Real Madrid are champions of Europe for a record 14th time!
Thanks to a heroic effort from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Los Blancos are once again Champions League winners. The Belgian international had to make a myriad of stops in both the first and second half to keep his team within striking distance.
Had it not been for Thibaut, we would not be celebrating a fifth UCL title in less than a decade.
16th minute save on Mohammad Salah
The first tense moment of the match came when Liverpool had an extended period of possession in the Real Madrid attacking third.
Salah got to the inside of Eder Militao and turned the low-driven cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold on net – forcing a finger-tip save from Courtois.
17th minute save on Salah
Mo Salah created space for himself again at the top of the box, but the effort he put on goal was routine for Thibaut.
20th minute save on Sadio Mane
The save that Courtois himself called, “the save of the match” came in the 20th minute on an effort from left-winger Sadio Mane.
A wonderful individual effort managing to maintain possession through both of Real Madrid’s center backs led to a surprising near post shot from Mane. Usually, when you see the winger cut in on his right foot, he would look to finish at the far post.
He elected for the near post, Courtois just barely managed to tip it onto the woodwork, and he scrambled to grab the loose rebound.
“Back in England, I don’t get enough respect… so, well, I showed it today. I wanted to put some respect on my name there,” Courtois said following the win.
34th minute save on Salah
Salah was a problem for the Real Madrid backline the entire first half and again found space for a header in the box.
A solid cross from TAA was met by Salah’s head, but it yielded no true danger.
64th minute save on Salah
On the left foot from outside of the box, the talented Egyptian shifted past Ferland Mendy and whipped a bending ball towards Courtois’ net.
At first glance, it looks like another miraculous stop from the big Belgian. But from other angles, it was actually the most routine stop of the night!
69th minute denial of Salah at the post
After a looping header from Diogo Jota found its way to Salah at the back post, Courtois came off his line to stop any chance from Salah. The ball might not have been on target from that angle, but it was heading back across the face of goal!
82nd minute save on Salah
For me, this was the save of the match.
Courtois is staring Salah in the eye with the match on the line and makes a stunning stop when he had no business doing so.
His performance as a whole was enough to earn praise from Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas.
Thibaut Courtois was more than deserving of the Man of the Match award and is drawing comparison to Casillas in the 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen! He was just that good.
All of Courtois’ saves in one video!
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Take a bow, Mr. Courtois! You more than deserve this Champions League title.