won their 14th title after a narrow victory over Liverpool on a controversial night in Paris.
’s side, and Mohamed Salah in particular, came into the match hoping for revenge following their defeat against the same opponents in Kiev four years ago.
Despite creating the better opportunities, Liverpool found Thibaut Courtois at the peak of his powers and were forced to stomach a painful defeat, just a week after their Premier League dreams were dashed in equally agonising circumstances.
, which resulted in a 36-minute delay, the final took a while to get going.
Almost 20 minutes passed before Liverpool registered a meaningful shot on target and when they did, they found Courtois a formidable barrier.
The Belgium international got down smartly to deny from close range and moments later needed all of his agility and wingspan to tip ’s rasping drive onto the post, after the Liverpool winger had cut in menacingly onto his right foot.
Real failed to offer any semblance of an attacking threat during the opening 45 minutes but were only denied the opening goal during first half stoppage time following a lengthy VAR check, involving Alisson Becker, Ibrahima Konate and Fabinho.
The second period began in a similar fashion with Liverpool offering more of a threat and Courtois having to be at his best to repel a dangerous Trent Alexander-Arnold cross.
The Liverpool full-back’s defensive deficiencies were exploited shortly before the hour mark, however, when he switched off and lost track of Vinicius at the far post and allowed the Brazil international the opportunity to steer home Federico Valverde’s driven cross.
Klopp’s side responded almost immediately and fashioned an opportunity for Salah, but he again found Courtois in stupendous form with the former Chelsea goalkeeper diving full-length to palm away a curling effort.
Courtois was in inspired form and made an even better smothering stop from Salah with 20 minutes remaining when the Egypt international looked destined to prod home at the far post following substitute Diogo Jota’s header across goal.
The 30-year-old saved his best, however, until eight minutes from the end when Salah collected a long pass on his instep, chopped the ball onto his right foot and smashed it towards the far corner, only for Courtois to produce another incredible stop.
Liverpool’s players were crestfallen at the final whistle and left to console themselves for a domestic cup double from a campaign that promised so much more, while Real and their blend of seasoned winners and precocious youngsters celebrated another stunning, historic victory.
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