Spanish football giants Real Madrid have claimed yet another Champions League title by beating English side Liverpool FC 3-1 in the final.
The victory on Saturday marked the third consecutive year that Real Madrid have won the tournament and the fourth such in five years, taking their total tally to a record 13 titles.
The match at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, got off to a rough start for the Spaniards however, with Liverpool dominating throughout much of the first 30 minutes.
But things took a turn for the worse for the Reds when star player Mohamed Salah suffered a shoulder injury which saw him replaced by Adam Lallana.
|Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah receives medical attention after sustaining an injury [Phil Noble/Reuters]|
By the end of the first half, it became apparent that the English side were demoralised by the loss of their Egyptian prodigy.
As the second half got under way, Real Madrid came close to opening the score when a shot by Isco hit the woodwork at the 48th minute.
The Spanish side took the lead just three minutes later, when French striker Karim Benzema took advantage of what appeared to be a blunder by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.
|May 26, 2018 Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal [Phil Noble/Reuters]|
But Jurgen Klopp’s side responded swiftly, with Senegalese striker Saido Mane equalising from close range 10 minutes into the second half.
Six minutes later, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane introduced Welsh forward Gareth Bale to the game – a decisive substitute that had a major impact on the final.
Just three minutes after making his entry, the 28-year-old struck a mid-air scissor kick to put Real Madrid back in the driving seat.
Bale went on to score again seven minutes before the final whistle, crushing whatever remained of Liverpool’s hopes.