It’s been a long road to Kiev. Seventy-nine teams began qualification in June 2017 – 32 made it into the competition proper, and now, after 124 matches, 397 goals, and nine James Milner assists, Real Madrid or Liverpool stand on the brink of glory. Real are chasing their third title in a row in the Champions League, and their 13th European Cup or Champions League overall, Liverpool their second of the Champions League era and their sixth overall.
Zinedine Zidane’sMadridd qualified as Spain’s La Liga winners in 2016/17 but would have done so anyway as the holder of the champion’s league
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool’s had a slightly longer journey than usual.
The English side finished 4th in the English premier league last season and, as such, went into the playoff round to face TSG1899 Hoffenheim
Trent Alexander Arnold scored a free kick on his European debut to secure a 2-1 away win
before goals from Emre can, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino against his former side to secure a 4-2 home win and a progression to the Group Stage.
Liverpool were unbeaten in their group, qualifying top, winning three and drawing three and in the process managing the second best goal difference of the stage +17 after Paris Saint Germain +21.
Opening there account with draws at home to Sevilla and away to Spartak, Moscow, Liverpool then hammered Maribor 7-0, a record away win for English clubs in the European cup or champions league. Maribor were then beaten 3-0 at home before another draw with Sevilla. The group stage finished with a 7-0 thrashing of Spartak at Anfield.
Roberto Firmino helped himself to six group stage goals, Mohammed Salah five and Barcelona bound Coutinho netted five as well.
Real Madrid had a trickier time in Group H facing Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund as well as APOEL in the group stage.
Real could only finish second after drawing at home and losing away to spurs.
However, they did beat Dortmund at home and away, and hammered APOEL 6-0 in Nicosia.
Ronaldo scored at every game in the Group Stages netting nine in total becoming the first player in history to achieve this. Ronaldo scored 19 champions league goals in 2017 most by any player in a calendar year.
Round of 16
Liverpool faced the Portuguese side FC Porto in the round of 16.
Liverpool smashed Porto 5-0 away with Sadio Mane grabbing a hattrick after securing a 0-0 at Anfield.
Pc: the telegraph
For all there attacking flair, Liverpool were the only side not to concede a goal in the round of 16
Real Madrid took on the big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.
Real won the game 5-2 on aggregate with a 3-1 win at home and 2-1 win at away with Ronaldo scoring on both legs.
Liverpool pressed city until Pep Guardiola’s men folded. A 3-0 win at Anfield was followed by a 2-1 win at the Etihad with Gabriel Jesus scoring city’s solitary goal the tie was effectively won in a 19 minute salvo in the first leg, from Salah’s 12th-minute opener to Mane’s goal to make it 3-0 in the 31st minute – after that even a great start from city in their home leg could not prevent Klopp’s team coming out on top as first Salah and then Firmino put the tie out of reach of the Premier League Champions.
pc: daily star
Real Madrid played Juventus in a replay of last season finale. Real Madrid had a far tougher time, beating Juventus 3-0 away with two goals from Ronaldo and one from Marcelo despite hanging on for large portions of the game.
pc: sky sports
Real’s home leg saw the Italian champions sweep to a 3-0 lead, with two Mari Mandzukic goals and one from Blaise Matuidi.
in perhaps the most dramatic moment of the competition, though, Real were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time-Ronaldo scored, of course, against Wojciech Szczęsny after Gigi Buffon had been sent off for his protest against the decision.
pc: The Guardian
The semi-final saw once more REAL looking like once more one of the best before coming through against Bayern Munich.
The German side outpassed and outshot their Spanish opposition but fell to goals from Marcelo and Asensio and a brace from Karim Benzema in the second, helped by a bizarre piece of goalkeeping Sven Ulreich
pc: The Indian Express
Liverpool and Roma played out a barn-storming two legs!
Roma has surprised everyone by overcoming a deficit against Barcelona in the Quarters to progressed and almost managed to take Liverpool to extra time in the second leg in Rome.
Liverpool looked to be cruising after a 5-2 win at Anfield with all goals coming from the Mane-Firmino-Salah trio but, as Barca learned to their cost a three-goal aggregate lead is the most dangerous score against Roma. Eusebio Di Francesco’s team fell behind in Rome to an early Mane goal but never gave up and two late goals from Radja Nainggolan led to a heart-stopping Finale. Klopp’s side hung on though and so, to Kiev.
It’s been quite the journey. No side has ever scored more goals in the competition than Liverpool’s 40 with Firmino and Salah each bagging 10.
No individual has scored more goals than Ronaldo’s 15. Indeed, Ronaldo has become the first player ever to score 15 or more goals in three Champions League seasons, adding 2017/18 to 2013/14 and 2015/16. Ronaldo will also finish this season as top scorer in the five previous, consecutive seasons
Ronaldo against Liverpool’s defence.
Real’s backline against Salah, Mane and Firmino.
James Milner against Toni Kroos.
This game will have everything, a fitting end to two long, exciting, and very different routes to the chance to be Europe’s BEST.