UEFA Champions League Final | Liverpool vs Real Madrid: Real Madrid are Champions for a record 13th time but that’s not what we’re gonna read about in every post-match analysis, are we?
Loris Karius made a blunder, actually, he made blunders, plural two blunders to be precise. A lot of Liverpool fans would be wishing May 24th, 2016 had gone differently for them, the day they signed the German Goalkeeper from Mainz 05 for 4.7 Million pounds. Karius….. but more on that later.
— Arif Ahmed (@AAhmed2552) May 26, 2018
Coming back to the Champions League Final, Liverpool started well and were aggressive early on with full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson showing great intent. In the 26th Minute, Sergio Ramos became the most hated man in Liverpool when he brought Salah down as the Egyptian winger landed on his shoulder, four minutes later the pain got the better off Salah and he was withdrawn. The Egyptian was devastated and immediately you could feel Liverpool’s confidence go down, they had lost their talismanic winger to a dislocated shoulder and the reds were absolutely distraught to see their star leave the pitch in tears and be replaced by Adam Lallana
Top 5 worst people in history:
2) Kim Jong Un
3) Mao Zedong
4) Sergio Ramos
5) Donald Trump#ChampionsLeagueFinal2018
— Ben (@ben_duncan123) May 26, 2018
Minutes Later Real’s Dani Carvajal left the pitch with an apparent Hamstring tear, an injury that has come back to haunt the Madrid Right-back again both sides were caught off guard by the injuries to their players and the halftime whistle blew at the right time giving both managers a chance to refresh their strategies, especially Klopp who had to prepare a strategy with his best player out injured.
The second-half began with Madrid being more attacking and clinical, Isco hit the crossbar of a virtually open goal in the 47th minute. The wasted chance to go in-front didn’t matter as four minutes later Karius tried to roll the ball back into play but Benzema was clever enough to place his foot near the trajectory of the ball as the ball ricocheted off his foot and in the goal. The Liverpool Goalkeeper seemed distraught after conceding in such an embarrassing way, minutes later his teammate Sadio Mane equalized with a quick kick, off a James Milner corner that found him after coming off Dejan Lovren’s head. It was all square again.
Los Blancos Boss Zinedine Zidane’s decision to bring Gareth Bale on for Isco is what in many pundit’s opinions won Real the game. Merely three minutes after coming on the pitch, Marcelo’s cross found Bale in the box and the Welshman attempted a bicycle kick that was hit as sweet as nut! unstoppable and Real were in front again. No team dominated the game, though Real had more possession Liverpool didn’t lose their Intensity, the game seemed to go down to the wire with Liverpool trailing by one. Karius had other plans, the game was effectively put to bed when Real Madrid’s record signing Bale attempted a dipping but straight shot at the Liverpool custodian that bounced off his hands and into the goal Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool. Game Over.
Real Madrid was phenomenal and truly deserved their 13th Champions League Title. Truly the best team in Europe.
Now back to Karius who effectively passed one ball to Benzema and pushed Bale’s shot into the goal will come under a lot of criticism for the next few days. Also, let’s be honest here, Karius had a bad game, his performance was shambolic and his errors were basic errors that you just cannot afford to make at this level. But if there is one thing we can say for sure, is that Karius is gonna come back stronger, the criticism, love, sympathy, and hatred that he’s going to receive over the next few days will be overwhelming but Klopp has been a manager that always backs his players and I can be certain that the Liverpool man between the sticks would’ve learned more about himself, his game and big match pressure in the 90 minutes today than the entirety of his career.
Stay strong Karius! You’re going to bounce back and I can feel it!