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Real Madrid are UEFA Youth League champions!

Juvenil won a breathless final against Benfica to seal their first title

Benfica v Real Madrid - UEFA Youth League Final Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

11 months after setting out for their first UEFA Youth League, Juvenil A secured the trophy in a breathless final against Benfica on Tuesday.

Having navigated an early storm from Benfica, Real Madrid began to bear their teeth via Sergio Arribas. The young Spanish midfielder has been arguably player of the tournament and set up Pablo Rodriguez for the opening goal in the 26th minute. The Spanish striker surpisingly started the final and injured himself in scoring the goal, forcing an early appearance from Jordi.

Arribas moved to a false-nine and continued dominating proceedings. Just before halftime, Juvenil A broke on a Benfica highline through Arribas once again. The 19-year-old tried to set up Carlos Dotor for a tap-in and ended up forcing an own goal from Jocu.

Benfica started the second half the better and managed to pull a goal back through Goncalo Ramos. Juvenil A immediately responded up the other end via Marvin Park, who beat his marker all ends up and sent a low cross into Miguel Gutierrez to tap home.

With a 3-1 lead, you’d have expected Real to ride out the remainder of the second half. However, this is the UEFA Youth League so naturally Real backed off and Benfica began to apply some serious pressure, especially at set pieces which Juvenil A have been particularly poor defending since returning. Goncalo Ramos scored his second goal from a corner to make 3-2.

Benfica then won a penalty to make it 3-3 with 20 minutes left to play, however, it was saved by Luis Lopez. Lopez was called upon to make several more stunning saves before Juvenil A finally lifted the trophy after seven minutes of additional time.

I unfortunately didn’t get to see alot of the game due to bad internet, so expect higher quality analysis on the Castilla Corner pod and on the site over the coming days. For now, soak up a first European youth title and consider watching more of this team with Castilla next season.

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