Saturday, June 22, 2024

Dani and Vini deliver Champions League trophy to Real Madrid

Two second half goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Jr sealed a hard fought win for Real Madrid against Dortmund in the Champions League final.

The climax of the European club season had arrived, setting the stage for a showdown between a revitalized Los Blancos, reclaiming their domestic throne, and a Dortmund squad that had conquered the daunting challenges of the ‘Group of Death’ to reach an unexpected Champions League final.

The opening exchanges saw Dortmund land the initial blows, with Julian Brandt narrowly missing from Niclas Füllkrug’s clever pass. Karim Adeyemi’s exquisite run met a Mats Hummels delivery, yet he couldn’t beat Thibaut Courtois. Füllkrug’s effort ricocheted off the post, leaving Carlo Ancelotti’s side on edge. Courtois thwarted Adeyemi’s lively attempts and denied Marcel Sabitzer, leaving Dortmund pondering their missed opportunities at halftime.

In his farewell match, Toni Kroos nearly conjured up a moment of brilliance with a free-kick, expertly saved by Gregor Kobel. Despite hopes for a Real Madrid resurgence, the Spanish champions struggled to gain momentum. Jude Bellingham, unusually subdued, came close to scoring from Vinícius’s delivery.

Despite Dortmund’s dominance, Real’s experience prevailed. Kroos delivered a perfect corner for Dani Carvajal to head home, breaking the deadlock in the 74th minute. Bellingham threatened again, but Nico Schlotterbeck’s timely intervention kept Dortmund’s hopes alive. However, Vinícius’s scrappy finish from Bellingham’s pass sealed Real’s victory.

It wasn’t a vintage display from Los Blancos, but it was enough to clinch their fourth LaLiga and Champions League double. For Kroos, it was a fitting farewell, securing a joint-record sixth European Cup/UCL title, matching club legend Paco Gento’s esteemed record before embarking on his final journey at UEFA Euro 2024.

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