Real Madrid crush Juventus 4-1 to retain Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as holders Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe for a record 12th time after outclassing 10-man Juventus in a high-quality Champions League final in Cardiff.

Ronaldo put Real ahead with a first-time finish from 16 yards before Mario Mandzukic equalised from just inside the area with a sensational overhead kick beyond Keylor Navas.

Real took control after the interval, Brazilian midfielder Casemiro’s deflected shot restoring the lead before Ronaldo sealed victory for Zinedine Zidane‘s side after poking home from close range following Luka Modric‘s cross.

Juventus played the last six minutes with 10 men after substitute Juan Cuadrado was booked twice inside 18 minutes, before substitute Marco Asensio hit the fourth after Marcelo’s fine pass.

Zidane has now won back-to-back Champions Leagues – as well as this season’s La Liga title – since he took charge of Real in January 2016.

Italian champions Juventus have lost five Champions League finals since they last won the competition in 1996.

Real forward Gareth Bale came on as a 77th-minute substitute in his home city after recovering from a calf injury.

Ronaldo rules again

Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure early in the match, gesturing to German referee Felix Brych about what he perceived as some rough treatment.

But he ended the night as Real’s hero, winning his third Champions League winners’ medal for the Spanish club and fourth in total, as the 32-year-old continues to write new chapters in his glittering career.

On display in Cardiff were all the facets that make him an all-time great – pace, desire, anticipation, technique – as he helped Real dismantle a Juve defence that conceded just three goals in 1,080 minutes en route to the final.

Ronaldo’s first was an instant sweeping finish beyond the outstretched right arm of Gianluigi Buffon while the second showed the touch of a poacher, moving like lightning beyond static Juve defenders to guide in an emphatic near-post finish.

 

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