Real Madrid are the 2022 Champions League winners after defeating Liverpool in Saturday’s delayed final in Paris. The victory is Madrid’s 14th Champions League/European Cup win.
Thibaut Courtois was the hero. A string of top class saves kept Liverpool at bay, enabling his team to lift the trophy with a 1-0 win, thanks to a goal by Vinícius Jr after 59 minutes.
Madrid's Name on the Trophy All Along
Even though I believe Liverpool to be the stronger of the two sides, I always had a sneaky feeling this was Madrid's year. The manner in which they got past PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, all gave credence to that view.
In all three of those ties, Madrid could and probably should have been eliminated from the Champions League. Yes, they hung in there, but all three of those teams mentioned failed to finish Madrid off when they had numerous opportunities to do so.
Were Liverpool Wasteful?
It’s true that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool had the majority of the play. But they just couldn’t find a way past the Belgian keeper. It was a combination of some excellent saves, along with some not great at times, shall we say, finishing.
It may seem harsh to say that. But the first half save from Sadio Mane, and the late one from Mohamed Salah when he went clean through, were brilliant.
But, a lot of the other saves were ones you would expect a top draw goalkeeper - which Courtois obviously is - to make. More clinical finishing may have resulted in a different name on the trophy!
It must be a major disappointment for Liverpool. Most seasoned football observers would probably say the Reds are the superior side.
This is also backed up by the stats. Liverpool had 24 attempts on goal, Real Madrid had four. Of those attempts, Liverpool had 9 on target, Madrid had 2.
Whilst creating more with the ball, the Reds didn’t totally dominate possession. They had 54%, to Real’s 46%.
In short though, Liverpool have missed out on a cup that I’m sure they believe they should have won. This isn’t a vintage Real Madrid side, so when you get these chances, you really have to take them. And Liverpool didn’t.