Thursday, 2 June 2016

Cup Finals Round-Up

A long and exciting domestic and European season ended just under a week ago with the third of the three major cup finals on Saturday evening. This post features the Europa League, Champions League and FA Cup finals.

Starting the review is the Europa League Final from May 18th which saw Liverpool take on defending champions Sevilla. The La Liga side looked to not only retain their title but to win the competition for a third year in a row. The task for the Reds was win or bust in terms of playing in Europe next season. 

They struck an opener on 35 minutes as Daniel Sturridge rifled in a superb strike for a 1-0 lead into the break. Sevilla took mere seconds to draw level after the restart through Kevin Gameiro and took full control with a six minute brace from Coke on 64 and 70 minutes. The 3-1 lead proved too much for the Reds who sadly miss out on Europe next season.

Next up was the FA Cup final as Crystal Palace faced off against Manchester United in a rematch of the 1990 final. A close game saw the sides remain level at 0-0 long into the second half before a breakthrough for the Eagles in the 78th minute. Jason Puncheon fired them ahead but just five minutes later they were pegged back by Juan Mata's leveller for 1-1.

 The winner would have to be decided in extra time but United suffered a blow with the dismissal of Chris Smalling on 105 minutes but they powered on and sealed the win on 110 minutes as Jesse Lingard struck for 2-1.

Completing the round up, The Champions League final between fierce rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid which took place last Saturday evening and alike their meeting two years ago, the game was a close one across 90 minutes.

Sergio Ramos fired Real ahead as early as the 15th minute before a second half leveller from Yannick Carrasco on 79 minutes forced extra time. The sides could not be parted in the 30 minutes so the title would be decided on penalties. Real went first and all but one spot kick was successful as Atletico's Juanfran missed leaving Cristiano Ronaldo to seal a 5-3 success.