Real Madrid win the Champions League

Trademark victory over Borussia Dortmund shows Real Madrid are the kings of Europe

Real Madrid sealed a 2-0 win vs Borussia Dortmund to clinch a record-extending 15th Champions League title, at Wembley Stadium in London. The first half was dominated by Dortmund as Karim Adeyemi and Fullkrug missed chances, with the latter hitting the post. Then in the second half, Madrid increased their intensity and it paid off as Dani Carvajal headed in a corner in the 74th minute. Then a mistake by Maatsen saw Vinicius Junior make it 2-0 in the 83rd minute.

Real are quite simply the Champions League’s most ruthless winning machine. And in Ancelotti, they have a coach with the Midas touch, in charge of players who have totted up so many wins in this competition and know how to get the job done.

They showed it again when Dortmund blinked 16 minutes from time, Carvajal meeting Toni Kroos’ corner to glance a header beyond keeper Gregor Kobel and the despairing hand of defender Mats Hummels, who was clearly tempted to risk a red card to keep the effort out.

The game was up, Vinicius Jr swiftly added a second to ensure Real’s supporters were able to enjoy triumph in the competition in which they are the dominant force.

Those of us who have followed Real’s fortunes in the Champions League over the years are now old hands at this.

We can recall watching them steal victory from under the noses of arch-rivals Atletico Madrid with Sergio Ramos’ 93rd-minute equalizer at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light in 2014, going on to win 4-1 to give Ancelotti his first Champions League at the club.

And again in Paris two years ago, when one of the great faultless goalkeeping performances from Courtois left Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, in particular, driven to despair with Vinicius Jr emerging as the match-winner.

The temptation is to label Real Lucky, but it simply happens on too many occasions for this to be a justified description. A straw poll among neutrals at half-time at Wembley would have come down firmly on the side of a Real victory, even though they had been abysmal.

Real may have been mediocre for large parts but ended up writing another fresh chapter in their rich history. So Real. So Carlo Ancelotti.

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