Real Madrid and Liverpool got off to promising starts in Saturday night’s Champions League final in Kiev.
However, there were no goals in a first half disrupted by injury heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Dani Carvajal.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Trent Alexander-Arnold went closest to scoring for Real Madrid and Liverpool respectively but the deadline could not be broken.
All of that changed after the break though as a mixture of skill, calamitous keeping and good-timing brought the highly-anticipated game to life.
WATCH: Karim Benzema opens the scoring for Real Madrid in the video below
Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute when Loris Karius inexplicably threw the ball into him and it rolled into the net.
The goal was just Benzema’s 11th of the season but it gave Real a boost in their pursuit of a third Champions League title on the bounce.
However, Liverpool were not behind for long with Sadio Mane in the right place at the right time to poke in Dejan Lovren’s knockdown four minutes later.
WATCH: Sadio Mane equalises for Liverpool in the video below
WATCH: Gareth Bale puts Real Madrid 2-1 up in the video above
Zinedine Zidane decided to shake things up just after the hour mark by replacing Isco with Gareth Bale.
And Gareth Bale repaid his manager’s faith that he could make the difference by restoring Real’s lead in exquisite fashion.
The Welsh winger met Marcelo’s cross with an acrobatic overhead kick which Karius had no chance of stopping.
WATCH: Gareth Bale puts Real Madrid 3-1 up in the video above
Bale, who’s been in and out of Real’s starting XI this season, was not done there though.
The 28-year-old put Zidane’s men out of sight in the 83rd minute in somewhat fortunate circumstances.
Bale rattled in a shot from 30 yards and Karius was caught between a punch and a parry as the ball ended up nestled in the net.
Bale’s second was enough to kill Liverpool off and ensure Real secured their fourth Champions League title in five years.