The Yellow Wall breaks ,The White Flag of victory waves - Madrid clinches UCL 2K24

The more things change the more they stay the same as Real Madrid are crowned UCL Champions for the 15th time despite being 2nd best for most of the game.

For the longest time it looked like Dortmund would run away with the game. The 14 time champions until today looked completely out of sorts and seemed like lost amongst a flurry of Dortmund attacks for 3/4ths of the game, especially during 20-30 minute period. They managed to survive three clear cut chances from Dortmund which they ended up regretting missing as two late 2nd half strikes from Carvajal and Vini Jr. helped seal the deal for this historic club on an iconic ground. It is quite funny how Wembley always yearned to see a white kit crowned as champions on their ground in their recent history. It sort of has been fulfilled the only small detail here is that it is the white of Madrid instead of England who have lifted a historic 15th UCL title. When everybody seemed to write them off as having a bad day for the most part and showed what a team with a continental history that rich is made of.

Dortmund welcomes old boy Jude and Co. with a bang

The Yellow Wall breaks ,The White Flag of victory waves - Madrid clinches UCL 2K24
Credit -

For at least about 1/3rd of the match it looked like that Madrid were the underdogs and the stats were backing up this anomaly too. By the 30th minute Dortmund had crated 7 quality chances while the Los Blancos only managed to muster up a couple of lukewarm attempts as Hummels kept Vinicius Jr. in his pocket. He could do nothing but smile in dismay every time he tried to dribble past him but in the end it  the whites who were flashing their smiles as they soaked up their triumph. These three chances really costed them dearly with Adeyemi who managed to do the hard part of executing a blistering run. While ensuring he was onside only to bluff his lines with decision making that could have been better with hindsight. 

The towering Füllkrug then created two chances with one being an off balance header which can be chalked off as a half chance. However, the subsequent shot that hit the pole and did not go in as it would have been the case 99% of times was maybe foreshadowing from the footballing gods that it just was not their day. Still till now they firmly were of the belief that the game was in their hands and they had a real chance against Real.

The lull before the speed run 

The Yellow Wall breaks ,The White Flag of victory waves - Madrid clinches UCL 2K24
Credit - UCL

The game after the 40th to 70th minute was not too significant with Dortmund losing some of that cutting edge. After half time which saw them cut the Real Madrid midfield and defense through the center time and time again as if Madrid was butter and they were the knife in red hot form. But they managed to fill the gaps in the second half as rear guard and the mid block got their act together and a Füllkrug header was the only moment of any note that Courtois had to deal as for the rest of this period. The gaps between the midfield and defense that Dortmund was able exploit earlier was fixed and they even showed early signs of comeback with a Carvajal shot being denied entry into the back of the thanks to a Maatsen block just a couple of minutes earlier.

The whitewash 

The Yellow Wall breaks ,The White Flag of victory waves - Madrid clinches UCL 2K24
Credit - Sky Sports

Now there was one moment in the 64th minute where a header by Carvajal was denied by Kobel but little did he knew that just about 10 minutes later this exact moment would lead to the match slipping away from their hands. Despite his hand parrying the ball but just like their performance as of the whole 90. It just was not enough on that day as the old guard of Madrid Kroos and Carvajal turned back the clock to dish out a lethal spell of a double act with a tantalizing cross from Kroos being met by just the perfectly placed header by Carvajal who was at the right place at the right time. This apparently seemed to have broken their spirits as Bellingham, Kroos and co turned on the heat and made the Yellow warriors of Dortmund melt even when it was only 12°C. 

Maatsen having a brain fade  at the 83rd minute and finally putting the nail in their metaphorical coffin as he ended up passing the ball straight to Bellingol who this time turned the serving ball for Vinicius Jr. to strike home. He wheeled away in celebration pulling of those samba moves with a smile as big and bright as the stadium lights themselves. 

Though Füllkrug did almost manage to draw one back thanks to their own cross and head goal moment by substitute Malen and the towering German forward. Though it was chalked off as an offside which became very clear once the replays showed up and just like that 90 minutes came and went and in the end Real Madrid ended up with a League and Continental double while Dortmund ended up winning hearts.

Final thoughts

The Yellow Wall breaks ,The White Flag of victory waves - Madrid clinches UCL 2K24
Credit -

All in all it was worth ruining  the sleep schedule for this one and despite the seemingly lopsided score line it was far from a snooze fest. For the most part they were neck to neck and any of these two teams looked like they had a chance while they played attacking expansive free flowing football which was risky for both teams on a tactical level. They did leave both of them exposed to counters but as a neutral this was the ideal scenario as what just happened is a lot better than teams being bogged down by the occasion. 

Being to timid playing safe which historically has resulted in a drab match going down to spot kicks but that was not the case this time around. Don Carlo has once again showed why he is the coldest manager in Europe while for Edin Terzić, this was surely a disappointing night. He would  surely be proud of his teams campaign as a whole where pundits and fans alike wrote them of as underdogs not too long ago and they have clearly shown that they have the dawg in them and would surely be looking to add bite to their bark next time around.

Cover Credits - Reuters via Google

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