Live From Berlin, Only on the BBC
Hello, and welcome to Berlin's Olympiastadion, the location for this summer's Champions League final, between 3 Time Champions Manchester United, and Ligue 1 runners-up Lyon. These two teams have earned their place in the final, through some scintillating performances over the last season.
Lyon opened their campaign against Barcelona at home with a hard-fought 2-1 defeat. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi netted for the visitors, and although Eugene Konoplyanka pulled one back for the French side. Next, the French outfit travelled to Germany to play Wolfsburg, winning 3-2 thanks to goals from Konoplyanka and Alexandre Lacazette. A heavy 4-0 defeat against Sporting came next, but Lyon turned the tables in the reverse fixture, winning 2-1 at home, through goals from Nabil Fekir and Clinton N'Jie. With Group A looking tight, the reverse fixture against Barcelona was an opportunity for Lyon to really kickstart their campaign; and the 2-2 draw was a definite improvement, as Clement Grenier netted twice to put Lyon within touching distance of the knockout stages. Goals from Lacazette, Dabo and Mvuemba sealed the deal against Wolfsburg, and Lyon were on the way to the knockouts.
Shakhtar were the first opponents, and a Yassine Benzia strike at Stade de Gerland put Lyon in the driving seat heading into the second leg in Ukraine, where the French outfit slipped through on away goals after a narrow 3-2 loss in the away leg. The Quarter finals were a similar setup; Lacazette helped his side to a 1-0 win against Roma at home, and Konoplyanka netted in the away leg to seal a 1-1 away draw, and send his side through to a semi-final tie against group rivals Barcelona. At Stade de Gerland, Lyon played out an emphatic 4-0 victory, with goals from Bisevac, Fekir, Prince-Boateng and Marcelo Moreno delighting fans. The away leg at the Nou Camp was almost an exact reversal; goals from Dani Alves, Messi, Suarez and Neymar looked to be sending the tie to Extra Time, until fan favourite Alexandre Lacazette popped up on the edge of the area to rifle a volley into the top corner and seal a ticket to Berlin.
Manchester United's route to the final was longer, starting in the Playoffs against Fenerbahçe, who they dispatched with ease at Old Trafford, netting 4 in a smooth victory. The return leg was an excuse to play some youngsters, and despite an impressive display, United still found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline.
Drawn into a group with Juventus, Olympiakos and Qarabag, United embarked on an incredible 5 game unbeaten run in Europe, ended only by a 2-1 defeat on the last match of the group against Juventus. This imperious group performance put United in the top half of the draw, and they drew CSKA Moscow in the first knockout round, whom they swept aside in an aggregate 5-1 victory.
When United were drawn against Real Madrid, and then suffered a 4-2 defeat, many thought it would be the end of their campaign, but an excellent performance by Angel di Maria, who orchestrated two United goals, saw them through to the semi-finals, where they met League rivals Chelsea. A 1-0 win at Old Trafford, followed by a 2-2 draw in London saw United into the final, where we pick up the story.
Ahead of the game, United's fans have been optimistic - their run to the final has been nothing short of impressive, compared to Lyon's stop-start approach. Indeed, even looking at the starting line-ups, United seem to have more about them tonight.
Manchester United Matchday Squad
David De Gea, Rafael, Phil Jones (c), Jonny Evans, Leighton Baines, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj, Angel di Maria, James Wilson
Victor Valdes, Matteo Darmian, Joaquin Correa, Wayne Rooney, Marquinhos, Kingsley Coman, Memphis Depay
Olympique Lyon Matchday Squad
Anthony Lopes, Cristophe Jallet, Milan Bisevac, Samuel Umitti, Mouhamadou Dabo, Maxime Gonalons, Clement Grenier, Claudio Beauvue, Nabil Fekir, Alexandre Lacazette
Mathieu Gorgelin, Bakary Kone, Arnold Mvuemba, Marcelo Moreno, Clinton N'Jie, Guieda Fofana, Jordan Ferri
And without further ado, it's off to Berlin for kick-off
United kick us off, and immediately, Lyon are on the backfoot, James Wilson sending a raking ball down the flank for di Maria, who flicked it centrally to Juan Mata, who's shot was deflected by the outstretched boot of Bisevac. United's corner was driven in by Mata, but di Maria's glancing header was going nowhere but Lopes' gloves.
The atmosphere around the stadium was electric, and it escalated after 14 minutes, when Wilson rolled the ball out wide to Januzaj, and then met the resultant cross with a graceful volley into the bottom corner of the net to put United 1-0 up.
Wilson celebrates his spectacular volleyed goal which gave United the lead
United embarked on several flowing attacks after the restart; 22 minutes in, De Gea lofted the ball forwards, but Grenier beat Wilson to the header, playing the ball forward to Lacazette, who promptly lost the ball to Phil Jones. The defender's pass forward found di Maria, who rolled the ball into the path of James Wilson. The striker turned Grenier inside out, before lofting the ball out wide to Juan Mata. The Spaniard's ball into the box found Adnan Januzaj rushing to meet it, and the Belgian made no mistake, his diving header connecting sweetly, and leaving Lopes flat-footed as he tried to meet it.
Despite being 2-0 down, Lyon were seemingly sparked into action - from the restart, Lacazette played a sweet pass to Henri Bedimo, who held the play up, allowing his teammates to pour forwards on the break, Bedimo lifted a ball out wide to Dabo, who squared it into the box, beating Phil Jones, and Lacazette battered the ball towards the goal. De Gea got a glove to the ball, but only managed to parry it onto the crossbar. Beauvue pounced on the rebound, and made no mistake at the second attempt - burying the ball in the back of the net.
Beauvue wastes no time in picking the ball out of the net to kickstart his side's comeback
Not even 10 minutes after Lyon pulled one back, United were in the driving seat again. James Wilson picked the ball up deep inside the Lyon half, and played a smart 1-2 with Juan Mata, before lifting the ball over Grenier to find Leighton Baines out wide. Baines gave him the ball back, leaving the defence flat-footed. Wilson shaped to take the shot from the edge of the area, but spotted di Maria powering down the right flank, and threaded the ball through the Lyon defence for the Argentine to hammer the ball home and make it 3-1.
The second half saw more of the same from United, and with no further goals, United were well on their way to the Champions League title!