RESULT: Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid (Vinicius Jr, 59)
Liverpool vs Real Madrid, Champions League final 2022, Stade de France, Paris.
Liverpool line-up: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago (Firmino, 77), Henderson (Keita, 77); Salah, Mane, Diaz (Jota, 64).
Real Madrid line-up: Courtois; Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Mendy; Casemiro, Modrić (Ceballos, 90), Kroos; Valverde (Camavinga, 85), Vinicius (Rodrygo, 90+), Benzema
Welcome to the FourFourTwo liveblog for Liverpool vs Real Madrid in the 2022 UEFA Champions League final! Kick-off is just over an hour away, and we'll be taking you through all the way to full-time.
Liverpool line-up: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson; Salah, Mane, Diaz.
Substitutes: Kelleher, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Minamino, Jota, Tsimikas, Matip, Elliott.
No big surprises in the line-up – but that tends to be true of a squad with such strong depth as Liverpool's. Expect Sadio Mane to be playing through the middle up front, though we're also likely to see Firmino and Jota appear at some point.
Real Madrid line-up: Courtois; Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Mendy; Casemiro, Modrić, Kroos; Valverde, Vinicius, Benzema
Substitutes: Nacho, Hazard, Asensio, Marcelo, Lunin, Vázquez, Bale, Ceballos, Rodrygo, Isco, Mariano, Camavinga
Good lordy, that's a strong bench. We would have maybe expected Rodrygo to start after his previous Champions League performances this season – not least against Chelsea – but he only makes the bench. The likes of Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale will be warming seats alongside him.
Bale, of course, scored twice off the bench in Madrid's 2018 Champions League final victory over Liverpool, picking up the man of the match award along the way.
Klopp’s all-conquering gegenpressers have cemented their status as one of the great Liverpool sides. But where do they fit in in FFT’s list of the best ever Liverpool teams? Shankly, Bob and Rafa weren’t too shabby at building squads themselves…
Less than hour until kick-off and it's looking pretty sparse inside, while there are verrrry big queues of Liverpool fans waiting to get in, reports the New York Times' Tariq Panja. Hope that can get solved...
Plenty of space inside stadium, compared to crammed situation at the gates. Hoping they can figure this out before kick off in 50 mins. pic.twitter.com/7ycZbkPgmxMay 28, 2022
We had a little chat with Alan Kennedy this week, who scored the winning goal for Liverpool in the 1981 European Cup final against Real Madrid, in Paris, no less. Apparently he played that game with a broken wrist, and reckoned most of the fans in the stadium were backing the Reds.
Knowing the Liverpool fanbase, we wouldn't be surprised if the same was true tonight...
Speaking of the Liverpool support, Jamie Carragher has something to say.
Err, okay, Carra…
Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of Red strength! #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/qvgEeUzjjBMay 28, 2022
Both sides have been incredible this season, of course – they were all over our writers’ 2021/22 end of season awards (opens in new tab). In particular, Mohamed Salah (and his goal against Man City), Luka Modric’s assist to Rodrygo in the Champions League win over Chelsea, and Karim Benzema’s performances all season got plaudits from our staff.
Your intrepid reporter tonight holds a special place in his heart for Benzema's hat-trick against Chelsea – especially that second goal, surely one of the greatest headers of all time.
Disagree? Send complaints to @Conorpope (opens in new tab) on Twitter.
Some concern being shown by broadcaster (and daughter of Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish) Kelly Cates about the queues for fans to get in, saying it "has the potential to be very dangerous".
Dalglish was Liverpool manager when the Hillsborough disaster happened, and he attended the funerals of all those who died. Even for those of us not as close to that tragedy, it's not hard to worry about the scenes we're seeing.
Absolutely shambolic at the Stade de France. No way in, no way of knowing which way to go. Stay safe if you’re heading in ❤️It has the potential to be very dangerous.May 28, 2022
Back on the pitch, Thiago Alcantara's place in the starting XI is starting to look in doubt. He hobbled off from the warm-up to retreat to the dressing room, and though he's back out now, he's been deep in conversation with Jurgen Klopp.
That's one to keep an eye on.
Milner, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are the obvious alternatives on the bench.
MUTV on the big screen with minutes to go until kick-off? We have to reluctantly accept that this is very funny.
Pub’s stuck MUTV on instead of the build up and, fair play, it’s a good bit pic.twitter.com/H6lb8ixkniMay 28, 2022
Jurgen Klopp's just reiterated to BT Sport that "it's not a great pitch" tonight – a new one was laid this week, and concerns have been raised that it's not had time to settle. "You would think for the Champions League final they would have the best pitch," he laughs. Which is a fair enough point, really.
Want some fevered speculation about the Liverpool starting line-up and Thiago's place in it? Good news, then!
The Brazilian midfielder has now been deep in conversation with Naby Keita, which looked a lot like a pep talk – though he's still warming up, so perhaps he was just letting him know that he might have to come off early.
Or maybe he was just checking that Keita had remembered to stick his lottery numbers on.
Probably... not, right?
On pep talks: Carlo Ancelotti’s pep talk for his side from yesterday has leaked to the Spanish press: “What we have done up until now is honestly not important right now. So tomorrow, you have to get used to it. You’re all here and you have to enjoy the most important game in football. It is going to be beautiful, but it will be difficult.
“Tomorrow the final is going to be like a party. And after the game, we are all going to be happy. So that is everything I’ve got to say.”
God, he’ll be gutted that’s got out, eh?
KICK-OFF DELAYED BY 15 MINUTES.
This is due to the crowds of Liverpool fans still waiting to get into the stadium (see updates at 19.14 and 19.34). New kick-off is 8.15pm BST.
The in-stadium announcement said the delay was due to "the late arrival of fans".
Ah yes, those last-minute fans arriving a mere [checks previous updates] hour before kick-off.
There are also reports of fans struggling to get in despite arriving three hours early, and of gates to get in being closed – with tickets for those gates not being accepted at other gates.
In that light, it's disappointing to see the stadium authorities blame fans for arriving late.
There's now some videos circulating of some fans jumping fences to get in. (opens in new tab) Once more, a major European final is suffering from what appears to be poor organisation.
Tear gas has been deployed by police on fans outside the stadium. Good grief.
ANOTHER 15-MINUTE DELAY TO KICK-OFF.
New kick-off time is now 8.30pm BST. The players are back outside to warm up.
These are two of the most decorated teams in Europe – so much so, we thought it would be worth running through the European Cup/Champions League finals each team has appeared in:
Liverpool finals: 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 1985 (lost to Juve), 2005, 2007 (lost to Milan), 2018 (lost to Real), 2019
Real Madrid finals: 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962 (lost to Benfica), 1964 (lost to Inter), 1966, 1981 (lost to Liverpool), 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
Both managers are no stranger to Champions League finals. This is Carlo Ancelotti's fifth time managing in one, having won three of four so far. The outlier being that miracle in Istanbul...
Jurgen Klopp is here for the fourth time, but so far only has one winner's medial.
ANOTHER DELAY TO KICK-OFF!
This time by a further, er, six minutes, to 8.36pm UK time – 36 minutes after schedule.
The precise nature of that doesn't quite inspire confidence, for some reason.
The pitch has been covered, ready for the pre-match show. That does feel like they must be settled on the [checks in disbelief] 8.36pm BST kick-off time must be settled, or else they'd have to pull the blue cloth off again for the players to re-re-warm up.
"I've got my ticket here!"
First footage of French police pepper-spraying Liverpool fans, as some hold their tickets aloft to camera.
The fans are behind a fence – why on earth would they need to be teargassed?
Pepper spraying fans outside stadium in Paris pic.twitter.com/drgzEpR9gDMay 28, 2022
For anyone interested in what's going on inside the stadium, the opening ceremony is predictably dull. FFT can't remember who's performing and, we'll be honest, we're not going to check.
How many of Klopp’s players make the list of the best Liverpool players ever? We put the likes of Salah, Van Dijk and Henderson up against Dalglish, Yeats and Rush…
Ian Rush and Raul bring out the trophy together. Helluva strike partnership that would be.
The teams are finally coming out – that 8.36pm BST kick-off is looking good. The Liverpool end no longer looks too sparse from the aerial shots. We can hope, anyway.
The Champions League theme getting an enormous booing from irate Liverpool fans after tonight's shambles.
KICK-OFF! Here we go, finally.
Thiago has started, if you remember that pre-match B-plot. We'll obviously keep our beady eyes out for any hint of a hobble.
Liverpool free-kick from deep on the left flank, taken by Alexander-Arnold but easily cleared.
Ooh, Jordan Henderson rushing in with the press on Real goalie Courtois, forcing him to boot it long and lose possession. Great stuff from the Liverpool skipper.
Here's a photo of the exact moment Courtois came to wish he'd booted it first time.
Plenty of complaints on That Twitter (hold your shock, please) that the high camera angle is too far back.
Some jokers are even suggesting – you'll like this – that the cameraman might still be queuing to get in!
After the events of the last few hours, it brings FFT no joy* to report that videos of French riot police retching due to their own teargas as the game kicked off are now emerging.
As the Champions League final was about to kick off, this was the scene outside the stadium in Paris pic.twitter.com/V4APvWYNn9May 28, 2022
*Great joy. Enormous joy.
CHANCE! 15min: Salah forces a good save from Courtois down to his left. Liverpool keep the pressure up, but it ends with a weak Thiago shot from outside the box.
CHANCE! 17min: Another Salah shot, this time with his left foot, after a set-up from Mane. Not much trouble for Courtois – it's high, but close to him – but Salah did hit with some pace.
CHANCE! 19min: The ball sets up quite nicely for Trent Alexander-Arnold just outside the box, but he blazes high and wide. You'd expect much better from him.
CHANCE! 20min: Mane hits the post!
Okay, we really mean it this time: that was very close. Mane gets the ball in the box with his back to goal, sweeps it over to his right foot, and hits it hard and low to Courtois' right hand – but it pings off the inside of the post.
There had been some discussion that Mane's movement in the early moments looks a bit off (FFT is sceptical, if we're honest). Jota and Firmino are on the bench for Liverpool. No Origi, though, for any Reds fans hoping for a perfect send off for him.
Halfway through the first half and Real Madrid aren't in the game at all so far. Barely 41% possession and no shots at all so far.
But if there's one thing we've learned from the Champions League this season, it's that that counts for very little.
Police still deploying teargas outside, reports AP's Rob Harris – who also says that UEFA officials had to stop security attempting to prevent media recording their actions.
Fresh rounds of tear gas deployed by riot police from within side the stadium security perimeter to people outside even as the #UCLfinal is being playedMay 28, 2022
Real Madrid forwards looking very isolate up front every time it seems there's a chance for Los Blancos to run on the break. There's clearly a tactic to stand off in this first half. Perhaps we'll see Hazard or Bale late in the second half as legs begin to tire?
Vinicius Jr probes the Liverpool boc, but Red shirts crowd him out for a corner that comes to nothing.
Quite a lot of Liverpool fans still outside the Stade De France, by the way. It's starting to seem like they just won't be let in. It's almost half time.
#liverpool fans still queuing to get in the Stade de France. It’s nearly half time. @SkyNews pic.twitter.com/0RwvlCU5cDMay 28, 2022
CHANCE! 40min: Henderson volleys wide.
On replay, not the closest shot, but a cleared corner falls to Henderson, around 25 yards out, who volleys it first time. Ends up well wide, but looked good!
VAR CHECK ON A DISALLOWED GOAL! 42min: Karim Benzema gets it in, but he's in an offside position – but does it come off Fabinho...?
The ball comes over the top for Benzema – that looks fine, we think – he controls, miskicks a ball back into the centre, then a mix-up between Alisson, Konate and Fabinho ensues before falling back to Benzea to poke in. It's spending a long time at VAR and they decide... OFFSIDE.
It certainly looked like it could have been onside – but there are two reasons the initial flag may have stood:
1. Valverde gets a touch, and any touches from Liverpool players after that are merely deflections.
2. It's simply not a 'clear and obvious' error due to the tangle of limbs.
HALF-TIME: LIVERPOOL 0-0 REAL MADRID
This is Liverpool's third final of the season so far, with both the League Cup and FA Cup going to penalties after goalless draws.
Not for want of trying, though. They've had 10 shots to Real Madrid's one (not counting Benzema's disallowed goal), and Mane's shot off the post remains the best chance so far.
Well, here's something to make our 21.26 update look like nonsense: secret third option, a rule we've never heard of!
According to The Independent's Miguel Delaney (reporting, not analysing), Benzema's goal was disallowed because "it wasn't a deliberate deflection by Fabinho".
Well, as long as he didn't mean to concede in a Champions League final...
"I've never heard of this 'intentional deflection' rule, mate."
Elite football should be as close to playground football as possible, and it's good that VAR has finally realised this.
'You only concede goals if you're deliberately at fault' was definitely a semi-believable rule I argued in the playground a couple of times.May 28, 2022
In case you were wondering, we've got final word on how to pronounce Karim Benzema's name from FFT Weekend Editor (and Spanish football expert) Ben Hayward:
Benz-em-ahMay 28, 2022
SECOND HALF KICK OFF: Liverpool 0-0 Real Madrid
We noticed Carlo Ancelotti having a short word with the ref as he came out. Short being the operative word there.
Liverpool fast out the blocks again this second half. Any perceived injustice on Real Madrid's part is not spurring them on just yet.
What was the last Champions League final, we idly wonder, and for no particular reason?
Well, it was the 2003 final between Juventus and AC Milan at Old Trafford, which was utterly dreadful despite the incredible talent on show. Juve were managed by Marcelo Lippi, while Milan were managed by... oh. Oh no.
If you're wondering what's happening in this game, Liverpool still have the ball.
54min: Half chance, as Alexander-Arnold puts the ball in ahead of Thiago, and Courtois gets it away.
"Any touch on that and it's in," says Steve McManaman on BT Sport, hopefully.
57min: Ooh, Salah has a couple of shots, both of which hit Madrid players – one in the arm. He does, however, have it in front of his body, so unlikely to see any VAR for this.
GOAL! VINICIUS JR SCORES FOR REAL MADRID!
59min: Brilliantly well-worked goal, with Vinicius Jr making a late run in at the left post to volley a cross into the open goal. A shock for Liverpool, who have dominated so far.
Fabinho gets the first yellow card of the match with a crunching challenge on Valverde. A bit of frustration, perhaps. Just under half an hour to go.
63min: Mohamed Salah has a curling shot at goal saved by Courtois. Jota is stripped and ready to come on for Liverpool. Luis Diaz to come off? He's been quiet.
64min: Salah wins a free-kick near the right-wing corner.
SUB: Diaz does indeed make way for Jota.
Nothing comes of the free-kick.
Here's that Vinicius goal, for any UK-based readers:
REAL MADRID LEAD! 🔥Vinícius Júnior steals in at the back post to tap home from close range ⚽️#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/owgAzrA75VMay 28, 2022
CHANCE! 69 min: A looping header from Jota meets Salah at the back post, but Courtois somehow makes it over to make a save.
There's finally a bit of life in this game.
Naby Keita ready to come on. Surely Thiago (B-plots passim) will make way?
77 min: SUBS: Naby Keita on for Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino on for Thiago Alcantara.
That's a very attacking line-up for Liverpool now.
Pressure and pressure from Liverpool, but a deep-lying Madrid defence are not giving away clear-cut chances.
CHANCE! 80min: Jota follows in on a weak shot, which seems to bamboozle Courtois, who pushes it out for a corner.
CHANCE! 81min: So much going for Liverpool now.
Naby Keita has acres of space on the edge of the box, with a slow-moving ball... and hits it well over into the crowd. Very poor.
CHANCE! 83min: Awesome save from Courtois from a strong Salah shot!
SUB: Real Madrid's Valverde off for Eduardo Camavinga with five minutes to go.
A man of the match award for Courtois seems likely after tonight's performance – at least two phenomenal saves could be match-winning. There's a reason we rank him highly in our best goalkeepers in the world list.
SUB: Dani Ceballos on for Luka Modric. Only added time to play.
Five minutes of added time.
Ceballos makes an unexpected run behind the Liverpool defence... and wins a corner. Not the player Madrid would have most wanted for that moment.
SUB: Rodrygo on for Real Madrid goalscorer Vinicius Jr.
Just two minutes left. Former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti on course for a fourth Champions League title.
REAL MADRID HAVE WON THE 2022 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!
Well, it certainly wasn't a classic – but Carlo Ancelotti's side have somehow come out on top.
Real Madrid are now 14-time winners of the Champions League and European Cup!
It seems incredible that Real Madrid have managed to come out on top – the comebacks during this year's tournament, and Liverpool being the better team in the final – there was so much that seemed to be going against them.
Raul comes out dancing to deliver the Champions League trophy, newly inscribed with Real Madrid's name, to the podium.
What a bizarre season for Liverpool. Three finals, two wins, no goals, and missing out on the Premier League by a single point. In the end, a disappointing season for a fantastic team.
And here's the winners:
🏆 1️⃣4️⃣ times! @RealMadrid are the #UCL winners once again.#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/8Ne1ewv1v3May 28, 2022
The French government and UEFA are saying that the trouble with queues earlier was down to thousands of fans trying to enter the Liverpool turnstiles with fake tickets.
Which, whether true or not – and given earlier statements from UEFA on "late arriving fans", it's worth being sceptical – still doesn't really explain why teargas was used on fans outside the stadium.
Anyway, here's the French interior minister with a tweet that roughly translates as: "Regrettably, the British..."
Avec @AOC1978, au PC sécurité du Stade de France. Des milliers de «supporters » britanniques, sans billet ou avec des faux billets ont forcé les entrées et, parfois, violenté les stadiers. Merci aux très nombreuses forces de l’ordre mobilisées ce soir dans ce contexte difficile. pic.twitter.com/gEXCqPhWmZMay 28, 2022
We'll wrap things up there, and leave you with this shot of Real Madrid, Champions League winners 2022:
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