Real Madrid defeated Juventus 4-1 to become the first team to retain Champions League. The Los Blancos were a bit slow to start off, but come the second half they were impeccable.
Zidane Tactically Brilliant:-
There was a moment this season when Madrid fans were worried by the fact that Bale got injured. The Welshman hobbled in the El Clasico back in April leaving Zidane with plenty to think. The manager chose Isco instead of James to start in remaining of the knockout games in the Champions League.
Ronaldo has been a bit off the pace this season, so putting him down the left flank would never be an option. Zidane then opted to have Ronaldo more central alongside Benzema to make him more influencial in the box. The manager then gave Isco the license to roam in and around the front line.
This turned out to be a master-stroke by Zizou as the Spaniard playmaker revelled in that role against Bayern and Atletico. Adding midfield support to Kroos and Modric which allowed Madrid to be dominant in the centre of the park. This was the case against Juventus too.
Los Blancos Delivered at Cardiff when it mattered:-
Real Madrid always knew if they manage to outnumber Juventus in midfield, they can exploit spaces at the back three of the opposition. In the first half of an even final, Juve had good wits about themselves challenging for loose balls. This kept Madrid’s midfield honest but were never out of shape.
The second half started with Los Blancos delivering the goods in every department. Juventus were slow to react to every second ball with Khedira and Pjanic getting outnumbered by Isco, Modric and Co. Allegri then brought Alves tucked in midfield to help out centrally which left Juve well exposed in defence.
Madrid then started to boss the midfield and create chances which pegged the Old Lady back further. The Casemiro strike proved pivotal which not only gave Los Blancos the lead, it also forced Allegri to make more changes and from there on it was all about Modric, Ronaldo and Co bossing it up.
Isco was integral to every positive move proving pivotal in this run to the silverware. Ronaldo was not a livewire throughout but when it mattered, he came up with timed runs and impeccable finishes. His 104th and 105th goal of a glorious Champions League career.
All in all, Madrid were just too good for their opponents on the night. There is something about them being good on the big stages. The team seems to gel more when the stage gets bigger every time. Zidane might not be the best coach around, but he certainly is the best manager who gets the best out of his highly talented squad of players.
His team have created history and might create more in future if this rich vein continues. They can only improve from here, a bit in goalkeeping area and a bit of squad depth if Morata and James leaves.