Best in Europe! Real Madrid beat Liverpool to win Champions League final

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Real Madrid fans celebrate

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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 to win Europe’s premier football contest for a record 14th time. 

A goal from Vinícius Júnior just before the hour mark sealed the Spanish side’s triumph in the Champions League final.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was instrumental – making a string of fine saves to deny Jurgen Klopp’s men. 

The triumph in Paris capped a remarkable run in the Champions League for Madrid, who came from behind to knock out Chelsea and Manchester City. 

At one stage, Liverpool were hoping to complete an unprecedented quadruple, after winning both domestic cup competitions. 

But they narrowly lost the Premier League title to Manchester City last week, before Madrid’s triumph tonight.

Courtois masterclass

The English team couldn’t find a way past Madrid goalkeeper Courtois, who tipped Sadio Mane’s first-half shot onto the post and produced an even better save to turn away Mohamed Salah’s effort in the 81st minute.

Madrid cemented its status as the king of European soccer, given the Spanish giant owns double the number of European Cups as the No. 2 on the list, AC Milan. Liverpool stayed on six.

Pre-match crowd issues marred this final, though, and are sure to be the focus of an investigation by UEFA and authorities in the coming days.

Credit: AP PhotoThibaut CourtoisCredit: AP Photo

With 45 minutes remaining before kickoff, there were still long lines of Liverpool fans waiting to be allowed into the stadium, and there were sporadic instances of fans breaking through security and sprinting onto the concourse.

The Associated Press saw two fans — one was wearing Liverpool attire — wrestled to the ground by stewards and bundled out of the gates, while others managed to get all the way into the arena.

The situation started to get out of hand as riot police deployed tear gas on Liverpool supporters in the lines, while some fans were seen climbing the fences. Officers with batons and riot shields ran from gate to gate to prevent pockets of fans forcing their way into the stadium without showing tickets.

About 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff of 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT), an announcement was made that there would be a delay, blaming the late arrival of fans to the stadium. It was greeted by jeers inside the stadium, given those fans had already endured long queues.

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