Post-match analysis: How Real Madrid overturned the most stubborn defence in Europe

Some may argue that Lady Luck was against the Old Lady in Cardiff but a more detailed look at the Champions League Final suggests that Real Madrid more than deserved their 12th European success.

Defensive frailties of Dani Alves exposed

34-year old Brazilian wing-back Dani Alves is undoubtedly one of the most talented wide players modern football has seen. A domineering performance against Monaco in the semi-finals with three assists and a goal played a huge role in Juventus reaching the main stage in Cardiff.

Faced by compatriot Marcelo, the energetic head-to-head was one that was always going to spark interest. On the face of it, Alves was appearing to be enjoying the game more than his opponent as Juventus took control in the opening stages.

Often playing parallel to main striker Gonzalo Higuain, Alves was keen to play as offensive as possible, thus pushing Marcelo back. Yet such a tactic, whether employed by Max Allegri or Alves himself, proved Juventus' downfall.

Real full-backs bide their time before striking

Alves was caught upfield when a spell of possession for the Italian champions broke down. Instead of tracking his runner, Alves trundled back as Real broke forward. The ball was shifted to the right and Dani Carvajal was able to lay on the opener for Cristiano Ronaldo.

In a rigid 3-4-3 that reverted to 4-4-1-1 when possession was lost, Alves was the one man who could not keep his tactical discipline. Marcelo took fall advantage of that as he ventured further forward, almost as a left winger in the second half. It was no surprise to see Marcelo heavily involved for Casemiro's crucial deflected strike to restore Real's advantage. Alves had gone missing again.

After a handful of strikes at goal, Marcelo was able to bag a second assist in the final minute. Cutting across the byline before laying the ball to Marcos Asensio, Alves was left stranded almost on the halfway line

Space opens for Modric as Juve lose their discipline

Not only was Alves' questionable positioning allowing Marcelo too much time and room, it also resulted in the likes of Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira being dragged out of position to cover.

As the right wing-back grew further out of the game, more space appeared for Luka Modric to pull the strings in the centre of the pitch. After long spells defending their lines, Real spent much of the final 45 minutes in charge of the game, with Modric at the centre of most attacks.

A further problem with Juventus losing their shape was their ability to spring a counter-attack. After fluid patterns of play in the first half, Allegri's side could not keep the ball with minimal outlets after the break. Paulo Dybala went missing as his lack of experience showed, whilst Higuain was left unsupported by a flustered Juventus unit.

Juve unable to cope with Ronaldo movement

Another concern was the room provided for Cristiano Ronaldo. A man that does not need an inch of space. Playing in a flexible front three alongside Isco and Karim Benzema, Real were feeding off scraps for much of the first half.

Yet Ronaldo was able to pull into space regularly as Juventus' ageing defence were unable to cope. Ronaldo found room for the opener by holding his run, before surprisingly making a poor contact with a diving header after timing a contrasting movement to perfection.

However, his second and Real's third, was another example of the Portugal captain's match intelligence. Finding room between the lines, Ronaldo spotted an opportunity created by Carvajal and Modric on the right and was able to strike before Juventus' defence could bat an eyelid.

That was to be Ronaldo's 600th career goal as he spearheaded Real to the first defence of the Champions League in history.

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