By James Agberebi:
Holders Real Madrid successfully defended the UEFA Champions League title they won last year after outclassing 10-man Juventus 4-1 in 2016/2017 final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday.
A brace from Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first player ever to score in three Champions finals (2008, 2014, 2019), and a goal each from Casemiro and substitute Marco Asensio sealed Madrid’s 12th Champions League title.
Juventus goal was scored by Mario Mandzukic.
The last time both teams met in the final of the Champions League was in 1998 with Madrid winning 1-0.
Madrid become the first team to win the Champions League back-to-back since AC Milan achieved the feat in the 1989 and 1990 and the first to defend it since its current format.
The win was Madrid’s sixth straight Champions League final victory (1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016) since they lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the 1981 final.
The defeat means Juventus have lost five straight Champions League finals (1997, 1998, 2003, 2015).
Gonzalo Higuain went close on two occasions in the third minute, first with a header, then with a long range shot which Keylor Navas dealt with well.
Navas was called into action again in the seventh minute as he parried away Miralem Pjanic’s well struck shot from the edge of the box.
Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 20th minute as he slotted the ball beyond Gianluigi Buffon off a pass from Dani Carvajal.
Juventus hit back in the 27th minute through Mandzukic who volleyed in a brilliant overhead kick to make it 1-1.
In the 34th minute Juventus won a free-kick in a good area but Paulo Dybala’s effort came off the wall.
On the stroke of half time Casemiro tested Buffon from range only to see his effort go wide.
Real Madrid almost went in front again just two minutes into the second half but Andrea Barzagli made a timely clearance to deny Isco.
Madrid had another attempt in the 54th minute through Luca Modric whose shot was held firmly by Buffon.
In the 57th minute Marcelo sent in a dangerous cross which was narrowly missed by an unmarked Ronaldo.
Madrid eventually took the lead again on 62 minutes this time from Casemiro who smashed in from range which took a slight deflection off Sami Khedira.
Ronaldo made it 3-1 in the 64th minute after finishing off Modric’s cutback.
Ronaldo almost bagged his hat-trick in the 73rd minute but blazed Marcelo’s cross over the bar.
With 10 minutes left substitute Gareth Bale almost added a fourth for Madrid but Georgio Chiellini made a superb clearance.
Alex Sandro had Juventus’ best chance in the second half but his flick header went inches wide.
In the 84th minute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second booking after a slight shove Sergio Ramos, who made the most of it.
And in the 90th minute Asensio put the icing on the cake by finishing off Marcelo’s brilliant assist.