News Matches

Real Madrid v Liverpool Live Commentary, 26/05/2018

3 - 1
K. Benzema (51)
G. Bale (64)
G. Bale (83)
S. Mané (55)
NSK Olimpijs'kyj


That's it from the Champions League final and the European club football season. Now the countdown to the World Cup in Russia truly begins!
After a first half that didn't offer much, the game came alive in the second period. A huge mistake from Loris Karius provided Karim Benzema with the easiest goal of his career but there was hope for Liverpool after Sadio Mane equalised. A moment of magic from Gareth Bale put Los Blancos back in front and another horrendous mistake from Karius gave Bale his second, with Real Madrid winning 3-1.
FULL-TIME! The whistle blows and Real Madrid have won the Champions League for the third season in a row!
90' + 1' THREE minutes remaining in Kiev, Real Madrid moments away from getting their hands on the Champions League trophy once again.
Marco Asensio
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
89' Substitution Karim Benzema Marco Asensio Willemsen
88' STAT: Gareth Bale is the first player to come on as a sub and score twice in a Champions League/European Cup final.
87' Karius looks like he wants the ground to swallow him up and I'd be extremely surprised if he remains between the sticks for next season. He may well have just kissed goodbye to his Liverpool career, there's no forgiving these mistakes but you have to feel sorry for him.
85' Bale surges through on goal and hunts for the hat-trick but a brilliant sliding tackle from Mane. Ronaldo is furious as he was wide open for a tap-in.
Real Madrid
83' Marcelo the creator again but it's Bale and Karius who will take the headlines.
G. Bale
Real Madrid
83' GOAL! Another howler from Karius! Bale takes aim from a long way out and it's straight at Karius but he fumbles the ball into the net. He's had a nightmare this evening.
E. Can
J. Milner
83' Milner makes way as Emre Can comes on for potentially his last appearance in a Liverpool shirt.
S. Mané
Yellow Card
82' First yellow card of the game is issued to Mane, who clatters into Ramos.
81' SAVE! A fantastic ball from Bale using the outside of his foot to switch the play to Benzema and the France striker sees his attempt saved by Karius. Liverpool are starting to look rather stretched.
80' Real Madrid edging closer to winning three Champions League trophies in a row and four in the past five years, which is frankly ridiculous. There seems to be no stopping them.
78' Liverpool continue to keep Real Madrid under pressure and they've certainly upped their game since falling behind again. Varane continues to thwart their attacking efforts though, emerging at crucial periods to bring the end to the Reds' advances.
76' Less than 15 minutes remaining in the Champions League final and you'd expect Liverpool to have at least one more golden opportunity. The problem is Real Madrid will probably have the same.
74' What a tackle! Ronaldo look destined to score, moments after Liverpool had a penalty appeal turned down at the other end, but Robertson slid in superbly to quell the opportunity and clear the ball behind for a corner.
72' Liverpool are certainly not out of the game yet and Klopp still has two changes available to him. As mentioned though, his options in the final third are limited with just Can and Solanke to choose from.
70' OFF THE POST! Without Salah, it's Mane pulling the strings. He drives a low attempt at goal that has Navas beaten but it bounces back off the frame of the goal.
69' Crucial intervention from Ramos, who stretches as far as he can to prevent Robertson's ball finding Mane and puts the ball behind for a corner. Milner whips it in but Navas punches it away.
67' STAT: Gareth Bale scored 2 Minutes 2 seconds after coming on. Quite an introduction.
66' The best goal in a Champions League final since Zidane's volley against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002. Sensational.
Real Madrid
64' Marcelo's cross, in truth, was rather poor and looked to be pretty harmless. I don't think anyone would have predicted that from Bale.
G. Bale
Real Madrid
64' GOAL! Unbelievable! Bale has only just come off the bench and has provided a moment of sheer magic. Marcelo's cross to the edge of the area finds the Wales ace, who acrobatically volleys over his head and leaves Karius with no chance. Absolutely remarkable.
63' Bale isn't really the sort of player Liverpool would like to see coming off the bench with fresh legs, particularly as their own options on the sidelines are fairly limited in terms of attacking flair.
G. Bale
Real Madrid
61' Real Madrid make their second change of the game, introducing the in-form Bale for Isco.
60' SAVE! Modric tees a ball through to Nacho down the right, who drills a low cross into Isco in the middle. The Spain midfielder takes one touch before firing at goal, forcing a decent stop from Karius.
60' STAT: Liverpool are the first team in history to see three players score 10+ goals in a single Champions League season (Salah 10, Firmino 10, Mané 10).
59' Liverpool's response has been magnificent and they've rekindled the bite that they showed in the opening stages of the match. They're putting Real Madrid under significant pressure when they don't have the ball and Los Blancos are finding it difficult to move into space.
57' STAT: Benzema is the 1st French player to score in a Champions League final since Zinédine Zidane in 2002.
D. Lovren
55' Simple but effective from Liverpool and Lovren put the ball on a plate for Mane. The perfect response from Liverpool.
S. Mané
55' GOAL! Liverpool are level! Firmino floats the corner into the middle and Lovren heads it into the danger zone, where Mane is there to tap home from close range. Game on!
54' Superb defending! Liverpool surge forward and an inviting cross is curled into the middle where Firmino is lurking but Varane rises to get a crucial touch on the ball, putting it behind for a corner.
53' I think I know what will be top of Jurgen Klopp's shopping list this summer. Karius has never quite looked comfortable during his Liverpool career but that was quite remarkable.
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
51' GOAL! What on earth was that!? Karius easily collects a long ball forward and tries to quickly roll the ball out but Benzema sticks a toe out, diverting the ball into the net. What a howler!
50' A huge wake up call for Liverpool and Isco may face some sleepless nights if Real Madrid don't go on to secure victory.
48' OFF THE BAR! A collection of errors from Liverpool opens up the Reds' defence, with Lallana's attempted clearance falling kindly for Isco. Karius is quick of his line but is beaten as the Spain ace lofts an attempt against the bar. A huge chance goes begging.
47' The game has settled back into the same style we saw for the majority of the first period as Real Madrid dictate the tempo, while Liverpool sit back to soak the pressure.
45' KICK-OFF! Back underway at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, will the game be decided within 90 minutes or will extra time be needed? It's time to find out!
STAT: Liverpool mustered nine shots in the first-half with Mohamed Salah on the pitch, and none after he was subbed off.
Liverpool came out of the blocks flying, putting Real Madrid under significant pressure, but then saw their performance levels drop significantly. The absence of Salah will be a real kick in the teeth and Klopp faces a stern task to rally his troops at the break, especially as the game looks like it could be separated by just a single goal.
After a slow start, Real Madrid have controlled the tempo of the game but have struggled to create clear-cut opportunities. Barring the offside goal, Loris Karius hasn't had too much to do and the Reds have found it fairly easy in defence.
HALF-TIME! Nothing to separate the two sides in Kiev following the first 45 minutes and the major talking points will be the forced departures for Mohamed Salah and Dani Carvajal. Karim Benzema did put the ball in the net for Real Madrid but was correctly flagged offside.
45' + 1' THREE minutes of added time to end the first half.
45' WIDE! Benzema is starting to become a key figure in the match and he plays a brilliant floating cross over the defence to Nacho, who volleys into the side netting.
43' OFFSIDE! Real Madrid have the ball in the back of the net as Ronaldo sees a header superbly saved by Karius before the rebound was tapped home by Benzema. However, the flag is correctly raised on the far side.
41' Still goalless, still not really any clear-cut chances created by either side. Many predicted a high-scoring affair but it seems that this game could be decided by just a single moment of magic.
39' You have to feel for Salah and Carvajal, particularly in a World Cup year, and the Spain defender has been here before. Two years ago in the final against Atletico Madrid, he was also forced off injured in the first period.
Dani Carvajal
Real Madrid
37' Carvajal is indeed taken off, clearly distraught as his World Cup could also be under threat, as Nacho takes his place.
36' Now it's Real Madrid's turn for concern as Carvajal is down in tears and looks like he'll also be forced off.
34' STAT: The substituted Salah has scored 33% of Liverpool's goals in all competitions this season before this match (44/134).
32' Crucial period for Liverpool now until the interval as they need to ensure their heads don't drop after losing Salah. The fans haven't lost their voice though, booing Ramos for the part he played in Salah's injury.
A. Lallana
Mohamed Salah
30' Heartbreaking for Salah as he leaves the field in tears and has his place taken by Lallana.
29' Really worrying signs for Salah again following a corner for Liverpool as the Egypt ace is down once again. It doesn't look good at all.
27' Massive sigh of relief as Salah is back on the field, though he doesn't look fully comfortable just yet but is able to continue.
25' Concern for Liverpool and indeed Egypt as Salah is down in a heap after a strong challenge from Ramos. He's holding his shoulder and will receive treatment but he looks to be in some pain.
23' SAVE! Almost a moment to savour for Alexander-Arnold, who drives a fierce shot through the defence but cannot beat the Costa Rica goalkeeper.
22' Since all that early Liverpool pressure, it's been Real Madrid controlling the tempo of the match. There's still not been too many chances created in the game though, with the majority of the play coming in the central part of the field.
20' STAT: Cristiano Ronaldo is playing his 6th European Cup/Champions League final - only 3 players have appeared in more (8 Paolo Maldini, 8 Paco Gento, 7 Alfredo Di Stéfano).
18' Carvajal rather bizarrely puts the ball behind for a Liverpool corner after trying to play a long ball back to Ramos and it's Salah who trots across to take. Navas fails to get there in the middle but Van Dijk can only header over the bar.
16' First defensive mistake from Liverpool sees Ronaldo unleashed down the right and, despite the tight angle, he goes for goal. It whistles over the top of the bar and doesn't provide any threat to Karius.
15' Ronaldo and Salah are the two players who've dominated the discussions this week but we're yet to see much from either of the pair.
13' A better period of possession for Real Madrid, as they knock the ball around in midfield. Liverpool are more than happy to allow that to happen though, as they drop back to block any room to potentially break into.
11' Zidane's side patient when they get the ball, whereas Liverpool are looking to immediately hit to exploit any space. With full-backs flying forward for both sides, it could be the wide areas where the best opportunities are crafted.
9' Real Madrid are struggling to cope with Liverpool's high press at the moment and Zidane's side cannot play their way out of the defence. It remains to be seen whether the Reds can make their early pressure count.
7' Varane again needing to intervene in defence as Firmino looks to thread a ball through to Mane and it looked dangerous, providing further encouragement for the English side.
6' A free-kick in a decent position for Liverpool is taken by Milner, who cuts it back to Salah but Modric is quick to close down the Egypt ace and block his attempt.
4' Liverpool stretching Real Madrid again as Alexander-Arnold plays a low cross into the box that Varane is forced to fire into touch. Klopp will be thrilled by the start from his side.
2' Real Madrid have the game's first threatening attack, as Karius charges off his line to punch the ball away ahead of Isco. The offside flag is raised but the Germany stopper wasn't to know.
1' KICK-OFF! We're underway in Kiev and Liverpool have come out of the blocks flying, with Varane doing well defensively to halt Mane's burst forward.
Travel disruption has made plenty of headlines during recent days in the build-up to the match but I'm thrilled to say the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev looks packed.
It's almost time for the biggest club match of the season. The Real Madrid players have been through this so many times before, while for Liverpool it's a chance to return to the summit of European football. Let's hope for a cracking match!
STAT: Liverpool make their eighth appearance in a European Cup/Champions League final, losing two of their previous encounters. Those defeats came in 1985 against Juventus and AC Milan in 2007, which was the last time the Reds reached the final.
Liverpool have continued to tear through defences right until the end of the campaign, scoring 13 times in their last five matches in all competitions. However, that run includes a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea and a goalless draw with a Stoke City side that were relegated to the second-tier of English football.
Real Madrid's inconsistent form towards the end of the season will provide encouragement to Liverpool, as Los Blancos have won just one of their last five in all competitions. However, no side has managed to stop Zidane's side from scoring since Espanyol at the end of February.
STAT: This is Real Madrid’s 16th appearance in a European Cup/Champions League final, more than any other side. They've lost in three finals; against Benfica in 1962, Inter Milan in 1964 and Liverpool in 1981.
Liverpool's route to Kiev may not look as testing on paper but Klopp's side have been sensational. It began with hitting five past Porto in Portugal, then winning 5-1 on aggregate against Manchester City. Roma awaited in the semi-finals and it proved to be a nervy affair, winning 5-2 at Anfield but losing 4-2 in Rome. Incredible in attack but shaky in defence has been the story of the Reds' European charge.
After finishing second in their group behind Tottenham, Real Madrid put Paris Saint-Germain to the sword in the Round of 16 and continued to face giants of Europe in their route to Kiev. A dramatic quarter-final against Juventus finished 4-3 in their favour following a dramatic late penalty from Ronaldo, then edging past Bayern Munich in the semi-finals to seal their spot in the Champions League final.
STAT: Real Madrid name the same XI that started the final against Juventus last year, while nine of the players selected by Zidane also started against Atletico Madrid two years ago.
Jurgen Klopp also has a full squad to choose from and his line-up has no surprises. Milner returns to the side after missing the Premier League finale through injury, while Can returns to the bench and could play for the final time in Liverpool colours.
Zidane has a full strength Real Madrid to choose from and that means that Bale starts on the bench, with Isco playing behind Benzema and Ronaldo. Carvajal missed most of the semi-final through injury but is back in the side and will be in for a tough time up against Salah.
Liverpool subs: Simon Mignolet, Emre Can, Dominic Solanke, Ragnar Klavan, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno.
Real Madrid subs: Kiko Casilla, Nacho, Mateo Kovacic, Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio, Theo Hernandez, Gareth Bale.
Liverpool XI: Loris Karius; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.
Real Madrid XI: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Isco; Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have also been unable to compete with Manchester City domestically but their free-flowing attacking side has caught the eye on the continent. Last winning the Champions League 13 years ago, in remarkable circumstances, the Reds are seeking to dethrone Real Madrid to lift their sixth European Cup.
It's been a season to forget domestically for Real Madrid, as they surrendered their LaLiga crown to Barcelona and also saw their eternal rivals lift the Copa Del Rey. In Europe though, despite some hiccups, Zinedine Zidane's side have remained largely untouchable and remarkably enter the game seeking their third Champions League crown in a row - also boasting three successes in the past four seasons.
It's the biggest game in the European football calendar and, once again, Real Madrid are fighting for the title. Already the most successful side in the competition's history, they're looking to strengthen their grip on the Champions League but face a Liverpool side who also boast strong European pedigree in their history.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev.