Champions League by Konstantinos Pagiavlas is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

So we have reached the climax of the season, the Champions League final. 10 days after the Europa League final, 7 days after the FA Cup Final, and only 7 days after Real Madrid threw away a two goal lead away to Villarreal.

Is that result likely to have any impact on how Real perform in Kiev? Probably not.

This has been a domestic season to forget for Zidane and co, every stage of the Champions League their domestic form has been brought into question, people constantly questioning their ability, and yet they have still managed to do what Real Madrid do best, sneaking through round by round, battered, bloody, limping, into another final.

Liverpool on the other hand, despite a rocky group stage, have breezed through the knockout stages of the competition. Using the pace and guile of their front three to break at speed. The aggregate score against Roma may have read 7-6 but the reality was that Roma had left themselves an impossible task after the first leg, made even more improbable when Wijnaldum finished from close range making it 1-2.

A valiant effort restored some pride in the scoreline, but Liverpool simply had too much pace for Roma’s sluggish defence, and they couldn’t deal with it.

Both teams have their defensive frailties, between them they conceded 9 goals in the semi finals. Making the final an exciting prospect for the neutral, but for the fans it will be a constant debate about where they can hurt their opposition, and just as importantly where the opposition can hurt them.

Can Salah exploit the hole’s Marcelo will leave behind? Will Van Dijk and Lovren be able to cope with Ronaldo and Ramos in the air? Will Ronaldo take advantage of Arnold’s inexperience?

I think whoever wins this fixture, wins it by more than the one goal. They both have the capacity to implode if the game is going against them, with both very exceptional at playing to momentum, an early goal will be a decisive factor.

Comments

comments