Champions League Final: Liverpool vs Real Madrid, live! | Champions League

Preamble

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Europe’s largest custody battle. The identities of Liverpool and Real Madrid are inextricably linked to the Champions League, and both clubs feel a kind of moral ownership of that gigantic trophy. Tonight, one of them will pick it up again, and the other will have to wrestle with some of the old cognitive dissonance as they go straight to the podium.

Both clubs have an intimidating sense of destiny at the end of the Champions League. This season is even stronger: Real Madrid for their form in this competition, Liverpool for their form in all competitions. Losing in a Champions League final is always unthinkable for these two. In 2021-22, it’s a concept they barely understand.

Real, in particular, simply don’t lose Champions League finals: only three of 16, the last in 1981, when they were beaten by… yes, Liverpool, in Paris. Liverpool’s most recent defeat in the final was also against tonight’s opponents, an emotional night in Kyiv four years ago that shattered Mo Salah’s subconscious. Since Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield, Liverpool have only been knocked out of the Champions League by teams whose name ends in ‘Madrid’. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it will continue to be that way after this game.

That’s almost the only sure thing. We usually have a rough idea, or at least we think we do, of how a great game could turn out. Before this game, there is not even a scooby. That is mainly due to a Madrid that has blithely defenestrated logic throughout the season. It is just a slight exaggeration to say that Liverpool could win 5-0 or Real 7-3.

If Liverpool take the reins in this match, they must remember Johnny Caspar’s advice: always put one on the brain (NB: the link is to a movie rated 18). Madrid have come back from the dead on every matchday, culminating in their unfathomable defeat to Manchester City in the semi-finals. Liverpool, by contrast – and there are plenty of contrasts tonight – have not been far behind in a knockout tie. The moral of this story will become clear around 11:00 p.m., when the winners begin to write the history of the 2021-22 Champions League. If Madrid win, they can claim this as the best European campaign since the GOATs began.

Three weeks ago, Liverpool were heavy favorites for this game, but their legs and muscles began to show the strain of an exceptionally demanding season. Real has had its feet up for the last 24 days. You can argue either way: that Liverpool are too tired or that Madrid are too soft.

Even the one-on-one duel that everyone is talking about, Vinicius Jr vs. Trent Alexander-Arnold, is more complicated than the usual attacker vs. defender or midfielder vs. midfielder story. Vinicius could be the winner of the match, as he was when Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the quarter-finals last year. But so could Alexander-Arnold, who plays like no right-back in football history.

There are plenty of points of interest, but in the name of brevity we’ll settle for just a few. If Real Madrid can pay the same tribute to Hulk Hogan in the Parc des Princes as in the heady atmosphere of the Bernabéu; whether Thiago Alcantara is fit to start and, if not, whether Jurgen Klopp risks Naby Keita after his minor upset against Madrid last season; how many times will Luis Díaz and Karim Benzema leave us speechless; and the contrast of styles, between Carlo Ancelotti’s free jazz and Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal.

Madrid pursues a 14th Champions League that extends records. Doesn’t matter other clubs: no country apart from Spain (duh) has won more than that. For Liverpool it would be number 7, moving into second place along with AC Milan and, this matters, let’s not pretend it doesn’t, four above Manchester United. Oh, and seven ahead of Manchester City. He would also complete a deluxe version of the treble they did with Gerard Houllier in 2000-01.

The modern Champions League is as good as football, perhaps as good as ever, but in recent years the biggest drama has been reserved for the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Most finals have been a bit boring or a bit one-sided. This, please, is going to be different.

Kick off 8:00 p.m. in Liverpool, 9:00 p.m. in Paris and Madrid.

When you have to go, you have to go

First team news

There are two big decisions for Jurgen Klopp: whether to risk Thiago in midfield (all reports suggest Fabinho will be fine to return) and whether to keep up with Ibrahima Konate or Joel Matip’s ingenuity and ballsmanship in central. . back. If Thiago doesn’t pull it off, 36-year-old James Milner looks like a good bet to fill Madrid’s midfield. geriatrics.

* If so, both teams can use five substitutions, so it doesn’t matter too much if Thiago’s heel goes in the first five minutes.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team seems easy to predict. His only decision is on the right wing, where he is likely to prefer the industrious Fede Valverde to Rodrygo. Two reasons for that: Valverde provides extra protection in midfield – he’s very good in the Ray Parlor role, as you may know – and Rodrygo has had a devastating impact off the bench in this season’s competition.

potential teams

Liverpool (4-3-3) Allison; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Mal, Mane, Diaz.

Real Madrid (4-3-3) Courtois; Carvajal, Eder Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Preamble

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Europe’s largest custody battle. The identities of Liverpool and Real Madrid are inextricably linked to the Champions League, and both clubs feel a kind of moral ownership of that gigantic trophy. Tonight, one of them will pick it up again, and the other will have to wrestle with some of the old cognitive dissonance as they go straight to the podium.

Both clubs have an intimidating sense of destiny at the end of the Champions League. This season is even stronger: Real Madrid for their form in this competition, Liverpool for their form in all competitions. Losing in a Champions League final is always unthinkable for these two. In 2021-22, it’s a concept they barely understand.

Real, in particular, simply don’t lose Champions League finals: only three of 16, the last in 1981, when they were beaten by… yes, Liverpool, in Paris. Liverpool’s most recent defeat in the final was also against tonight’s opponents, an emotional night in Kyiv four years ago that shattered Mo Salah’s subconscious. Since Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield, Liverpool have only been knocked out of the Champions League by teams whose name ends in ‘Madrid’. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it will continue to be that way after this game.

That’s almost the only sure thing. We usually have a rough idea, or at least we think we do, of how a great game could turn out. Before this game, there is not even a scooby. That is mainly due to a Madrid that has blithely defenestrated logic throughout the season. It is just a slight exaggeration to say that Liverpool could win 5-0 or Real 7-3.

If Liverpool take the reins in this match, they must remember Johnny Caspar’s advice: always put one on the brain (NB: the link is to a movie rated 18). Madrid have come back from the dead on every matchday, culminating in their unfathomable defeat to Manchester City in the semi-finals. Liverpool, by contrast – and there are plenty of contrasts tonight – have not been far behind in a knockout tie. The moral of this story will become clear around 11:00 p.m., when the winners begin to write the history of the 2021-22 Champions League. If Madrid win, they can claim this as the best European campaign since the GOATs began.

Three weeks ago, Liverpool were heavy favorites for this game, but their legs and muscles began to show the strain of an exceptionally demanding season. Real has had its feet up for the last 24 days. You can argue either way: that Liverpool are too tired or that Madrid are too soft.

Even the one-on-one duel that everyone is talking about, Vinicius Jr vs. Trent Alexander-Arnold, is more complicated than the usual attacker vs. defender or midfielder vs. midfielder story. Vinicius could be the winner of the match, as he was when Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the quarter-finals last year. But so could Alexander-Arnold, who plays like no right-back in football history.

There are plenty of points of interest, but in the name of brevity we’ll settle for just a few. If Real Madrid can pay the same tribute to Hulk Hogan in the Parc des Princes as in the heady atmosphere of the Bernabéu; whether Thiago Alcantara is fit to start and, if not, whether Jurgen Klopp risks Naby Keita after his minor upset against Madrid last season; how many times will Luis Díaz and Karim Benzema leave us speechless; and the contrast of styles, between Carlo Ancelotti’s free jazz and Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal.

Madrid pursues a 14th Champions League that extends records. Doesn’t matter other clubs: no country apart from Spain (duh) has won more than that. For Liverpool it would be number 7, moving into second place along with AC Milan and, this matters, let’s not pretend it doesn’t, four above Manchester United. Oh, and seven ahead of Manchester City. He would also complete a deluxe version of the treble they did with Gerard Houllier in 2000-01.

The modern Champions League is as good as football, perhaps as good as ever, but in recent years the biggest drama has been reserved for the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Most finals have been a bit boring or a bit one-sided. This, please, is going to be different.

Kick off 8:00 p.m. in Liverpool, 9:00 p.m. in Paris and Madrid.

barney ronay

great
big game preview

Leave a Comment