The Champions League Finals: Let’s Look Back at How It Was

One of the biggest nights in sports annually was a classic as Liverpool FC faced off against Real Madrid CF.

This Champions League season was one to remember. No one knew what to expect exactly going into it back in September and what it turned out to be was nothing short of shocking. In fact, this Final in and of itself was quite a night filled with surprises all around.

 

The Road to the Final 

The 67th season of this prestigious competition was underway on September 14, as the group stages went underway. Some rule changes like the removal of the ‘away-goal advantage’ in the elimination stages made this an interesting tournament. The 32 teams in the eight group stages produced 16 teams for the elimination rounds. Shocking elimination among the groups included Borussia Dortmund, FC Barcelona, Sevilla FC, and AC Milan. 

As the Round of 16 began in mid-February, the 16 teams matched with one another went out to prove that they are the ones worthy of moving on to the next round and, ultimately, to the final. As Paris Saint-Germain, which acquired perhaps the greatest footballer of all time Lionel Messi, lost, the sports world knew it was in for an insane competition. Though with each passing round, through the quarter-finals and semis, it was getting more and more obvious that there are two teams that stand out the most. Liverpool FC had slightly easier opponents while Real Madrid CF was beating out difficult teams left and right. 

Karim Benzema dominated through and towered over everyone in the goal-scoring section. Ending up with 15 goals scored, he lead every player and won the scoring title. While on the other side for Liverpool FC, Mohammed Salah lead the team with eight goals overall. 

 

The Final

There was an extra excitement about the 2022 Finals because, for the first time in three years, the final would include a full stadium with fans of both sides. 75.000 people were ready to experience Paris in all its football glory. 

Unfortunately, the Final did not start on a good note. The Liverpool fans were having difficulty getting inside the stadium as the police were needed to calm things down, though as usual, they may have just made things worse. Nevertheless, after more than half-an-hour delay of the game, Camilla Cabello went out and started performing before the tip-off. 

After all the delays, the game finally started and the excitement was palpable. The single biggest game of the season on the club level finally had arrived. Naturally, fans were hoping for lots of goals and that kind of excitement but things went a slightly different way. While the goals were hard to come by, the action was very much present. Perhaps the biggest hero of the game was Thibaut Courtois, the goalkeeper for Madrid, who saved his team so many times over and over. Liverpool strikers Salah and Sadio Mane had plenty of chances but Courtois was determined not to concede anything that night. Then, in minute 59, after already having a goal disallowed due to offside, Real Madrid managed to score. Valverde found Vinicius near the goal with a gorgeous pass and Vinicius made it 1-0 for Madrid. The game wasn’t too physical as there was only one yellow card handed out by the referee. Most importantly, despite multiple attempts by the Liverpool players to score, the final result remained the same and in the end, it was Madrid who came out victorious with a 1-0 final score. 

 

This is Real Madrid’s 14th Champions League trophy and they once again cemented their legacy as one of the biggest football teams in the history of the sport. 

Photo: SPF/Shutterstock


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