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Champions League final highlights and report: Vinícius Júnior scores only goal as Real Madrid beat Liverpool to claim 14th European Cup

Vinícius Júnior scored the only goal as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Paris to win the European Cup for the 14th time.

Final highlights: Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 in the UEFA Champions League final thanks to a second-half goal from Vinícius Júnior.

Key moments

21' Courtois turns Mané shot onto post
44' Benzema strike ruled out for offside
59' Vinícius Júnior turns in from close range
83' Courtois pulls off stunning save to deny Salah

Match in brief: Courtois and Vinícius the heroes for Madrid

Vinícius Júnior celebrates his decisive goal
Vinícius Júnior celebrates his decisive goal Getty Images

So often victorious having had their backs against the wall in this season's competition, Madrid were once again the less assertive team for long stretches of this game. As ever, though, they found a way.

Thibaut Courtois warrants enormous credit, having pulled off a string of fine saves to keep Liverpool at bay. Mohamed Salah was denied on multiple occasions, though it was Sadio Mané who went closest in the first half – this time Courtois had a post to thank for completing the job.

Karim Benzema did have the ball in the net before half-time only for VAR to intervene. The Merengues' celebrations were given full voice just before the hour, however, Federico Valverde's cross-shot picking out Vinícius in space at the back post. Madrid's No20 could not miss.

Courtois was at it again with seven minutes left, Salah again the man denied by his lightning-fast reactions. Madrid threatened to add a second on the break thereafter, but not for the first time, they had done just enough.

PlayStation® Player of the Match: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)

Player of the Match: Thibaut Courtois

"Crucial saves at critical moments during the first half when Liverpool were on top. Also an extraordinary save to deny Salah late on."
UEFA Technical Observer panel

Joseph Walker, Real Madrid reporter

What can you say? Madrid just know how to win finals. They get the job done, whatever it takes, and thanks to Courtois and Vinícius they are 14-time European champions. Once they took the lead they didn't look like losing and kept Liverpool at arm's length. Chapeau, as they say round these parts.

Rio Ferdinand, BT Sport

"I've never seen a harder route to the final. Madrid have beaten the champions of France, the champions of England. It's taken my breath away. They put in a magnificent performance."

Matthew Howarth, Liverpool reporter

Had it not been for Courtois, Liverpool would be celebrating a seventh European Cup. The Belgium keeper was simply sensational in Paris, producing save after save to frustrate the likes of Salah and Mané. Given their exploits in previous rounds of the competition, perhaps this was always destined to be Real Madrid's year – but that will be no comfort whatsoever to Jürgen Klopp and his players. They have enjoyed an outstanding campaign domestically and in Europe, but it's a huge shame it had to end in this most painful of defeats.


Carlo Ancelotti: 'We've achieved something nobody expected'

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach: "I cannot believe I've won four Champions Leagues! It was a difficult game, we suffered in the first half but in the end with all the games we played I think we deserved to win this competition. We’ve achieved something that nobody expected of us at the start of the season, and we've done that thanks to our quality, our commitment, our history, everything. We're very happy."

Karim Benzema, Real Madrid captain: "We're so happy and proud of this team. We've done the double and deservedly so. It was a tough game but it always is in the Champions League, and more so in a final. It means so much to me to win another Champions League here in my home country."

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager: “The problem is when you play against Real Madrid and they play that deep, their counterattacking threat is immense. I saw us doing a lot of good things, but it was not enough. We accept that. They scored a goal and we didn't – that's the easiest explanation in the world of football. It's harsh, but we respect that of course."

Klopp: 'We will come again'

Key stats

  • Madrid have now won twice as many European Cups as any other club (AC Milan have won seven); they have won all eight finals in which they have played in the UEFA Champions League era.
  • Carlo Ancelotti is the first coach to win the European Cup four times; he is also the only one to have taken a team to five finals.
  • Karim Benzema finished as 2021/22 Champions League top scorer with 15 goals.
  • Benzema, Dani Carvajal and Luka Modrić have all equalled Cristiano Ronaldo's record of five UEFA Champions League titles.
  • 1-0 is now the most common score in UEFA Champions League finals. This is the sixth final – and third in succession – to feature just one goal; five have finished both 1-1 and 2-1.

Fantasy star performers

Thibaut Courtois – 12
Éder Militão – 9
Dani Carvajal – 8


Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson (Keïta 77), Fabinho, Thiago (Firmino 77); Salah, Mané, Luis Díaz (Jota 65)

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Éder Militão, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić (Ceballos 90); Valverde (Camavinga 86), Benzema, Vinícius Júnior (Rodrygo 90+3)