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Saturday, June 3, 2017

As It Happened: Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid (Champions League Final)

It's the final match of the season and the best really has been saved until last as Real Madrid go head-to-head with Juventus in the final of the UEFA Champions League.

Madrid are hoping to become the first side in the Champions League era to defend European club football's biggest trophy but will come up against an Italian side who have only conceded three goals in the tournament this season.

Follow all the action as it happens with our live coverage right here.


Juventus: Buffon, Dani Alves, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Pjanic, Khedira, Higuain, Dybala, Mandzukic.
Subs: Neto, Benatia, Cuadrado, Marchisio, Lemina, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner.

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric, Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Subs: Casilla, Nacho, Bale, Kovacic, Marco, Morata, Danilo.

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)
There it is! Madrid have become the first team to retain the Champions League, and they fully deserve to do so. After having a slightly tough first half, they were utterly brilliant after the break, and from then onwards they were on the front foot throughout. As soon as the third goal went in, it never looked as if they were going to lose. Thanks for joining our live coverage of the match!


90+4 min Bale charges through the middle of the pitch and carves out a bit of space for himself before unleashing an audacious strike, but it's quickly closed down and fails to test Buffon. That should be that for Madrid, who are seconds away from making history.

90+2 min It's all Madrid at the moment as they continue patiently passing the ball around inside the Juventus half of the pitch. The Italian side have completely given up, allowing their opponents to stroll over the finish line and towards a second consecutive Champions League crown.

90 min Given the second half's events, this isn't an unfair scoreline. Marcelo, who has been magnificent this evening, skips along the byline before cutting back for Marco Asensio to convert inside the box. There will be four added minutes.

90 min GOAL! REAL MADRID 4-1 Juventus

89 min Final change for the holders, and it may be a final Real Madrid appearance for Alvaro Morata as the AC Milan target replaces Toni Kroos - who salutes the Madrid fans as he departs.

83 min Sergio Ramos flies into a superb tackle on Juan Cuadrado and then shows his ugly side by diving after a mere touch from the Colombian. The ref inexplicably shows him a yellow - that's his second - and he's off. Disgusting from Ramos, though

82 min And as usual my criticism nearly bites straight back at me. Alex Sandro does well to attack a near post free-kick where his glancing header across goal goes narrowly wide.

81 min I don't want to write Juventus off just yet with ten minutes still to play but they have offered nothing in this half, absolutely nothing. Real Madrid nearly extend their lead to three goals as Ronaldo's low ball into the box looks set up for Bale to score with a dream first touch, only for Bonucci to slide in with a crucial interception.

78 min A change each as Bale comes on to a huge cheer for his Cardiff homecoming as he replaces Karim Benzema. Juventus's final change sees Mario Lemina replaces Paulo Dybala.

76 min Bale is called back from the warm up, as Marcelo fires way off target again. One of these hit n' hopes might go in for the full-back soon...

73 min This could get messy for Juventus. Real Madrid are pressing for a fourth as Ronaldo fails to turn a pacey low cut-back on target as he fires way over the crossbar. Bale goes for another warm up in a game quickly going away from Juventus as Cuadrado is booked for a foul on Ronaldo.

70 min A second change for Juventus as Claudio Marchisio replaces Miralem Pjanic.

65 min Miralem Pjanic goes into the book for a frustrated challenge on Ramos. Allegri meanwhile heaves the kitchen sink onto his shoulders and throws on Juan Cuadrado for Andrea Barzagli.

64 min The little magician Luka Modric whipped a ball past Sandro and into the box where the King had arrived, ghosting past any markers, and smashed an unstoppable shot beyond Buffon. Sublime goal


63 min Mandzukic tries to pick out Higuain in behind the Real Madrid defence, but the Argentine has waddled his way offside.

61 min Casemiro. No seriously, Casemiro. Kroos' initial shot is blocked off by Bonucci, but the Brazilian defensive midfielder has an absolute whack from nigh-on forty yards... it takes a deflection of Khedira's calves and it's beyond Buffon.


59 min Juventus are unable to clear the danger fully and allow Madrid to continue bossing possession, but Isco can't hit the target with his 25-yard strike and fires it comfortably wide of the goal.

58 min Ronaldo goes close to making it 2-1! Marcelo curls a beautiful ball into the penalty area and over to the far post, where Ronaldo sticks out a foot but can't quite reach the ball ahead of Alex Sandro.

56 min An attempted Juventus attack breaks down, allowing Madrid to break forward once again. This time it's Marcelo who shoots from just outside of the box, but his effort swerves a yard or two wide of the near post.

55 min Thumping shot by Modric! Madrid move the ball around nicely deep inside the Juventus half of the pitch before Modric tests Buffon with the first opportunity of the second half from 25 yards out, but it's comfortably stopped by the veteran goalkeeper in the middle of the goal.

54 min Alex Sandro easily gets the better of Carvajal as he sprints down the left wing and towards the Madrid penalty area, but he undoes all of his good work with a poor pass that rolls straight to Modric.

53 min Kroos catches Khedira with a late challenge as the two battle for the ball over on the left wing, and the Madrid midfielder becomes the latest player to receive a booking.

51 min A poor pass from Higuain can only find Kroos, and Madrid counter quickly. Ronaldo can't turn the move into a chance on goal, however, as a heavy touch gifts possession to Khedira deep inside the Juventus half of the pitch.

49 min The corner amounts to nothing, but Bonucci's been clattered into and he looks a touch dizzy - hopefully it's not a serious concussion.

48 min Things are definitely not calm now. Isco sneaks in behind Barzagli after a second Marcelo ball in behind the Juve right back - but the veteran does superbly to recover and limit it to a corner.

46 min Madrid pass it around the back before Marcelo punts one long for Ronaldo. The Portuguese easily wins his footrace with Barzagli and somehow manages to lift in a ball into the box after the ball took an awkward bounce - but Chiellini is on hand to head it away.

46 min WE'RE OFF! AGAIN!

What an excellent first half that was! Juventus have arguably been the better of the two sides so far, but the scoreline remains level thanks to two spectacular goals. Ronaldo opened the scoring first with a lovely finish from the edge of the penalty area before Mandzukic got his side back in the game with a fabulous overhead kick. Since then, the Italian side have remained on the front foot, but Madrid have nonetheless shown plenty of promise when breaking forward.

46 min After more pleasing passing about - essentially harmless from Juve's point of view - Isco tries to play in Carvajal behind Sandro, but the Brazilian is having none of it. You want to know just how hard Juventus are defending? Higuain is man-marking Casemiro to prevent Madrid from going for the easy out ball. Yes, Gonzalo Higuain

43 min Madrid stroke it really pleasantly and it ends with Carvajal sweeping in a teasing ball that just evades that salmon-like leap of Cristiano Ronaldo and ensconces itself comfortably in the hands of Buffon

43 min Madrid stroke it really pleasantly and it ends with Carvajal sweeping in a teasing ball that just evades that salmon-like leap of Cristiano Ronaldo and ensconces itself comfortably in the hands of Buffon

42 min Dani Alves v Marcelo again - but this time the bushy haired Madrid man comes out on tops. Madrid try passing the ball around a bit to relieve the pressure they've been under for the last ten-fifteen minutes.

41 min Dani Alves is straight up against Marcelo in this new fangled Allegri system and he's getting the better of his left-footed compatriot. Madrid are losing it a bit as they lose sight of the bal - Carvajal goes into the book for yet another foul on Mandzukic

40 min Mandzukic hobbles back on. Khedira powers through the middle in that awkward, strong, style of his.... and the ball is worked out to Pjanic - whose good looking volley is blocked well by Varane

37 min Thankfully (for the referee's sanity) - Bonucci manhandles Varane and it's a freekick for Real Madrid

35 min It's getting a lot more physical now - Benzema and Pjanic go up for a ball, and the Bosnian is felled by the Frenchman. Another freekick that Pjanic will look to send in

34 min Dybala takes it and smacks it into the wall. Sigh. How can the Bosnian not have first-choice in this kind of situations

33 min Modric clumsily brings down Dybala and Juventus have a freekick in Miralem Pjanic range.

27 min Goal Mario Mandžukić. GOAL! 

Juventus have equalised! A chipped Sandro cross finds Higuain, who makes excellent contact with the ball before poking it over to Mandzukic. The Croatian controls it with his chest and then pulls off an exquisite overhead kick that beats Navas and finds the top right-hand corner of the net.

26 min What a chance for Isco to make it 2-0! Madrid cause problems for Juventus on the counter-attack once again as Modric charges forward on a brilliant run, but Isco can't make decent contact with the ball on the edge of the penalty area and the attacking move comes to nothing.

25 min Now we have an intriguing contest. It's a rare situation where the defensive-minded Juventus are chasing the game...

20 min Goal Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro

18 min Still Madrid creeping up the pressure but no breakthrough past a Juventus defence that has only conceded three goals this season.

15 min After that early attacking flurry, Juventus have taken up a more defensive stance as they allow Real Madrid possession. It's not exactly action all areas right now. Certainly more fireworks before the game than during it. But it's still very early days.

12 min First booking of the game goes to Paulo Dybala who hauls down Toni Kroos to prevent a counter attack.
The Spanish side are slowly finding their feet as well as possession.

9 min It's taken nearly ten minutes but finally, Cristiano Ronaldo gets a positive touch of the ball. The forward looks to play in Luka Modric before the attack quickly fizzles out. Sloppy opening to the game from the holders.

6 min Better from Navas as Juventus remain on the front foot. This time it's Miralem Pjanic who hits a stinging low drive towards the near post, but the Madrid keeper dives low to his right to parry clear.

3 min Strong start from Juventus. Gonzalo Higuain rifles in a shot towards goal that Keylor Navas fumbles before gathering at the second attempt.

1 min KICK-OFF: Juventus get the Champions League final underway

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