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5 things you may have missed from the Champions League final as Real Madrid beat Liverpool

Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid.
Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid.
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Vatsal Vora

In front of a packed Stade de France in Paris, Real Madrid won their 14th European Cup after beating Liverpool 1-0 in the 2022 UEFA Champions League final.

Liverpool made a bright start to the game with Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane looking threatening early on. The Reds probably had the best chance of the first half when Sadio Mane's close-range effort was saved onto the post by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

However, it was Real Madrid who had the ball into the back of the net first. Karim Benzema scored in the dying moments of the first half. But after a lengthy VAR check, the goal was disallowed for offside.

Following a goalless first half, Los Blancos finally took the lead through Vinicius Junior on the hour mark. A low cross from Federico Valverde found him unmarked at the far post.

In an enthralling game in Paris, here are a few things one might have missed over the course of the 90 minutes:


#1 Tear gas used against Liverpool fans before kick off

The final was delayed firstly by 15 minutes.
The final was delayed firstly by 15 minutes.

The Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid was delayed by 36 minutes. According to The Athletic, Reds supporters with tickets were unable to get into the stadium despite queuing outside for more than two hours.

Liverpool academy and women's team press officer Andy Kelly, however, reported that fans were treated with tear gas outside the stadium. Kelly tweeted the following prior to kick-off:

"Fans queuing outside with tickets for a gate that’s been shut for no reason just been tear gassed. Throughly unpleasant experience and so dangerous. This isn’t how fans should be treated in a civilised society. Unacceptable."
Fans queuing outside with tickets for a gate that’s been shut for no reason just been tear gassed. Throughly unpleasant experience and so dangerous. This isn’t how fans should be treated in a civilised society. Unacceptable

The initial delay of the game was 15 minutes. However, the delay was later extended which forced both sides to come out of the tunnel for a second round of warm-ups ahead of the game. The players finally walked out to compete in the final after a 36 minute delay.

During the game, the Reds issued an official statement requesting a formal investigation into the pre-match issues with the fans.


#2 Tennis star Rafael Nadal gets a loud cheer from Real Madrid fans

Rafael Nadal is an avid Madrid fan.
Rafael Nadal is an avid Madrid fan.

Tennis star Rafael Nadal was given a rousing cheer by Real Madrid fans when the Spaniard was shown on the big screen ahead of kick-off. It is worth mentioning that Nadal is an avid fan of Los Blancos and came to the Stade de France to offer his support to the La Liga side.

Big cheer for Rafa Nadal as he's shown on the big screen heading to his seat. He got in OK then.

Rafael Nadal is currently in Paris competing at the 2022 Roland Garros (French Open). The 35-year-old Spaniard is eyeing his 14th French Open title this time around.

Big cheer for Rafa Nadal as he's shown on the big screen heading to his seat. He got in OK then.

Nadal will face Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Round of 16 of the French Open tomorrow, 29 May. However, that did not stop him from supporting his beloved Real Madrid in the Champions League final against Liverpool.


#3 Ibrahima Konate's excellent challenge on Vinicius in the first half

Konate made an excellent challenge on Vinicius early on.
Konate made an excellent challenge on Vinicius early on.

Liverpool fans were slightly concerned after seeing Ibrahima Konate's name in the starting XI instead of Joel Matip. However, those concerns were quickly brushed off after his successful challenge on Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior.

The Brazilian youngster was looking to create something on the right hand side of the Reds' defence. Vinicius tried to dribble the ball into the box but his run was initially blocked by Konate and was later out-muscled by the French U-21 international who won the ball back.

⚡️ Premier duel de Konaté face à Vinicius, c'est le Français qui a le dernier mot. Impressionnant. https://t.co/Wt2KcYBini

Ibrahima Konate arrived at Anfield last summer from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. The 23-year-old defender made 28 appearances for the Reds prior to the Champions League final.


#4 Virgil van Dijk played as a makeshift centre-forward in the final minutes

Virgil van Dijk was thrown up front by Klopp.
Virgil van Dijk was thrown up front by Klopp.

As Liverpool chased the game in the dying moments, Jurgen Klopp instructed defender Virgil van Dijk to play as a makeshift forward. This is despite the Reds having Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane on the field.

Virgil van Dijk is a threat from set-pieces due to his height and physicality, which is why he was deployed as a target-man by Klopp.

Virgil van Dijk now upfront for Liverpool.

The experiment, in the end, did not work as Real Madrid held on to secure a 1-0 win in the final.


#5 Real Madrid icon Raul consoles Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Raul brought the trophy for Los Blancos to lift.
Raul brought the trophy for Los Blancos to lift.

Former Real Madrid forward Raul consoled Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as he and his team watched their opponents lift the Champions League trophy. The entire Liverpool squad waited for Los Blancos on the pitch to to lift the trophy before they applauded their opponents and headed back into the tunnel.

Klopp and his players stand together to watch Real lift the trophy before disappearing down the tunnel. Raul goes across to console Klopp on the way off https://t.co/g8H2XHWDPR

The Reds have now lost their second Champions League final to Real Madrid in recent years. Jurgen Klopp's side lost to the La Liga giants in the 2018 final as well.


Where does Mane rank in Paul Merson's 5 greatest Liverpool signings of the Klopp era? Click here

Edited by Nived Zenith
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