Real ease past Juve to reign in Europe

Real Madrid remain the king’s of European football as they became the first team ever to defend the Champions League title after a comfortable 4-1 win over Juventus in Cardiff.

And once again the star man was Cristiano Ronaldo, with two goals for Real to lead them to glory in Wales as they claimed their 12th European Cup, and their third in just four years.

The opening goal arrived on 20-minutes when he side-footed home after good work from Dani Carvajal, and that meant he became the first player to score in three Champions League finals.

Ronaldo’s opener was against the run of play as Juve had created some decent early chances and they levelled just before the half-hour mark, and it was something special.

It came from giant German Mario Mandzukic, with his back to goal and defenders in his way, he acrobatically hooked the ball home in spectacular fashion.

With the game level at half-time, it seemed poised for an enthralling second 45 – but that was not the story as Juve did not turn up as Real ran riot.

The second arrived on the hour and it came from an unlikely source as it was Real’s holding midfielder Casemiro who unleashed one from 30-yards and a slight deflection helped it past Gianlugi Buffon.

Many believed Buffon could challenge Ronaldo for the Ballon d’Or this season but Real’s third emphasised that the Portuguese is still the dominant force in world football.

He claimed his second when he finished from close-range after great work from Luka Modric.

Juve’s night went from bad to worse as substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for two-yellow cards in 20-minutes.

The icing on the cake came in the final minutes with young sub Marcos Asensio firing home to cap a brilliant performance from Real.

Any local in the crowd were also buoyed by a 15-minute cameo from Welsh hero Gareth Bale, who goes down in history as one of only a handful of players to win the cup in his hometown.


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