The Real Deal

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 4, 2017 01:04

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The Real Deal

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By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (June 4th 2014)

The Dozen

Thoughts of an historic treble faded completely for Massimilano Allegri and the Old Lady in three second half minutes as Casemiro’s shot deflected in off former Real Madrid player Sami Khedira. Real became the first team in 27 years to retain Europe’s top prize since the great AC Milan side of Ruud Gullit et al. The competition’s leading scorer and first centurion Cristiano Ronaldo netted a brace, the first and third.

Ronaldo’s first came after 20 minutes. Juventus responded with one of the best ever goals in a Champions League Final, a magnificent overhead kick by Croatian Mario Mandžukić. Casemiro scored the winner in the second half, closely followed by Ronaldo’s second. Marco Asensio got a late 4th after Juventus had been reduced to ten men.

Real have won the La Liga title 33 times and this is their record 12th European title. Remarkably. they have never won the treble and their last La Liga, European Cup double was in the golden era of Alfredo di Stefano et al in 1957. Meanwhile, the two-decades long wait for Juventus continues.

Winners

Casemiro’s strike deflected as it was proved to be the winner, and was followed closely by Man of the Match Cristiano Ronaldo’s second from close range. Sadly, the storied career of 39-year-old Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon looks set to end without Champions League glory. Asensio added the gloss after Cuadrado was given his marching orders.

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Juventus’ task was made far harder by a moment of cynical gamesmanship by Sergio Ramos at the expense of Colombian winger Juan-Guillermo Cuadrado under the nose of the assistant referee. Ramos went down clutching his foot as if he had been stamped on, leading referee Felix Brych to brandish a second yellow card, and then red.

It was difficult to determine exactly what had happened, but if there was contact it looked unintentional and that Ramos had made the most of it to get a professional sent off, even pointing him off the pitch. VAR could resolve such issues, but it is unclear if it applies to second yellows even though they become a red card. A difficult task with 11 had become impossible with ten. Allegri confirmed that he had told the Colombian nothing afterwards, feeling it unnecessary.

Porous

As injury time approached, substitute Marco Asensio made it 4 from close range – it didn’t flatter Zinédine Zidane’s team.

Allegri’s team arrived on the brink of an historic treble thanks to a very mean defence, marshalled by Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. It had only conceded three goals in the entire run to Cardiff. It was breached for the first time by Ronaldo after an interchange with Dani Carvajal. incredibly that miserly defence became porous tonight, conceding more than in the rest of the tournament.

Although they were soundly beaten the goal of the match belonged to Juve. After 27 minutes Mario Mandžukić’s quite brilliant overhead with Carvajal in close attendance gave Keylor Navas no chance – one of the Champions League Final’s great goals, but ultimately it did not affect the result.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 4, 2017 01:04