Real Madrid steal the Champions League from Borussia Dortmund’s grasp | Champions League final reaction

Real Madrid overcame Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium to be crowned European champions for the 15th time in their history. 

However, Carlo Ancelotti’s side would not have it all their own way. Despite a quiet first ten minutes, Dortmund quickly sprung into life, leaving the Spanish champions feeling fortunate that they did not find themselves 1-0 down early into the contest. 

Firstly, just after the quarter-hour mark, Karim Adeyemi sprung the offside trap and found himself one-on-one with Thibaut Courtois. However, rather than pushing the ball to the left-hand side of the Belgian shot-stopper—in the same direction his momentum was taking him—Adeyemi looked to take the ball past Courtois’ left-hand side.

This allowed the 32-year-old to claw the ball away from danger, but it would not be the end of Madrid’s scares. Just a matter of minutes later, Niclas Füllkrug struck the post as BvB began to gain momentum over their Spanish opponents. 

Nevertheless, the halftime whistle would come to Real’s aid, offering Ancelotti’s side a reprieve from an unexpected onslaught from Die Schwarzgelben. However, after the interval, the rhythm of the game would remain the same, with BvB asking all the questions.

Then, in typical Real Madrid fashion, with the tide of the game completely against them, they opened the scoring. The man of the moment: right back, Dani Carvajal.

Flicking the ball into the far post from a Toni Kroos corner, Madrid took the advantage, as those associated with BvB sank to the floor. Unfortunately, for Dortmund, the punishment for not taking their chances would only get worse, as Vinicius Junior doubled Real’s advantage with then minutes left on the clock.

A phenomenal 20-minute display from Los Blancos proved why they are the most successful side in European Cup history, but for Dortmund, heartbreaking does not do it justice.

Dominant for 70 minutes, it could have been so different. Regardless, it is the Spanish champions who are now, once again, the European Champions.

A step too far for Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund do not get to Champions League finals. Despite being Germnay’s second or third largest club, depending on who you ask, BvB are not one of European football’s giants.

To many, the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich are the clubs that should be regulars in the Champions League final. Therefore, to see Die Schwarzgelben on the big stage certainly attracted the interest of neutrals.

However, despite their lack of experience at this stage of the competition, it appeared as though Los Blancos were the ones out of their depth. Dominant for three-quarters of the final, it would still be Dortmund who succumbed to the power of Real, but their performance should not be a damning indictment; instead, it should be used to understand what the club needs to do to reach the next level.

With Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, Los Blancos boast two of the most potent forwards on the planet, and on the big stage, they proved their worth. With a combined nine successful dribbles, when the Brazilian duo were able to find themselves in Dortmund’s half, they were electric.

In typical Toni Kross fashion, when Real were in control of the game, it was because the German midfielder was the one dominating proceedings. A menace from set pieces, claiming an assist in the process, it is hard to believe it will be his final appearance at club level.

Regardless, it is unlikely that BvB will be able to reach this level, as, in truth, the Madridistas are in their own universe, but there are clear improvements that need to be made. Due to the calibre of their opponents, but also in part due to their own quality, BvB had to offer Madrid a significant amount of respect.

This is something Dortmund have become accustomed to throughout this campaign, but it has not always been this way. Once boasting the likes of Robert Lewandowski, a young Mario Götze, and Marco Reus a decade ago, BvB were one of the most feared sides in Europe.

The latter of that trio can be perfectly summed up as to why this is now the perfect time for Dortmund to really put themselves on a different mantle. When Reus arrived at the Westfalenstadion, BvB had just won back-to-back Bundesliga titles, and that same season they were losing finalists in the Champions League final.

Since then, however, it has been consistent heartbreak for BvB and Reus. Despite the odd DFB-Pokal triumph, Dortmund have seen multiple titles slip through their hands, including two Champions League titles.

With promising young players such as Nico Schlotterbeck, Karim Adeyemi, and Ian Maatsen—albeit with the latter on loan—there is a core of players ready to take this club forward. Now, with the permanent signing of the Dutch fullback, Dortmund need to add to their already impressive roster rather than look to sell their best players.

The Black and Yellow’s are in a marvellous position to establish themselves as a new European giant, but it is up to them to take the next step forward. As previously mentioned, Dortmund do not get to Champions League finals, but perhaps this is about to change.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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