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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Wembley Stadium

Real Madrid reclaim their trophy as Dortmund become latest fall-guys in all-too familiar tale



Dortmund fans brought colour and noise to the final - but were left feeling the pain of defeat (Pic: YT Journo)



Champions League Final

Borussia Dortmund (0) 0

Real Madrid (0) 2 Carvajal 74, Vinicius 83


The most amazing thing about the Champions League in its various guises is that it took so long for the best team in its history to triumph at the most popular venue in its history.


But after riding their luck in the first half Real Madrid triumphed once more. As they always do.


They have now won the last nine finals they have contested in Europe's elite competition. It's all getting a bit ridiculous. They have won this thing 15 times after tonight. They don't even seem as great as sides from the past but it makes no difference. The song remains the same.


They now have four players who have won it six times. Skipper Nacho, Luca Modric, Dani Carvajal and Toni Kroos have joined Paco Gente on a record six European Cup wins.


Team of the Century Real Madrid have now won it more than twice as many times as nearest rivals AC Milan.


Given that this was a record eighth time Wembley has staged the final, it is amazing it took them so long to contest a final here.


They didn't even have a happy memory of it in the only previous competitive visit - in November 2017 when a Dele Alli-inspired Spurs blew the Blancos away 3-1 in a group stage match during the spell the north Londoners had at Wembley while the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was being built.


They had contrived to win the trophy twice in Glasgow and once in Cardiff, but London was missing on the CV to end all Cvs, in spite of that remorseless record of success, which saw them win each of the last eight finals they contested.


This confluence of Real and Wembley was long overdue. They were the only club among the top six with the most Champions League wins not to have triumphed in London.


And then there is the story of Ancelotti. It seems barely believable that he managed Everton not so long ago. He is a five-times winner of this competition. The most decorated coach of all.


He was already that before this latest win but just can't stop, even if he admits he is not too sure why it keeps happening for the blessed Spanish outfit.


Dortmund gave their magnificent supporters so much hope in the first half.


Attacking their famous yellow wall of fans massed at the east end of the stadium, they came closest to taking the lead twice in the opening half an hour - first when Karim Adeyemi was clean through but took too heavy a touch as he tried to round Thibaut Courtois and gave himself too much of an angle.


Then Niclas Fullkrug was unlucky to see his rolled shot come back off the inside of the far post after Ian Maatsen - on loan from Chelsea - had dispossessed Eduardo Camavinga to create a golden chance for the Dortmund striker.


Moments later there was another dart at goal and shot from an angle from Adeyemi which Courtois palmed away, and Marcel Sabitzer tried his luck from outside the box and again that other ex Chelsea man between the sticks did his stuff.


Real looked second best. Not that that felt like being a reliable guide to the likely outcome, given their propensity to find ways to win when things look at their least promising.


Kroos, playing his final club game and eager to bow out on a high, chipped a free-kick goalwards that was comfortably turned aside by keeper Gregor Kobel. Carvajal popped up to get in a volley at goal. Jude Bellingham came within a whisker of getting a telling head to a hanging cross from Vinicius.


The writing was on the wall, in other words for Edin Terzic's team.


In the end it was a banal near-post flicked header by Carvajal from a Kroos corner which all-but killed the underdogs' hopes. That's all it took.


Bellingham fired wide from a Camavinga pull-back. He can save his match winning heroics for the next final. Camavinga's measured effort needed a tip-over from a stretching Kobel. Nacho almost copied Carvajal with a near-post header.


But soon it really was all over as Vinicius fired home - Bellingham the supplier after a mistake by Maatsen. The Brazilian bagged the winner to beat Liverpool in Paris two years ago and now adds his name to the illustrious list of players to have scored in two finals.


This was a night for Wembley to file away as another big landmark in its history.


Wembley first hosted the final of Europe's elite competition in 1963 when Milan beat Benfica. It provided the backdrop for that incredibly iconic Man United victory over Benfica in 1968 when Charlton and Best were in their pomp, welcomed Johan Cruyff's Ajax in 1971 when Panathinaikos were defeated, oversaw the Kenny Dalglish winner for Liverpool against Bruges in 1978.


In 1992 and 2011, Real's greatest rivals Barcelona triumphed here - with Pep Guardiola in the ranks for the win against Sampdoria and Lionel Messi rampaging against Man United 19 years later. And there was the all-German final of 2013 for good measure when Bayern beat Dortmund thanks in part to ex-Chelsea man Arjen Robben.


Then, as now, Dortmund were forced to watch their opponents go up to collect that famous giant trophy. They remain on one solitary win in the competition but will have to look back on this cup run as one of their very best.


Dortmund: (4-2-3-1) Kobel - Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen - Can (Malen 80), Sabitzer - Sancho (Bynoe-Gittens 87), Brandt (Haller 80), Adeyemi (Reus 72)- Fullkrug


Real: (4-3-1-2) Courtois, Carvajal, Nacho, Rudiger, Mendy - Camavinga, Kroos (Modric 86), Valverde - Bellingham (Joselu 85) - Rodrygo (Militao 90), Vinicius (Vazquez 90)


Attendance: 86,212



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