Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid made history today as they cruised to a 4-1 victory over Juventus in Cardiff. Real made it 12 European cup wins and became the first team to retain the trophy in the Champions League era. Ronaldo scored his 104th and his 105th champions league goals and became the first player to score in 3 Champions League finals.
Real’s victory was typically orchestrated by Ronaldo and he got the ball rolling with the first goal after 20 minutes. Juventus has looked strong in the opening 20 minutes and Ronaldos goal didn’t dampen their spirits. They were soon level with what was probably the goal of the tournament. Dani Carvajal and Mandzukic exchanged neat touches before Mandzukic hooked an overhead kick beyond Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
It was 1-1 at the break but the second half belonged to Real. Casemiro’s 35 yard strike took a deflection on it’s way to the back of the net and Juventus never really looked like getting back into the match after that. Ronaldo then scored his second as he sneaked in at the near post to make it 3-1. Juve’s defence was completely static and some players were guilty of ball watching as Ronaldo put real two goals ahead.
Juventus’ frustrations were clear to see and things soon got worse as substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second yellow card after a clash with Sergio Ramos.
Juve’s misery was compounded as substitute Marco Asensio scored a fourth on 90 minutes.
Juventus had looked incredibly strong in the lead up to the final and were tipped by many to be victorious. It looked like they were set to banish the demons of previous finals, especially after Mandzukics’ sublime goal. They faded badly in the second half though and didn’t cope well with the pressure of the occasion. Three time final loser Buffon looked the most forlorn at the final whistle as he probably realises that a fourth chance at winning is extremely unlikely as he approaches 40.
Juve have now lost five Champions League finals since they last won the competition in 1996.
- Ronaldo became the first player to score in three champions league finals (2008, 2014 and 2017)
- Ronaldo is the leading scorer in champions league history with 105 goals
- Ronaldo scored his 600th career goal
- Mario Mandzukic became the third player to score in a European cup final for two different sides.
- Real are the first team in the champions league era to retain the cup
- Juan Cuadrado became the third player to be sent off in a Champions League final
- Zinedine Zidane is the first manager to win back-to-back European Cups since Arrigo Sacchi with AC Milan (1989, 1990)
- Real have won their last six European Cup finals, last losing one in 1981 versus Liverpool.
- Real became the first team in Champions League history to score 500+ goals.