Published: 12:25 | 4/6/17

Real Madrid make history to win Champions League


Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid became the first team to retain the Champions League, beating ten-man Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff.

Two goals from the 32-year-old, who now becomes the first player to score in three Champions League finals, along with strikes from Casemiro and substitution Marco Asensio cancelled out Mario Mandzukic's spectacular effort, as Zinedine Zidane's team created history in Wales.

Despite going into the game unbeaten and only conceding three goals this season in Europe, a disastrous second-half performace saw the Italians completely outclassed as chasing the game seemingly cost Massimiliano Allegri's side, who have suffered a record seventh defeat in their least nine finals.

The Old Lady's misery was completed as the game approached full-time when Juan Cuadrado was dismissed for a second bookable offence after he made contact with Sergio Ramos.

Indeed, it was the Italian Champions who started on the front-foot, and they warmed the gloves of Keylor Navas in the third minute after Gonzalo Higuain's long-range effort was gathered by the Costa Rican, a sign the Old Lady were relishing the challenge of overcoming the side who beat them in 1998's Champions League final by a goal to nil.

Juve continued to apply pressure and were denied yet again by Navas, who superbly saved Miralem Pjanic's shot from just outside the box with a fine one-handed save, managing to direct the former Roma man's effort around the post for a corner.

Ronaldo was kept quiet by the Juve defence early on, but like so many times over the years, the former Manchester United man stepped up and hand the Spanish side the lead in the 20th minute with his 405th Madrid goal, as he played a one-two with Dani Carvajal before firing into the bottom corner, registering Madrid's 500th European goal, becoming the only side to achieve the feat.

But the Portugese's fine finish was upstaged seven minutes later when Mario Mandzukic's fantastic acrobatic effort from just inside the box, which found the top-corner, finished off a fine passing move from Allergi's team, as the Croatian arguably scored one of the greatest goals in Champions League final history.

Despite a feast of fine football in the first 45, both sides started the second-half scrappy, with Luka Modric's tame shot in the 55th minute the only opportunity carved out from either team.

Juve were starting to tire, but there was an element of luck as Madrid re-established their lead in the 60th minute, when Casemiro's long-range strike took a wicked deflection off former player Sami Khedira before creeping into the bottom-left corner, past the helpless Buffon, who had to pick the ball out of his net twice for the first time in Europe this season.

And the 39-year-old's chance of a first Champions League trophy took a massive knock as an accurate cross from Modric on the right-wing found Ronaldo, who slipped his shot inside the near-post to become this season's top scorer, edging Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who finished on 11.

Gareth Bale was introduced in the 77th minute, and the Welshman was denied a goal on his homecoming after Leonardo Bonucci scooped the ball from the 27-year-old as Ronaldo tried to pick out the winger from the right.

To their credit, Juve looked for a way back into the tie, and could have reduced the deficit moments later as Dani Alves found Alex Sandro, but the left-back's header whizzed narrowly wide of Navas' far-post, before the Italians were dealt a hammerblow as Cuadrado saw red for a second yellow following a stamp on Sergio Ramos.  

And it was game over for the Italian outfit in the 90th minute after substitution Marco Asensio slotted home from a Marcelo cross, completing the scoring for the Spanish side who now claim their record 12th European title.

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