Real Madrid strike late to win 15th European Cup

Real Madrid were crowned kings of Europe for a record-extending 15th time with a trademark 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at a raucous Wembley on Saturday as they were outplayed for an hour but then showed their clinical edge.

After Dortmund had made, but spurned, several good chances, particularly in a one-sided first half, Madrid took control as Dani Carvajal headed in from a corner after 74 minutes and Vinícius Júnior fired home the second nine minutes later.

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Victory secured the trophy for the sixth time in 11 seasons, matching the run of the team that started Real's love affair with the European Cup, having won the first five editions of the continent's elite competition from 1956 and another in 1966.

Amazingly it was Real's 10th straight triumph in a European final - their last defeat coming against Aberdeen in the Cup Winners' Cup showpiece 41 years ago - and they have now won the biggest one more than twice as often as the next best team.

It was also a record-extending fifth success as a coach for Carlo Ancelotti, who also won the trophy twice as a player with AC Milan.

Real Madrid celebrate Dani Carvajal's opening goal in the Champions League final.
Michael Regan - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

"I never get used to it, because it was difficult, very difficult, more than expected," the Italian said. "In the second half we were better -- this is a dream that continues."

Carvajal summed up the match perfectly after the latest in a seemingly endless run of late turnarounds for his side, who completed a LaLiga-Champions League double.

"After the first half we didn't even deserve to go to the changing room with a level score," he said. "But we came out of the first half alive, knowing that we would have our moment ... and here it is".

The Germans had a dream first half in every aspect other than scoring.

Their first good chance came after 21 minutes when Karim Adeyemi went too wide when rounding goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Then came a flurry of further opportunities as Niclas Füllkrug hit the post and low shots by Julian Brandt and Marcel Sabitzer were saved by Courtois, making only his fifth appearance of an injury-hit season.

Dortmund had been attacking towards their own fans who, revelling in their team's first Champions League final since 2013 and only their third ever, did their best to reproduce the yellow wall atmosphere of their Westfalenstadion with noise and unified bouncing that shook the stadium to its foundations.

Madrid looked livelier from the start in the second half, with Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel saving a Toni Kroos free kick and Carvajal glancing a header just over.

Courtois then saved a diving header from Fuellkrug and, to the surprise of nobody in the stadium, Dortmund were soon ruing the misses as 5ft 8 ins (172cm) full back Carvajal rose to meet a Kroos corner and steer in a glancing header.

The assist was a fitting way for Germany international midfielder Kroos to mark his final game for the club while he Carvajal, Nacho and Luka Modric all equalled Real's Francisco Gento's record of six titles from their first era of dominance.

Madrid took charge from then on and got the second goal when Dortmund's Ian Maatsen gave the ball away on the edge of their own box, midfielder Jude Bellingham fed Vinicius Jr in acres of space and the Brazilian fired home.

Dortmund's incredible fans continued to sing in defeat, though they and their players will know this was a missed opportunity that will hurt for a long time.

"Today we saw a Dortmund team that we want to see," said coach Edin Terzic, whose side finished fifth in the Bundesliga.

"We played a fantastic game and maybe deserved a bit more than to lose 2-0.

"In the first half we felt we had them. From the first second we showed the world we believed in it. Not just to play the final but also win it.

"We did a lot of things right but they had this killer instinct. They were ice cold and they are deserved champions."