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Liverpool beaten by Real Madrid in Champions League final

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Liverpool have been beaten in the Champions League final after a 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid in Paris.

The Reds dominated much of the first half with Real Madrid’s Thibault Courtois making saves, but it was the Spanish champions who came closest to breaking the deadlock with a goal by Karim Benzema disallowed after a lengthy delay for a VAR check.

Brazilian winger Jose Vinicius Junior put Real Madrid ahead in the 59th minute, slotting in after a driven cross from Federico Valverde.

Liverpool had chances to equalise after the goal, but Courtois was able to keep them out.

It was enough to secure the Spanish giant’s 15th Champions League title.

But the start of the game was marred by huge delays as Liverpool fans were unable to get into the stadium, some until half time, and tear gas was used on crowds trying to get in to the game.

‘When Real Madrid play finals, they win it’

Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois told BT Sport after the game: “I said to my friends yesterday that when Real Madrid play finals they win it. I am on the good side of history.

“Today I needed to win a final for my career, for all the hard work to put respect on my name because I don’t think I have enough respect, especially in England.”

He added: “I saw a lot of criticism even after a great season, that I was not good enough or whatever.

“I am just really happy and proud of the performance of the team. We stuck to it and when I needed to be there, I was there for the team.

“I think we beat the best clubs in the world; (Manchester) City and Liverpool were unbelievable this season.

“They fought to the end in the Premier League and Liverpool won two cups. Today they were really strong.

“I played a great game, that was the difference today because we had one important chance and we scored it.”

‘An absolute defensive masterclass’

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who lifted the trophy in 2005, told BT Sport that Real Madrid’s performance had been “phenomenal”.

“They have put an absolute defensive masterclass on today,” the Aston Villa boss said.

“Yes, the keeper got man of the match, but if you look at the detail of the defending to a man all over the pitch, their distances, their shape and the calmness under pressure.

“Yes they got outplayed for 40 minutes, but over the 90 minutes… yes their keeper bailed them out at times, but to a man across the pitch they defended ever so well.”

Former Reds striker Michael Owen added on BT Sport: “Nobody can say they (Madrid) didn’t deserve that.

“Their route to the final has been incredibly tough, they have beaten the best of British: Chelsea, Manchester City and now Liverpool.

“Yes, Liverpool played well for 40 minutes, but those (Real Madrid) boys have ground it out again, with that experience, that nous and knowhow – it is so important in football and they have it in abundance.”

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