Soccer-Disallowed goal got Real into winning groove, says Benzema

29/5/2022 2:31:00 AM

Soccer-Disallowed goal got Real into winning groove, says Benzema

Soccer-Disallowed goal got Real into winning groove, says Benzema

PARIS (Reuters) - Karim Benzema said his disallowed first-half goal spurred Real Madrid into beating Liverpool 1-0 in Saturday's Champions League final for a record-extending 14th European Cup title.

The France forward, one of the favourites to win the Ballon d'Or - soccer's most prestigious individual award - found the back of the net on the stroke of halftime, only for his goal to be ruled out for offside after a lengthy VAR review.There was a 36-minute delay to the kick off as police tried to hold off people trying to force their way into the Stade de France and trouble was still going on after the game started.Thiago was substituted with a muscle problem in the first half of Sunday's final Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fabinho has not played since hobbling off with a hamstring issue in the win at Aston Villa on May 10.Having spent the latter part of the season being touted for a unique quadruple, they face the prospect of potential double disappointment after missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by a solitary point on the last day.

It was Real's first clear chance after they had been put on the back foot by Liverpool and it got them into their groove.They then scored with their first legal attempt on goal when Vinicius Jr tapped in Federico Valverde's cross in the 59th minute.Sadio Mane came even closer in the 21st minute with a low shot that Courtois managed to tip onto the post."A final is always complicated.The 62-year-old Italian, who will make history on Saturday by being the first to manage in five Champions League finals and could be the first to win it four times, kept faith with Uruguay midfielder Federico Valverde instead of Rodrygo.It's mental work.(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris) Article type: metered.We are (Spanish) league champions and we didn't have rhythm, but we scored the offside goal and it got us into the game.His 15 goals in 11 Champions League games, 10 in the knockout stage, have put Real on the verge of winning Europe's elite club title for the fifth time in nine years and the France striker as favourite to claim the Ballon D'Or after scoring 44 goals, with 15 assists, in 45 games in all competitions.

In the second half we did as always, won a final," Benzema, the campaign's top scorer with 15 goals, said.Far more Liverpool fans have travelled than those from Real Madrid and could be seen more than three hours before kickoff on a sun kissed Cours de Vincennes, one of Paris’ biggest avenues that was packed with about 50,000 Reds' supporters.He is only the second French player to lift the Champions League trophy as captain after Didier Deschamps with Olympique de Marseille in 1993 and that puts him in pole position to win the Ballon d'Or to be awarded in October.He knows, however, that the matter is not in his hands any more as the season draws to a close."Let's see what happens.Liverpool have reached their third final in five years and are aiming to win their seventh European Cup, which would bring them level with AC Milan in second place behind Real.I have trophies and I have nothing else (to prove) on the pitch.Real won a record-extending 35th LaLiga title with a month of the season left and are in their 17th European Cup final - an accomplishment that allowed Ancelotti to give his players some rest as they go into the final with no major injury concerns.

The important thing is to enjoy," he said.Benzema's hat-trick in the quarter-final, first leg at Chelsea and his extra-time goal in the return plus his three goals against Manchester City in the semis, including the decisive extra-time penalty, could see him become the first Frenchman to win the Ballon d'Or since Zinedine Zidane in 1998.(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris) Article type: metered.

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