka Modric displayed great vision and sent a pass to Ronaldo, who showed brilliant composure inside the box to bury the ball from close range in the back of the net and at this point, it looked all lost for the Italian side.
The third goal looked to have destroyed whatever morale Juve had left, but with the game still some way off, they set out attacking and almost got one back when Alex Sandro created himself some space in front of goal and connects with the resulting free kick. His header was slightly mistimed and sailed inches wide of the left post.
However, just when you thought Real were done, Marco Asensio came off the bench to score the fourth to put Juve to the sword, as Los Blancos retained the Champions League title.