Just 5 players from last season’s final make the Barcelona team this time around: Ter Stegen, de Ligt, Busquets, Arthur and Messi. The 6th player who was involved in that is Lenglet but he is on for Liverpool.
There are just 3 changes from the FA Cup winning side a week ago (Arsenal 0-2). Henderson, Origi and Fabio Silva drop to the bench for Keita, Rony Lopes and Firmino.
Grimaldo makes his way down the left hand side of the pitch, but Lopes has tracked back well for Liverpool and just gets a foot in before he can make the cross. Pedri picks it up for Barca, he plays it away from the Liverpool area to Busquets who clips a cross over first time with his left foot, Robertson leeps to clear away but miss times his jump and it falls to Messi in the area. One. Two touch and shoots… Messiii!!! 1-0 Barcelona
and it’s the main man!
That ball from Busquets was world class it must have been 35 yards out and to take It first time over the top. Messi peeled away from Robertson and the left-back looked to jump too early, then it went into the one man on the planet you don’t want in your box. Then Alisson falls to his knees with no chance.
Fabinho makes his way into the Barcelona half and there’s no one closing on him, he passes wide to Robertson hoping to make up for that mistake. It’s Messi defending on the far side. Foul. The ref brandishes the yellow card for the goalscorer but looking at the replay it’s harsh.
Barcelona have a real swagger about them which takes us back to their golden era of 2008-2012. It's hard to look past them finshing this off in the second hald, but Liverpool have a history of comebacks!
Wague has it in a good position for a cross, but he choses to pass it inside for Arthur, who plays a quick one-two with the RB before firing a ball across to the left. Mbappe picks it up before playing a ball inside for Pedri one touch and shot but blocked by Van Dijk and back out for Mbappe he skips past Gomez and… GOAL! No!
It’s been disallowed and I have no idea why?
Sub LFC – Fabinho makes way for Chamberlain as LFC look to chase the game a little.
Arthur inside to Busquets, who of course finds Messi and Barcelona look to counterattack, Messi plays it over the top to Mbappe, who has no support and 4 Liverpool players ahead of him. Lenglet is just standing him up at the edge of the area, as Mbappe looks to skip past him he sticks a foot out and the ref blows up! Penalty? I didn’t see a flag from the linesman who was closest, so it’s going to VAR which means they are looking if it was in the area. Çakır doesn’t look at it for very long which is worrying for Liverpool. It’s a penalty! VAR confirms it. Mbappe is receiving treatment for that challenge as the players get ready for the pen. It will be Messi against Alisson at a vital moment in the game.
Goal!!! Alisson guessed the right way, but it was too powerful into the bottom right corner. He runs over to Mbappe, who got injured for the pen and with just over half an hour to go and Barcelona may have just won this.
Sub LFC – The club captain is on for Liverpool as Henderson replaces one of the heroes from the previous meeting, Wijnaldum.
Sub LFC – The final change for Liverpool as Origi (Oh no!) comes on for Lopes, who hasn’t played well tonight.
The corner in from Barcelona is easily cleared by Van Dijk, it’s into Chamberlain looking for the quick counter, but Van de Beek trips him with a professional foul and it’s a definite free kick and yellow card.
Sub FCB – Emerson will come on for Mbappe who hasn’t recovered from that injury.
Sub FCB – The 2nd change for Barca with 15 mins left and it’s a sensible one as van de Beek on the yellow card makes way for Riqui Puig.
Pedri is driving down the Liverpool flank, but the pass inside to Puig isn’t brilliant and Liverpool get the ball back, Robertson clears it out to Origi who is asking a lot from Firmino to get on the end of that one. But de Ligt misses the header and Firmino is through on goal at a decisive stage of the match… GOAL!
As ter Stegen charged out the Brazil dragged the ball to the side and slotted it home. Game on!
de Ligt showed his relative inexperience on that one, caught in two minds whether to back off or commit.
Wague scrambles it away from danger as the Liverpool pressure is increasing. Over to Messi who has the LFC defence to beat, he's easily past Lenglet just over the halfway. Messi running towards the box with determination before Van Dijk slides in just outside the area and the linesman signals for the FK. What a run by Messi who has done his fair share of defending today. No card but a dangerous position.
So Messi stands over the ball at the top left corner of Liverpool’s box. The cross goes into the back post, but Lenglet heads clear and Mane is away. A chance for the counter but Busquets comes across and a poor touch from the Senegales international gifts possession away. Some nice passing from Barca heading back to their own goal to start again and it comes through to Puig, who catches Messi looking for the ball over the top, and it reaches him as Lenglet can’t reach high enough. Messi has burst through on goal, one touch to control and shoots… Goal!!!
Through the legs of Alisson for the first hattrick in a CL final!
It’s another Lionel Messi show tonight and it will go down in history along with many more of his performances!
Liverpool are pushing everyone up now and they will need a miracle to get two with the time remaining, but they have a freekick in a good position. It was Gomez causing Grimaldo problems on this side, a bit of a miss match if you ask me.
Chamberlain will be the one to take. A nice ball inside to Keita, who goes for glory… And it’s in!
He only took one touch to set himself before blasting the ball into the bottom right corner, the keeper was nowhere near! 3-2!!!
Sub - Suarez is on for Pedri as Barcelona look to waste more time. There was only 5 minutes added on and we are past that right now.
It has been a good fight from Liverpool in this second half, but it should be over very soon.
Grimaldo finally takes the throw in to the sub and Henderson tackle turns into a unwanted clearance and Upamecano is happy to let it run away from any over player. FT
Cüneyt Çakır finally blows up and Barcelona retain their Champions League crown!
It’s the 7th CL crown
for Barcelona putting them level with A.C. Milan.
6th CL win, most in history and level Gento for EC/CL titles
All-time top final scorer with 6 goals (Ronaldo 4) and now on to 129 goals
in the competition, 12 behind Ronaldo but he has played 168 to the Portuguese 192
Hattrick - Most goals in a final (Bale 2 – 2019)
3rd final in 5 seasons
1 of 4 other managers to reach 4 finals
Joins Marcello Lippi with 3 final defeats
2nd CL title for the young Spaniard, who joins a stellar list of managers to win this trophy twice. Notably Ferguson and Mourinho. At the tender age of 36, this man looks set to be one of the most successful managers in the history of the game!
7 of last 9 finals won by Barcelona or Real Madrid
6th title in 17 years – Best of any club in the Champions league era and 2nd all time (Real Madrid won 6 of the first 11 European Cups)