Liverpool have been beaten in the Champions League final after a 1-0 defeat by Real Madrid in Paris.
The Reds dominated much of the first half with Real Madrid’s Thibault Courtois making saves, but it was the Spanish champions who came closest to breaking the deadlock with a goal by Karim Benzema disallowed after a lengthy delay for a VAR check.
Brazilian winger Jose Vinicius Junior put Real Madrid ahead in the 59th minute, slotting in after a driven cross from Federico Valverde.
Liverpool had chances to equalise after the goal, but Courtois was able to keep them out.
It was enough to secure the Spanish giant’s 15th Champions League title.
But the start of the game was marred by huge delays as Liverpool fans were unable to get into the stadium, some until half time, and tear gas was used on crowds trying to get in to the game.
‘When Real Madrid play finals, they win it’
Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois told BT Sport after the game: “I said to my friends yesterday that when Real Madrid play finals they win it. I am on the good side of history.
“Today I needed to win a final for my career, for all the hard work to put respect on my name because I don’t think I have enough respect, especially in England.”
He added: “I saw a lot of criticism even after a great season, that I was not good enough or whatever.
“I am just really happy and proud of the performance of the team. We stuck to it and when I needed to be there, I was there for the team.
“I think we beat the best clubs in the world; (Manchester) City and Liverpool were unbelievable this season.
“They fought to the end in the Premier League and Liverpool won two cups. Today they were really strong.
“I played a great game, that was the difference today because we had one important chance and we scored it.”
‘I’m the record man’
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti hailed his side’s victory as he became the first manager to win the Champions League for a fourth time.
“I can’t believe it. We’ve had a fantastic season,” he said.
“We suffered a lot in the first half but in the end we deserved to win this competition.
“I am the record man. I had the luck to come here last year and found as usual a fantastic club with a really good squad with a lot of quality and mental character.
“The season was top.”
‘We will go again’
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp vowed to bounce back and “go again” next season.
“These boys played an outstanding season,” said Klopp, whose side will go on a parade through Liverpool on Sunday.
“The two competitions we couldn’t win, we didn’t for the smallest possible margin: one point, 1-0.
“City during the season, they were one point better and tonight Madrid was one goal better. That says nothing about us.
“The difference between 2018 and now is that I see us coming again.”
‘An absolute defensive masterclass’
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who lifted the trophy in 2005, said Real Madrid’s performance had been “phenomenal”.
“They have put an absolute defensive masterclass on today,” the Aston Villa boss said.
“Yes, the keeper got man of the match, but if you look at the detail of the defending to a man all over the pitch, their distances, their shape and the calmness under pressure.
“Yes they got outplayed for 40 minutes, but over the 90 minutes… yes their keeper bailed them out at times, but to a man across the pitch they defended ever so well.”