MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 03:21:08

La Liga

Dec 16, 2017 at 5pm UK
Real Madrid
1-0
Gremio
Ronaldo (53')
Casemiro (27')
FT(HT: 0-0)

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Live Commentary: Real Madrid 1-0 Gremio

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the final of the 2017 Club World Cup between Real Madrid and Gremio, which ended 1-0 to Los Blancos.

Real Madrid landed their third Club World Cup courtesy of a 1-0 win over Brazilian side Gremio at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Los Blancos, who scored through Cristiano Ronaldo, have now become the joint-most successful team in the history of the competition alongside El Clasico rivals Barcelona.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the final of the 2017 Club World Cup between Real Madrid and Gremio. Real Madrid booked their spot in the final courtesy of a 2-1 win over Al-Jazira Club on Wednesday night, while Brazilian side Gremio beat Pachuca 1-0 on Tuesday to advance. Stay tuned for live minute-by-minute updates of the action.
Real Madrid are the holders of this competition having beaten Japan's Kashima Antlers 4-2 in the 2016 final. It was the Spanish club's second title, and victory tonight would see them move level with Barcelona on three titles – making them the joint-most successful club in the Club World Cup.
Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Has Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane shuffled his pack for the final? What about Gremio, any alterations? Let's have a look at the two XIs here...
TEAMS!

REAL: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo

GREMIO: Grohe; Edilson, Geromel, Kannemann, Cortez; Michel, Jailson, Ramiro, Luan, Fernandinho; Barrios

Arguably Real Madrid's strongest XI takes to the field tonight. Club captain Sergio Ramos is back from injury to start for the Champions League holders, while Isco joins Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the final third as Gareth Bale, who scored in the semi-final, is named on the bench once again. Dani Carvajal and Toni Kroos both start after sitting out Wednesday's semi-final success.
Gremio, meanwhile, are changed from the semi-final win over Pachuca. Arthur, who has been linked with both Real Madrid and Barcelona in recent weeks, does not feature after picking up an injury in the second leg of the Libertadores final last month. Luan is the key player for the Brazilian side going forward, and he will be joined in the final third by former Borussia Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios.
So there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff in Abu Dhabi. Can Real Madrid land a third Club World Cup, or will Gremio shock the Champions League holders to triumph? Stay tuned for live minute-by-minute updates of the 2017 final right here.
As mentioned, Real Madrid booked their spot in the final of the competition after beating Al-Jazira Club 2-1 on Wednesday night. The Spanish giants actually fell behind in the last-four clash, but second-half goals from Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo secured their spot in the final.
Pachuca have beaten Al Jazira Club to finish third in this year's tournament...

Gremio, meanwhile, overcame Pachuca on Tuesday night courtesy of a extra-time goal from Everton. It is the Brazilian outfit's first appearance in the Club World Cup, and they will be looking to cause a major shock to land the trophy. Kickoff is now just about 30 minutes away here!
Gremio booked their spot in the competition after winning the 2017 Copa Libertadores – overcoming Lanus in the final last month. That ensured that they would enter the semi-final stage of the tournament alongside Real Madrid, and a 1-0 win over Pachuca in the last four has left them competing for the main prize. It would be some story if the Brazilian outfit triumphed tonight.
Five-time winners of the Copa do Brasil, Gremio have not won the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A since 1996. They finished ninth in the Brazilian league last season, and will have to pull off an incredible shock tonight in order to overcome the mighty Real Madrid. Stranger things have happened though!
Real Madrid, meanwhile, ensured that they would once again compete in the Club World Cup after winning their second successive Champions League title last season. They beat Sevilla 5-0 in La Liga before travelling to Abu Dhabi for this competition, but are currently eight points off league leaders Barcelona after an indifferent start to the 2017-18 campaign.
Real Madrid are still Real Madrid, however, and they will have the chance to close the gap on Barcelona when they welcome the Catalan outfit to the Bernabeu for El Clasico next weekend. Los Blancos have also been drawn to face Paris Saint-Germain in the last-16 stage of the Champions League.
Here we go then. The time for talking is almost over. It is Real Madrid against Gremio in the final of the Club World Cup. Once the pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged, we will be just about ready to get this one underway. Kickoff in Abu Dhabi is next!
KICKOFF! Real Madrid kick things off here...
... you do get the feeling that Gremio need to score first if they are to stand a chance of winning this match. That said, Real Madrid were not exactly dominant in their semi-final win. As expected, the Spanish outfit have taken control of the possession inside the first two minutes here.
Ronaldo is not best pleased after a late challenge from Geromel, who came through the attacker. The referee thinks about producing a yellow card, but play continues with no further punishment.
Nothing to report in terms of early chances, but Real Madrid, as expected, are on the front foot as they look to put down an early marker. Isco is the target as Marcelo looks long, but he is offside.
Gremio captain Geromel has been busy in the opening seven minutes as he continues to track Marcelo and Ronaldo. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stands here.
Pass, pass, pass from Real Madrid as they look to find a route through this Gremio defence, which is extremely compact. The Brazilian side are doing their best to break when they have the chance, but white shirts continue to crowd Luan & Co. Still goalless with nine minutes on the clock here.
Gremio have had a bit of the ball in the last few minutes, but they are struggling to make their football count in areas that will harm Real Madrid. Not an awful lot to report at the moment here.
Bit of pressure from Real Madrid in the last few moments as they force two corners in quick succession, but Michel is on hand to clear on both occasions. Still goalless in Abu Dhabi here.
Varane comes close to meeting a cross from Casemiro as Gremio fail to properly clear a corner, but the centre-back cannot make contact. We are yet to see much from the likes of Luan down the other end as Real Madrid continue to dominate the ball, which the Brazilian side would have expected.
Half-chance for Real Madrid as Ronaldo finds some space just outside the Gremio box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. It has been half-chances and nothing more thus far!
Brilliant defending from Germoel as the number three blocks an effort from Carvajal, which looked to be heading for the bottom corner. Gremio then manage to clear the resulting set piece.
Another half-chance for Real Madrid as Varane throws himself at a corner, but the centre-back fails to make proper contact. The pressure continues as Benzema looks to meet a through pass from Kroos, but Grohe is out to claim. This is a really good spell for Real Madrid as Isco then fires wide.
CLOSE! Modric just misses the far post with a strike from the edge of the box.
BOOKING! Casemiro (Real Madrid) is booked for a foul on Luan.
Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and we are still waiting for the first goal of the match. Gremio are holding their own, but Real Madrid have been the better team thus far here.
Not an awful lot to report in the last few minutes as both teams lose possession in the final third of the field. Real Madrid are comfortable without really bossing this match all over the park.
Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and Gremio have just won their first corner of the match. Luan delivers into the Real Madrid box, but Varane has no problems making the clearance.
Gremio will be pretty pleased with how the opening 36 minutes of this match have unfolded. Real Madrid have been the better team, but there has not been a really clear chance thus far here.
Real Madrid are turning the screw at the moment as they pass and probe in the final third, but Gremio are holding firm at the back. Kroos looks to deliver a little pass into Isco, but Michel is on hand to make the clearance. We are entering a vital period of this match.
CHANCE! Ronaldo finds space inside the Gremio box, but Kannemann comes from nowhere to make a stunning challenge. It is brilliant from the Gremio number four!
CLOSE! Ronaldo just misses the crossbar with a dipping free kick!
Gremio really need the half-time whistle as Real Madrid continue to press players forward. Ronaldo has come the closest in this first period, but the number seven failed to find the back of the net.
Again it is super defending from Geromel as the Gremio number three manages to beat Benzema to a cross. Real Madrid are flooding players forward, and the Brazilian outfit are just holding on here.
We are into stoppage time at the end of the first period here.
HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 0-0 Gremio
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Real Madrid and Gremio level at 0-0. Real Madrid, as expected, have had the better chances, but Gremio have held their own against the European champions. The 2017 Club World Cup final is goalless at the interval!
STATISTICS! Real Madrid dominated the first-half possession with 63%, while they managed 10 attempts, although just one of those were on target. Gremio, meanwhile, had just one attempt off target in the first 45 minutes. Just the one yellow card to report - Casemiro in the 27th minute.
BENCH WATCH! Bale came off the bench to score in the semi-final on Wednesday, and the Welshman is among those available for Real Madrid in the second period. Asensio, Ceballos and Lucas will also be hoping to feature in the second 45 minutes. Gremio, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Jael and Everton, with the latter scoring against Pachuca in the semi-finals.
RESTART! Gremio resume the action here...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops in Abu Dhabi.
To be honest, it has not been a great game thus far. It has lacked quality from both teams. I would be surprised if Real Madrid did not score if the pattern of the match continued in a similar manner to the first 45 minutes. Gremio simply have to offer more in the final third of the field here.
Kroos delivers a dangerous free kick into the Gremio box, but Ramos and Varane both miss the ball. Real Madrid's quality in the final third has been lacking tonight, there is no doubt about that.
Half-chance for Ronaldo as he finds space outside the Gremio box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Ronaldo has looked the player most likely to make the breakthrough.
It is almost like a training exercise for Real Madrid as Gremio drop deeper and deeper. Surely we have to see a little bit more going forward from the Brazilian side, but it is difficult to open up against a team like Los Blancos, who have to be good enough to break down Gremio here.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Gremio (Ronaldo)
Had to be him! Ronaldo sends Real Madrid ahead with a super free kick from distance!
I am not too sure about the Gremio wall having had a look at the free kick, but it was still excellent from Ronaldo. Real Madrid will be looking for a second to probably kill off Gremio in this match.
Still more than 30 minutes of football remaining here, but Gremio have not offered anything to suggest that they may be able to pin Real Madrid back. That said, Everton - who scored in the semi-final against Pachuca - is on the bench for the Brazilian outfit here.
GOAL DISALLOWED! Ronaldo fires home for Real Madrid, but the goal is disallowed. Offside is the call, and it is correct with Benzema just straying in the build-up there.
You do get the feeling that another goal for Real Madrid would be enough to kill this match. Ronaldo attempts to find it with a back-heel, but the ball was moving away from the Gremio goal.
Casemiro hits one from distance, and Grohe has to make a decent save.
Gremio are about to make the first change of the match, and it is an attacking one.
GREMIO SUB! Jael replaces Barrios, who has struggled tonight.
POST! Grohe pushes a long-range Modric strike onto the post! Gremio just cannot seem to stop the flow of traffic as we approach a key period of this football match.
Gremio will always be in the game at 1-0, but Real Madrid are really pushing for a second goal, and they should have found it in this second period. Little over 20 minutes of normal time to play here.
It has been a little bit better from Gremio in the last few minutes, but they are struggling to produce that final piece of quality in the final third as another cross proves too strong for Luan.
Gremio just need one chance, one chance to fall to a Luan or a Jael. Real Madrid are really threatening a second though, and that would surely kill this final. No movement on the Real Madrid bench at the moment, but I suspect that we will see Gareth Bale at some point.
GREMIO SUB! Everton replaces Ramiro for Gremio here.
REAL MADRID SUB! Lucas replaces Isco for Real Madrid.
Not an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the last few moments, but Gremio are opening up in the final third of the field. Still a lot of football to be played before the end of the 90 minutes.
Half-chance for Benzema as Kroos finds the Frenchman, but his effort is weak. It has been another difficult night for Benzema, who really should have scored in the semi-finals on Wednesday night.
REAL MADRID SUB! Bale replaces Benzema for Real Madrid.
Kroos finds a little bit of room on the edge of the box after smart work from Bale and then Ronaldo, but the German international fires into the stands. Still 1-0 to the Spanish giants here.
SAVE! Ronaldo is denied by another smart save!
SAVE! Another brilliant save from Grohe, who keeps out a strike from Bale!
Kroos misses the crossbar from distance as Real Madrid continue to dominate the ball.
GREMIO SUB! Maicon replaces Michel for Gremio here.
Time is running out for Gremio, who are yet to force Navas into a save. Real Madrid are the team with the ball as we head for the final three minutes of action. Will there be late drama here?!
Real Madrid have the ball and they are not giving it back. Gremio need something to drop late on, but time is very much of the essence. I should not think there will be too much added time!
We are into injury time at the end of the 90 minutes. Ronaldo's second-half free kick is the difference between the two teams as we enter the final stages of the 2017 Club World Cup final.
We are into the second of three additional minutes here.
Modric hammers over the crossbar after good work from Bale once again.
FULL-TIME: Real Madrid 1-0 Gremio
So there we have it. Real Madrid win the 2017 Club World Cup courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Gremio. Ronaldo's free kick make the difference, and the Spanish giants certainly deserve to triumph over the 90 minutes. Thanks for joining our live coverage of the action once again!

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