A Minute-by-Minute Post Mortem On The Champions League Final

champions league final

Real Madrid Lifts the Champions League Trophy, Photo Courtesy of The Telegraph UK

Campeones!

If you read my preview of the Champions League Final (Hi Mom!) then you learned one thing: I am a genius. In all of my immense knowledge, I was able to correctly predict the (favored) Real Madrid squad would beat Juventus in Cardiff Saturday evening. I know, I know, you may bask in my greatness, I’ll allow it.

So how did this happen? In short, Real Madrid proved they are clearly the best team in the world. What started with a competitive first half ended with a fizzle as Real bashed Juve 4-1. Juve’s vaunted defense wilted in the second half, and their attack was unable to mount much outside of a WONDERGOAL from Mario Mandzukic. Ronaldo did Ronaldo things, Sergio Ramos made me mad, and Juan Cuadrado gave us 18 minutes that seemed all too short. Lets look minute by minute at how this match went, as seen through my own eyes. All of these were observations I had during this one, presented as they occurred in match time.

  • Pregame – Oh No. Not the Black Eyed Peas… Anyone but the Black Eyed Peas…
  • Pregame – I hope I age as well as Gigi Buffon. The man is 39 and and looks great. (Note: The Italian people age well, is it the wine? It must be the wine…)
  • 0′ – We’re off! I’m rooting for Juventus, despite my pick
  • 6′ – Navas tested early. He saved a Pjanic strike and that was the 3rd shot on target for Juventus in the first 6 minutes.
  • 10′ – The crowd is incensed after Ronaldo fell down in the box. Come to think of it, the crowd is incensed pretty much whenever Ronaldo touches the ball and doesn’t immediately score
  • 11′ – Dybala gets a yellow. He’s gonna need to be big if Juve are going to pull this off
  • 15′ – Juve has really been in control for the first 15. Had much better chances, I think 4 or 5. Real has really only just started to even get the ball into the attacking third.
  • 20′ – Goaaaaal! Ronaldo got free on the right side and as soon as I saw it was 1 on 1 with Sandro I knew things were bad. He gave it up to Carvahal who gave it back for the goal.
  • 20′ – Oof, it took a bit of a deflection off Bonucci. That’s bad luck but there was no way Gigi was getting to that one.
  • 27′ – AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! WHAT A GOAL! Mandzukic hit a… I don’t even know how to describe it! Its the best goal I’ve ever seen! (Note: I was alone on my couch for this one and literally leapt up and threw my phone across the room when it happened. 6 touches without the ball hitting the ground, and I’ve never seen someone volley the ball over a keeper like that. Watch it again and he fits the ball into a 10 inch gap between Navas’ hand and the cross bar. Unreal)
  • 29′ – Saying the Real players hate Mandzukic would be… um… an understatement
  • 31′ – Ramos yellow. Could be big for the captain (Note: Over the course of this game I went from being indifferent towards Sergio Ramos to having a deep disdain for him. Very talented, not likeable)
  • 32′ – Ronaldo had a good look and mishit. Would’ve expected that one to find the back of the net
  • 34′ – Juve Free kick in scoring range…
  • 34′ – HEY! That was an uncalled handball! On Ronaldo! What do these guys think they’re trying to pull!
  • 36′ – Juventus has attacked waaaaaaaaay more than Real so far. Was not expecting that.
  • 38′ – Mandzukic hurt his ankle. First sight of the Mystery Magic Soccer Spray! As someone who didn’t grow up playing competitive soccer, I’ve always been in awe of the spray. How does it work?! Guys have terrible injuries and spray it with…whatever it is…and boom they’re healthy! How has the soccer industry kept this miracle drug under wraps! I’m going to need to talk to the higher ups here to see how I can get some…
  • 41′ – Yellow for Carvahal. That’s half the back line for Real with cards now.
  • Half – Wow that was fun. Really open play, Juventus has pushed Real pretty hard
  • Half – Announcers mention that 14 of Real’s last 16 goals half come after 40 minutes of play have passed. Wonder if this will come into play (Note: It would)
  • 49′ – Wow! Barzagli with an amazing tackle! He kicked around the Real Player to push the ball out of play!
  • 52′ – Game at a crawl. Juve players keep going down hurt. Feels like Real is seizing momentum (Note: They were)
  • 55′ – Marcelo and Isco have put Real on the front foot. Really pushing now.
  • 58′ – Marcelo almost got Ronaldo back post! Real constantly attacking, all over Juve
  • 61′ – Goooooooaaal! Casemiro with a long strike! Oof, it took a touch off Khedira. Gigi was inches away. Both goals for Real have come off deflection. Unlucky…
  • 64′ – Ugh, Ronaldo just eases one in. This is suddenly a bloodbath.
  • 66′ – Cuadrado in for Barzagli, and a change of shape likely to come. I like Cuadrado, maybe he can make a difference. (Note: He would not. Seeing a trend here?)
  • 70′ – Shot of Bale on the sidelines. Looks like hes warming up. He just put something in his mouth… wait was that a cigarette??? Is Bale just casually ripping a cig on the sidelines while waiting to come on? Man that’s pretty cool…
  • 77′ – Bale on for Benzema. Lets see if he can make the remainder of this game interesting¬†
  • 82′ – Madrid with 9 Shots in the second half and 1 for Juve… which is… yeah this sucks
  • 83′ – Shot of Higuain. Had literally forgot he was on this team he’s done so little
  • 84′ – Juan Cuadrado with the second yellow… Thanks for stopping by (Note: I thought about using this space to elaborate on my newfound dislike of Sergio Ramos, But Cuadrado was a moron and deserved to get sent off, so I’ll hold it in)
  • 90′ – Ascensio, who I have never heard of, just hammering the nails in the coffin a minute after coming on. Good times Juve.
  • FT – Well that started fun and ended not…
  • Post Game – Please stop showing shots of Gigi Buffon, you’re making me sad
  • Post Game – Zidane hugging what look like his assistants… all of whom are as bald as him… Does he demand his assistants shave their heads because he’s bald? If so… major power move there Z.
  • Post game – Real lifts the trophy, Back to Back, yadda yadda… man its going to look sweet when Spurs win this next year.

And there you have it! Anti climactic in the end, but what a display by Real Madrid, who are clearly in the midst of a dynasty. There’s not much else to say. They’re the best and they proved it. That’s just what they do.

 

 

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About the author: James Wilkinson

 

An upstart soccer fan, I've been rabidly following Tottenham ever since Harry Kane took the world by storm. What I lack in soccer knowledge I make up for in pure passion for sports. I went to undergrad at TCU (Go Frogs!) and developed a bit of a reputation for taking intramural sports a bit too seriously. But lets be honest, if the game has a ball I'll play it anytime, anywhere. Currently working on an MBA at Mizzou, join me here at SoccerPro as I learn how to write about sports, and laugh at me if I fail miserably!

Website: https://www.soccerpro.com

 

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