Gareth Bale pulled off the spectacular to ensure Real Madrid won their third consecutive Champions League title after beating Liverpool 3-1 on Saturday night.
Liverpool got off to a brilliant start in Kiev, with both Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold among the names to go close for the Reds. However, their impressive opening was somewhat dampened by a shoulder injury to Mohamed Salah, who was forced off in the 31st minute after Sergio Ramos awkwardly hauled him down to the ground.
After Karim Benzema saw a first half effort ruled out for offside, the French striker did open the scoring in bizarre fashion in the 51st minute after intercepting Loris Karius’ throw to poke home into the empty net.
But Liverpool fought back in impressive fashion, when Sadio Mane tapped home past Keylor Navas after latching on to a determined header from team-mate Dejan Lovren.
With the game intriguingly poised, it was Bale who stole the show, scoring an incredible bicycle kick from the edge of the penalty area, which left Karius with absolutely no chance as the ball nestled into the top corner. And he then sealed his side’s victory late on in the game, firing in from long-range, leaving Karius red-faced again as he fumbled the ball into the net.
More to follow…
Gareth Bale sealed victory for Real Madrid in the 83rd minute after firing home from long-range past Loris Karius
Karius produced a massive clanger, fumbling Bale’s stinging shot into the net to ensure Madrid doubled their lead
Bale was the hero in Kiev as he scored twice in the second half after coming off the bench to replace Isco
The 28-year-old celebrates his second with Casemiro and Toni Kroos as Madrid won their third straight Champions League
Bale scored an incredible bicycle kick from the edge of the penalty area to put Real Madrid 2-1 ahead against Liverpool
The Wales international pulled off the unthinkable in the 64th minute, leaving Loris Karius with absolutely no chance
Bale lands on the floor while the ball flies into the top corner of Karius’ net in the 64th minute on Saturday night
Bale celebrates in style after stunning the crowd at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev on Saturday night
Bale dives to the floor in celebration as Marcelo goes over to congratulate him for his memorable strike
Bale’s Madrid team-mates bundle on top of the match-winner after netting one of the great goals in the Champions League
Sadio Mane levelled the scoring at 1-1 in the 55th minute after tapping home following a header from Dejan Lovren
Mane got the decisive touch on the ball ahead of Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who was left stranded on the ground
Mane gets up to celebrate in front of the delighted Liverpool fans just four minutes after Liverpool went behind
The speedy winger is mobbed by his Liverpool colleagues after pegging Los Blancos back in the second half
Karim Benzema opened the scoring in bizarre fashion after Loris Karius threw the ball directly onto his foot
The Frenchman read the Liverpool goalkeeper’s throw out and got a lucky touch on the ball that rolled into the corner
Benzema wheels off to celebrate the opening goal as his Madrid team-mates sprint from behind to celebrate with him
Benzema is the first French goalscorer in a Champions League final since Zinedine Zidane against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002
The striker, who has endured a tough season with Madrid, is mobbed by his jubilant team-mates on Saturday
Isco missed a golden opportunity to put Madrid ahead immediately in the second half, seeing his effort hit the crossbar
Isco and both sets of players watch on as they wait to find out whether his effort will nestle into the net
Isco and Sergio Ramos react after the former hits the crossbar after seeing his effort fly over Karius in the Liverpool goal
Karim Benzema thought he had opened the scoring for the La Liga giants but his effort was ruled out for offside
The French striker pounced after Loris Karius did brilliantly to save Ronaldo’s bullet header late on in the first half
The 30-year-old was marginally offside as he pounced on the ball following Ronaldo’s saved header in the 44th minute
Benzema reacts after finding out that the linesman had ruled out his strike at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND MATCH ZONE
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal (Nacho 37), Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Isco (Bale 61), Benzema (Asensio 88), Ronaldo.
Subs: Casilla, Hernandez, Lucas, Kovacic.
Scorers: Benzema 51, Bale 64, 83
Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah (Lallana 31), Firmino, Mane.
Subs: Mignolet, Clyne, Klavan, Moreno, Can, Solanke.
Scorers: Mane 55
Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia)
This is how Gareth Bale incredibly put Real Madrid 2-1 ahead in the 64th minute on Saturday night against Liverpool. CLICK HERE to take a look at our brilliant MATCH ZONE.
Just moments after seeing Mohamed Salah come off with an injury, Dani Carvajal was the next to be forced off
The Madrid right back cries as he walks around the pitch before heading to the tunnel with an injury
Mohamed Salah was forced off with a shoulder injury in the 31st minute after Sergio Ramos hauled him down to the ground
Salah lies on the floor in agony on his own after awkwardly falling to the floor following Ramos’ clumsy challenge
The Egyptian, who will be desperate to be fit for the World Cup, was visibly emotional as was forced off on the weekend
Ronaldo and Sadio Mane console the very emotional winger, who was replaced by Adam Lallana after 31 minutes
A Liverpool supporter reacts in disappointment after seeing his team’s star player sustain the painful shoulder injury
Youngster Trent-Alexander Arnold goes close to opening the scoring with a stinging effort, which is saved by Keylor Navas
Virgil van Dijk, signed from Southampton for £75million, gets to the ball in the air before Navas but heads over the crossbar
Andy Robertson challenges for the ball with Spain international Isco with both teams battling to break the deadlock
Deadly Liverpool forward Salah goes down following pressure from Madrid defenders Marcelo and Sergio Ramos
Dejan Lovren makes himself known to five-time Ballon d’Or winner during the opening minutes in Ukraine
Star men: Salah and Ronaldo shake hands as the two teams go through their usual pre-match routine
Liverpool supporters proudly hold up their club scarves during the early stages of the Champions League final
Liverpool fans were in full voice before and throughout the match at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on Saturday
Popular pop artist Dua Lipa performs on the pitch before kick-off in the eagerly-anticipated showdown
Dua Lipa performs on stage just minutes before kick-off between Liverpool and Madrid on Saturday night