Kiev, Ukraine: Real Madrid won its third consecutive UEFA Champions League title with a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the final in Kiev on Saturday.
Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick to give Madrid a 2-1 lead in the 64th minute will go down in European soccer history.
So will Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius’ two blunders to gift Madrid its other goals, scored by Karim Benzema and substitute Bale.
A Loris Karius mistake allowed Karim Benzema to score the opener early in the second half but Liverpool, who lost PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah to a shoulder injury in the first half, responded immediately when Sadio Mane stabbed in from close range.
The first of Gareth Bale’s two-goal haul was outrageous. Moments after his 61st-minute introduction from the bench – to replace Isco – the Welshman unleashed an acrobatic effort, a bicycle kick which found the right side of the net.
The goal put Madrid ahead, after Sane had neutralized Benzema’s 51st minute goal, which arose from a blooper by Liverpool keeper, Loris Karius.
In the 83rd minute, Bale was on song again, with a shot from outside the box to the keeper of Liverpool, Karius, who failed to control the ball and found it slipping into the net, for Bale’s second goal of the night.
Real Madrid claimed their 13th European Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career. It is also the second time Real have won three European Cups in a row, having gone on to win five in succession from 1956, and only the fourth time it has happened in 63 years.
Real Madrid have become the first team to win the European Cup/Champions League in three successive seasons since Bayern Munich between 1974 and 1976.
Zinedine Zidane is just the third manager to win the European Cup/Champions League three times (after Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti), but the first to win it in three consecutive seasons.
Coach Zinedine Zidane named the same eleven that started last year’s final against Juventus and nine who began two years ago against Atletico Madrid.
“What we’re living through is impressive; I don’t really have the words,” Zidane said. “I told the players to enjoy this moment – they’ll never experience anything like it again.”
“We know what we have achieved and how good we have been,” said Bale. “The league was disappointing but we won the Champions League. It turns out to be a great season.”
But Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp’s wait for European glory continues following a third defeat in a continental final.