Carlo Ancelotti claims why Liverpool were easier to beat than Man City, Chelsea and PSG

Real Madrid were crowned Champions League winners for a 14th time after a 1-0 victory over Liverpool.

Carlo Ancelotti has claimed it was easier to ‘decipher’ Liverpool than Manchester City, PSG and Chelsea as Real Madrid were yet again crowned kings of Europe.

Los Blancos won their 14th Champions League crown with a 1-0 defeat of Jurgen Klopp’s side in Paris.

Real did not have a straightforward route to the final. They had to battle from the jaws of defeat on three occasions in knockout games against Premier League champions City, Ligue 1 victors PSG and previous holders Chelsea.

Many had Liverpool as heavy favourites heading into the final given the quality and strength-in-depth of their squad.

But Ancelotti claimed he found it easier to outwit the Reds than Madrid’s previous opponents, with Vinicius Jnr’s second-half strike proving the difference.

What’s been said

The Italian said: “Looking back, people said oh PSG were unlucky, Chelsea were unlucky, Manchester City were unlucky, this was practically the only game where people thought we were more or less on the same level.

“I think it helped that Liverpool were easier to decipher than the others because they have a very clear identity and we could prepare the way that we did.

“We knew what strategy to take, don’t give them space behind the defence to run into.

“Perhaps our football wasn’t extraordinarily beautiful tonight on an aesthetic level, but playing out from the back to incentivise their pressing wasn’t a great idea.

“We had a few more long balls, then when their press in our half of the pitch lessened, we got to control the ball more especially in the second half.”

‘I am the record man’

Ancelotti won the European Cup for the fourth time in his managerial career - the most in history.

On the feat, he told BT Sport in jest: "I am the record man! I had the luck to come here last year and to have a fantastic season.

“I found, as usual, a fantastic club and a really good squad, with a lot of quality and a strong mental character. I think this season was top.

“I cannot believe it. I think that we had a fantastic season, and we did really well. It was a difficult game.

“We suffered a lot, more at the start, [we were] better second half. I think in the end, with all the games that we played, we deserved to win this competition.

“I think that we passed through a really difficult game every game, the supporters helped us a lot, in the last game [a 6-5 aggregate semi-final win over Manchester City] and tonight.

“We are really happy, honestly, what can I say? I cannot say more."