RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg allowed to compete in Champions League

Uefa has confirmed that RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg can both play in the Champions League next season.

Both clubs are associated with the energy-drink maker Red Bull and Uefa prohibits clubs with strong links from playing in Europe in the same season.

But Uefa ruled “no individual or legal entity had a decisive influence over more than one club”.

Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig and Austrian champions Salzburg both qualified for the 2017-18 competition.

Leipzig were founded in 2009 with backing from the company and won four promotions in seven seasons, before finishing second in their first ever top-flight season.

Red Bull bought Austria Salzburg in 2005, renaming it, but following a restructuring it no longer has a controlling stake and merely sponsors the club.

 

Uefa does not allow any two clubs competing in European competition to share the same owner.

In cases where that happens, priority is given to a team who are champions of their country, meaning that Leipzig would have missed out.

But Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found there was no breach of Article 5 concerning the integrity of the competition.

The decision may be appealed against to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 10 days.

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Real Madrid wins the Champions League Final against Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as defending champs Real Madrid retained the Champions League title in Juventus thrashing.

This is Real’s record 12th triumph in the Champions League competition, And their third in four seasons.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been the playmaker in these championships, who has now scored in three different Champions League finals.

Ronaldo made sure that Juventus would not have a good start of the match, as he converted Dani Carvajal’s pass into a goal after 20 minutes.

But Mario Mandzukic equalized, firing an overhead kick past Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Real then proceeded with an onslaught, restoring their lead through Casemiro’s deflected shot before Ronaldo scored at the near post from a cross by the outstanding Luka Modric.

Juventus’ luck got even worse when substitute Juan Cuadrado was sent off for a second caution after a clash with Sergio Ramos.

Substitute Marco Asensio emphasised Real’s superiority with a precise finish in the last minute.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane has now won back-to-back Champions Leagues – as well as this season’s La Liga title.
SCORELINE

Real Madrid
Ronaldo (20′ minutes, 64′ minutes)
Casemiro (61′ minutes)
Asensio (90′ minutes)

Juventus
Mandzukic (27′ minutes)
Cuadrado (Dismissed at 83′ minutes)

Real Madrid are heading off to the Champions League Final

Defending champs Real Madrid beat Atletico in the 2nd leg of their semi-final to face Juventus in next month’s Champions League final in Cardiff.

Real Madrid had a 3-0 advantage from the first leg. But hosts Atletico stormed into an early 2-0 lead through Saul Niguez’s header and Antoine Griezmann’s penalty.

But Real ended their momentum with an away goal, when Isco poked in a rebound after Toni Kroos’ shot

This left Atletico needing three more goals to reach a third Champions League final in four seasons.

Ultimately, Atletico’s efforts were not enough as Real beat their rivals in the competition for the fourth successive season.

Real Madrid attempting to become the first team to win the Champions League twice in a row, will meet Juventus at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, 3 June.

Italian champions Juventus, who progressed with a 4-1 aggregate win over Monaco, are attempting to win their first Champions League title in 21 years.

It means a reunion for Madrid manager Zidane, who played in that final for the Italian side, with his former club.

“It has been a very important club for me in my career and I keep it as a club that has given me everything. It is going to be something special,” said the Frenchman, who played for Juve between 1996 and 2001.

What they said:

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane:

“We are very happy, happy to reach the final again. It is all merited, especially for the players who have worked so far. It’s deserved.

“We had difficulties at the beginning, we got two goals, but we did not have to worry. We knew we were going to have chances.

“We knew they would come out strong, with pressure. But after 25 minutes it changed completely. In the second part, we found our game.”

Atletico Madrid captain Gabi:  “The performance was the least we could do. I thought we were excellent in the first half. A moment of genius from Benzema took away from the dream but we never stopped fighting and I’m proud of everyone.”

 

Scoreline

Atletico Madrid
Ñíguez (12′ minutes)
Griezmann (16′ minutes pen)

Real Madrid
Isco (42′ minutes)

Juventus advance to the Champions League Finals

Juventus had a comfortable Semi-final win over Monaco to reach the Champions League final, their 2nd final in three seasons.

Juventus had a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, and extended their lead when Mario Mandzukic opened the scoreline.

Dani Alves doubled their lead and secured a comfortable victory.

Kylian Mbappe gave Monaco a goal in the second half, but the french side was unable to pull an unlikely comeback.

Juventus, who have not won this competition since 1996 and lost 3-1 to Barcelona in the 2015 final, will face either Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid in Cardiff on 3 June.

No club has scored more than a single goal against them in a Champions League game this season,

This is due to the excellent form of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defensive trio Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli.
Juventus have three games remaining in Serie A, Starting with second placer Roma on Sunday, 14th May. A draw will seal a sixth consecutive league title.

All is not lost for Monaco as they switch their focus to the domestic League looking to win Ligue 1. They are three points clear of Paris St-Germain with three games left and host Lille on Sunday.
SCORELINE

Juventus
Mandzukic (33′ minutes)
Dani Alves (44′ minutes)

Monaco
Mbappe (69′ minutes)

Monaco 0-2 Juventus. Champions League Semi-Finals 1st Leg

Juventus are edging closer to a second Champions League final in three seasons thanks to Gonzalo Higuain scoring twice to beat Monaco in the semi-final first leg.

The visitors took the lead when Higuain ruthlessly finished two fine Dani Alves assists, sweeping the Brazilian’s back heel in on 29 minutes.

Radamel Falcao went close for Monaco after the break before Alves’ measured cross saw Higuain put Juve in control.

After Real Madrid’s decisive 1st-leg win over Atletico on Tuesday, it looks almost certain the two teams will face each other in Cardiff on June 3rd, Proving to be a worthy match-up for the clubs’ unbeaten records in this season’s competition.

Juventus could win Serie A this weekend hoping for a treble, having already secured their place in the Italian Cup final.

What they said:

Monaco midfielder Fabinho: “They were better and deserved to win but we’re going to try everything in the return match.”

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini: “We have to congratulate Dani Alves and Gonzalo Higuain – sometimes we look to Gianluigi Buffon. We concede chances but when they come we have Gigi.”

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain: “I fight so hard for these moments. Goals were not coming for me in this competition but I knew I just had to stay calm and keep working hard.”

Scoreline

Monaco

Juventus

Higuaín (29′ minutes, 59′ minutes)

Ronaldo hat-trick wins Real Madrid Champions League 1st leg vs. Atletico Madrid

Scoreline

Real Madrid
Ronaldo (10′ minutes, 73′ minutes, 86′ minutes)
Atletico Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo scores another Champions League hat-trick dominating in the semi-final first leg versus Atletico Madrid, closing in a third final in four years.

Real showed their dominance throughout the match, leading after 10 minutes when Ronaldo shot home with Casemiro’s cross.

Real Madrid fully capitalized their superiority when Ronaldo let the ball bounce and smashed an unstoppable shot from 16 yards past Atletico keeper Jan Oblak.

Ronaldo sealed their victory with the winner, making a second consecutive Champions League hat-trick, scoring five goals in the quarter-final against Bayern Munich. It was his easiest goal of the night, as he controlled Lucas Vazquez’s cross in plenty of space before firing home.

Atletico only had one shot on target and will need to pull out the performane of a lifetime to stop double-chasing Real from ending their European dreams for the fourth straight season.

Ronaldo, the top scorer in the history of the Champions League with 103 goals, solidified his place in the history books with his performance in this match.

He has now scored one more goal – 52 – in the knockout stages than he has in the group stages. He has now scored eight goals in his past three games in the competition, and is up to 13 Champions League semi-final goals.

What the managers said:

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone:

“We need to forget about this game.

“It seems impossible, but it is football and football has these unexpected things that make it marvellous.

“Until the last drip of hope is gone, we will give it everything we have.”

Real boss Zinedine Zidane:

“Cristiano is a goalscorer. He is unique. All the players were brilliant.

“I am happy with what I am doing here and with the players, we played a great game. We can hurt any side with our weapons.”

Barcelona 0-0 Juventus. Champions League, Barca Out

Juventus held their ground and produced an impressive defensive performance, to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. Not giving Barcelona any room to score at the Nou Camp.

With an Aggregate of 3-0 from the first leg, Barca braced themselves for another hard fought match, but they failed to repeat their last-16 heroics when they overturned a first-leg 4-0 deficit to beat Paris St-Germain.

Lionel Messi, who had earlier been denied by Gianluigi Buffon, haphazardly took a shot over the bar while Luis Suarez and Neymar also wasted chances.
Juve’s Gonzalo Higuain fired tamely at Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Juan Cuadrado missed another chance but the final whistle was celebrated wildly by the champions of Italy, who have not conceded a single goal from open play in this season’s Champions League.

Juventus will join Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Monaco in Friday’s last-four draw (from 11:00 BST).

Manager Luis Enrique will leave his position at Barcelona this summer, failing to reach the semi-finals for a second successive season.

They will face Real Madrid in El Clasico on Sunday (19:45 BST) their defeat will leave them six points behind Madrid.

Barca are also in the final of the Copa del Rey but even if his side beat Alaves on 27th May, they know that it will be a scant consolation if they fail to win La Liga following another disappointing European campaign.