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Real Madrid Defeat Dortmund At Wembley To Secure Record-Extending 15th Champions League Title

Real Madrid Defeat Dortmund At Wembley To Secure Record-Extending 15th Champions League Title

Real Madrid secured a 15th Champions League title with victory over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Both sets of fans descended on the stadium in their thousands several hours before kick-off, such is the magnitude of a Champions League final.

Pre-match, music legend Lenny Kravitz performed and Zinedine Zidane brought the famous trophy out onto the field before kickoff to add an extra sprinkling of glamour to an already prestigious occasion.

The match itself began in bizarre circumstances as at least three supporters invaded the pitch within the opening minute of the match which caused a short suspension in play until security dealt with them appropriately. The stoppage would not have helped the nerves of either side with so much on the line.

Once play was restarted and things set into a flow, Real Madrid took control of possession from the opening stages as Dortmund sat deep. The German side were tenacious in defence and immediately showcased their threat on the counter-attack by forcing a corner kick inside the sixth minute following a lengthy dribble by Jadon Sancho.

Madrid defended the corner with ease and continued their possession-orientated build-up play. Their first real opportunity of the match fell to Fede Valverde who could only blast over from the edge of the Dortmund penalty area in the eleventh minute before his teammate, Vinicius Jr, blasted over from a similar angle minutes later.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side survived a couple of frights in a tense spell that started in the 20th minute when Karim Adeyemi ran onto the end of a Mats Hummels through ball to round a hapless Thibaut Courtois, only to see his shot deflected for a corner thanks to a last-ditch lunging clearance by Dani Carvajal.

That opportunity was not the end of the Dortmund storm as they had a penalty claim turned down moments later before striker Niclas Fullkrug then saw an effort crash off the inside of the post and rebound outwards.

Edin Terzic’s side continued to apply the pressure relentlessly and saw another glorious chance spurned when playmaker Julian Brandt played Adeyemi in behind again in the 27th minute only for his low, driven effort to be palmed away by Courtois.

Frustration in the Madrid ranks heightened the longer the Dortmund momentum continued, and was perfectly illustrated when Vinicius found his way into the referee’s book with a late challenge on Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.

Marcel Sabitzer was the next Dortmund player to test the palms of Courtois with a drilled effort from just outside the penalty area on the cusp of the half-time interval. The Belgian goalkeeper turned it around the post for a corner.

The second half started just as the first had ended with Dortmund taking the game to Real Madrid and winning an early corner. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalise from it and found themselves caught on the counter-attack when Vinicius sprinted away on the left wing only to be brought down by a retreating Hummels as he approached the Dortmund penalty area.

Toni Kroos curled the resulting freekick over the Dortmund wall and forced a sublime diving save from Kobel to keep the scores level.

Real Madrid gained confidence and composure following this opportunity and Carvajal saw a goalbound volleyed effort blocked by Ian Maatsen following a hung-up cross from Vinicius.

Just after the hour mark, Courtois was busy in the Real Madrid goal again, this time beating away a headed effort from Fullkrug following an inviting cross by Adeyemi.

Real Madrid countered minutes later and Vinicius saw another effort fly over the crossbar when he could not properly direct a header on target from a lofted Kroos cross.

The Brazilian international was in the thick of it again moments later when he drifted a cross towards the far post of the Dortmund goal looking for Jude Bellingham who was unable to make any contact with the ball despite his best efforts.

Dortmund legend Marco Reus was introduced to proceedings in the 72nd minute with a view to being the difference-maker for his side on an evening that would mark his last appearance in the iconic yellow shirt.

Less than 90 seconds after Reus’ arrival, Real Madrid delivered a sucker punch on Dortmund when Carvajal rose above Fullkrug from a Kroos corner to steer a powerful header past a helpless Kobel. The goal went against the momentum of the game, but the travelling Spaniards did not care about that for a moment as they danced jubilantly in the Wembley stands.

Kroos teed up Eduardo Camavainga to shoot from 30 yards out and his effort forced another Madrid corner. They would have doubled their lead in copycat fashion to their first had Kobel not produced a fantastic reaction save to deny a powerful headed effort from Nacho.

Ancelotti’s men would not have to wait much longer for their lead to be doubled as Vinicius put the game beyond any doubt in the 83rd minute when he raced into the Dortmund box and placed a curved shot beyond Kobel who had no chance from such close range.

Dortmund had the ball in the net before the final whistle when Fullkrug headed home from close range, however, the German striker was clearly offside, and the officials waved play on without any need for a lengthy VAR review.

Victory at Wembley secured a record-extending 15th Champions League title for Real Madrid and a 5th in total for Carlo Ancelotti as a manager (three with Real Madrid and two with AC Milan).

There can be no doubt with such a record that Real Madrid are the foremost side in European club football history.

Last night at Wembley was another in a long list of glorious evenings that the icons of Spanish football have experienced.

WFi player of the match: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) – This match was his last in club football and he has not lost any of the quality that has defined him as one of Europe’s most majestic midfielders. He has been a joy to watch throughout his illustrious career and this match was no different. Fantastic!

Dortmund: Kobel, Schlotterbeck, Sancho (Bynoe-Gittens, 87), Fullkrug, Hummels, Brandt (Haller, 80), Sabitzer, Maatsen, Can (Malen, 80), Ryerson, Adeyemi (Reus, 72).

Substitutes: Meyer, Lotka, Ozcan, Nmecha, Haller, Reus, Wolf, Moukoko, Malen, Sule, Watjen, Bynoe-Gittens.