Saturday, June 3, 2017

Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 to win UEFA Champions League 2016/17

Real Madrid of Spain retained the UEFA Champions League title, beating Italian giants, Juventus 4-1. This was their record 12th title.

Cristiano Ronaldo's influence was obvious in the first ten minutes of the match when he completed a sleek and swift move that saw the ball move from the back to the left and across to the right and then back to the centre.

Juventus got their goal a few minutes later with a classy Mandzukic goal. The goal was preventable at three different points before the ball hit the net. t each contact point, Real Madrid players put in a token challenge and even the goalkeeper, Navas could have moved a little faster or took an extra step before attempting to diving for the looping strike.

The Galaticos enjoyed over 60% of possession overall and more goal attempts and corners, although it must be mentioned that the Italians took control of the first few minutes of the match with threatening patterns of play.

That control came from constructive midfield influence and width provided by Dani Alves. That dominance became flaccid as Real began to wrestle the match and showed serious intent by dominating all departments.

The team structure and solid defending (Ramos), interceptions and winning ball in mid - Kroos as well as wing play by Marcelo ensured that Navas was never troubled most of the time.

Real retained it in class, with extreme mobility and passing in midfield by Modric, with obvious the Gigi Buffon disappointment.

The Juve achilles proved to be their usually potent weapon; Dani Alves overlapping, but he left a gap behind for countryman, Marcelo, to capitalise.

Alex Sandro useful in stopping Real attacks and driving Italians forward. Cuadrado came in as a substitute and got two quick yellow cards and left the pitch - Ramos made a meal out of the second offence.

As mentioned earlier, the first goal was pure class and there was nothing Juve could have done about it, but Casmero's goal was preventable. The ball deflected in as Khedira turned his back to the kicker instead of facing the ball head on and deal with danger. Buffon could have moved a little faster.

The ball was lost by Alves around the centre line and remained on the ground as play went on.

The second Ronaldo goal, Real's third, was preventable as the easy loss of ball with not much contest further up left Modric with a cross that looked more of the a cut back. Ronaldo's touch past Buffon was a chicky act of class.

The 4th goal resulting from Ronaldo freekick which was poorly defended as the ball deflected off the wall to the left and the defence reaction was mediocre as Marcelo retrieved the ball, beat his marker, outpaced him into the box and squared a hard and low ball into traffic across the goal.

A simple tap in by substitute by Asensio concluded the UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff in style. Ronaldo, Ramos, Marcelo and Isco instrumental to the result.

Higuin (Juventus) and Benzema (Real Madrid) were too quiet and hardly visible.

After the match today, is it fair to say Ronaldo scores when he wants? He was quiet by his very high standards, even though his contribution was regarded a man of the match performance.