Gareth Bale came off the bench and scored a spectacular bicycle kick on the biggest stage as Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win their third successive Champions League title.
Jurgen Klopp’s side, who lost Mohammed Salah in the first half with a suspected dislocated shoulder and then saw a Loris Karius gaffe gift Karim Benzema the opener (51) had swiftly rallied in Kiev through Sadio Mane (55).
But after agony and ignominy, Bale delivered a moment befitting of the showpiece, his 64th-minute overhead kick sealing a 13th European Cup for the Spanish giants and their fourth in five seasons.
Karius suffered further embarrassment when he let Bale’s late strike (83) from range slip through his gloves but though they competed gamely in adversity, crucial momentum was lost with Salah’s untimely exit and Klopp’s wait for a European trophy goes on.
There had been cancelled flights, stranded fans and ticket refunds but the Liverpool fans who made it saw their side make an uninhibited start amid the din, Rafael Varane made to work when Roberto Firmino threaded a fine ball through for Mane.
Mane and Salah were thwarted in quick succession during a scrambled passage of play before a loose pass sent Cristiano Ronaldo driving goalwards down the right flank, only for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to lash over from a tight angle.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, striking cleanly with the laces, drilled straight at Keylor Navas as the chances continued to fall Liverpool’s way but then came the blow, Salah’s arm tangled in a tussle with Sergio Ramos and the Egyptian forced off in tears.
Dani Carvajal saw his own night ended prematurely after being caught by Andrew Robertson – Nacho on in his place – but Real seized on the mood shift as their opponents mourned their leading goalscorer’s departure.
Karius beat away Ronaldo’s header, before Benzema was denied on the rebound by an offside flag, and the French striker then delivered a glorious diagonal ball that Nacho met but could only volley into the side-netting.