Liverpool, Real Madrid clash in Paris


Welcome to ESPN’s LIVE coverage of the 2021-22 Champions League final! Premier League giants Liverpool take on LaLiga champions Real Madrid in a repeat of the 2018 final.

The match in Paris kicks off at 3 pm ET / 8 pm ET, and you can follow all the prematch build-up as well as that key moments and talking points from the match as it happens right here from Chirs Wright and our team of writers at the Stade de France. Just refresh the page to get the latest updates.

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2:11 pm ET / 7:11 pm BST: Fans struggling to get in?

James Olley is in position but noting the build-up of fans trying to get into the stadium …

There are other reports of confusion over entry that is causing some stress outside the Stade de France.

2:07 pm ET / 7:07 pm BST: England vs. Spain

The 2022 final will be contested by teams who represent the two most successful nations in European Cup history, with England and Spain producing a total of 32 winners between them (18 from Spain and 14 from England).

However, the 1981 final when Liverpool pipped Real is the only time in history that an English side has beaten a Spanish side in the final. All four subsequent occasions (Barcelona vs. Arsenal in 2006, Barcelona vs. Manchester United in 2009, Barcelona vs. Manchester United in 2011 and Real Madrid vs. Liverpool in 2018) have resulted in the Spanish side taking the glory.

As such, Liverpool are bidding to become the first English side in 41 years – since Liverpool in 1981 – to successfully beat a team from Spain to lift the European Cup.

1:55 pm ET / 6:55 pm BST: Liverpool team news is IN

Big news in the Liverpool team – Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho both start, despite being injury doubts ahead of the game. And in defense, Ibrahima Konate is chosen ahead of Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk. Thiago had been the biggest doubt, having limped out of the win against Wolves six days ago with a tweaked hamstring. The Spain midfielder trained on Friday, but the big question mark will be about how long he can last against Real. – Mark Ogden

That team in full …

1:49 pm ET / 6:49 pm BST: Have you seen the traffic in Paris?

Liverpool’s team bus has had a struggle to get through the traffic to make it to the Stade de France. Jurgen Klopp and his players are only just arriving now, having been temporarily stuck in traffic on the motorway close to the stadium. So while Real’s players are now beginning to stroll onto the pitch to get an early feel for their surroundings, Liverpool’s team are still waiting to get off the bus. – Mark Ogden

1:45 pm ET / 6:45 pm BST: Head-to-head record in knockout matches

Starting with the 1981 final, Liverpool beat Real in all three of their first meetings in the knockout phases of the European Cup / Champions League and all without conceding a single goal.

  • 1981 final: Liverpool 1-0

  • 2009 round of 16, first leg: Liverpool 1-0

  • 2009 round of 16, second leg: Liverpool 4-0

Since then, Real have gone unbeaten (W2 L0 D1) in the three most recent knockout meetings between the pair, including the 2018 final.

  • 2018 final: Real Madrid 3-1

  • 2021 quarterfinal, first leg: Real Madrid 3-1

  • 2021 quarterfinal, second leg: 0-0

1:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm BST: Real Madrid announce their team early

Is it mind games or is it genius? At roughly 1 pm ET, two hours before kickoff, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti had his team-sheet printed. No going back now, sir …

Real Madrid have gone early with their team by announcing their starting XI a full hour before it has to be submitted to UEFA. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has selected Fede Valverde ahead of Rodrygo in his front three. Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos start in midfield as expected – six years after starting in the 2016 Final against Atletico Madrid in Milan. – Mark Ogden

And here’s the full team sheet …

1:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm BST: The first “three-peat” final

Liverpool and Real Madrid are no strangers when it comes to the Champions League, having met in the final twice before, first in 1981 and then again in 2018. The Reds took first blood in ’81 with a narrow 1-0 win in Paris, while Real wrought their vengeance almost four decades later by winning 3-1 in Kiev. As such, the 2022 final represents the very first “three-peat” meeting (ie three finals between the same two sides) since the European Cup was inaugurated in the 1955-56.

Speaking of the magic number, Jurgen Klopp’s hopefuls are also seeking to become the first English club to win a “treble cup” by adding the Champions League to the League Cup and FA Cup they have already won this season. No other English side have ever reached the final of all three competitions in the same campaign.

Overall, the 2022 final is only the ninth encounter between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Europe’s elite tournament and the Spaniards have a slight edge when it comes to their previous encounters (W4, L3, D1), scoring 10 goals in that time compared to the Red’s total of eight.

Furthermore, Liverpool have not beaten Real in the Champions League since 2008-09 when they thrashed them 5-0 on aggregate in the round of 16. A single goal from Yossi Benayoun was enough to secure a 1-0 win at the Bernabeu in the first leg before Rafa Benitez’s side stormed to a 4-0 victory at Anfield in the return leg. The Reds then exited the tournament in the next round after losing 7-5 on aggregate to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

– Liverpool and Real Madrid’s UCL final wins – ranked!

1:30 pm ET / 6:30 pm BST: Who will win?

The 125th and last Champions League game of the season takes place in Paris tonight with a final between two of the most-decorated clubs in the history of the competition – Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Liverpool have become the first English club to reach 10 European Cup finals and do so chasing their seventh title. If successful, they would move joint-second on the all-time list, level with AC Milan.

However, they find themselves up against the undisputed kings of the continent in Real, who have appeared in more finals (17) and lifted the trophy aloft (13) than any other team. Another win for the Spanish giants tonight would see them claim the cup for a fifth time in nine years.

But who do you think will win? Vote in our poll.




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