The 64th season of Europe’s premier club football tournament organised by UEFA Champions League, was set between Real Madrid and Liverpool at the Olympic National Sports Complex also known as the Olympic Stadium located in Kiev, Ukraine.
Real Madrid won their third consecutive Champions League on an epic night that will be remembered for Mohamed Salah’s heartbreak, Gareth Bale’s amazing goal and two hideous mistakes by Loris Karius.
It was an emotional night, filled with so many different story lines, and unfortunately for Liverpool’s accident-prone goalkeeper, Loris Karius, he will have to live with the fact that his part will be remembered for just as long as, or possibly longer than, Gareth Bale’s spectacular bicycle kick or the tears from Mohamed Salah.
Bale made his mark on another Champions League final with an amazing overhead kick to put Real 2-1 up after 64 minutes.
Liverpool had already suffered the devastating blow of losing top scorer Mo Salah midway through the first half – with a shoulder injury sustained in a challenge with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos ,when the whole disaster struck for Karius.
Karius was a danger to his own team, responsible for Madrid’s two other goals, from the look of things he was clearly moving aimlessly around the pitch, seeming so distant, alone, and clearly traumatised. Realizing that he has disappointed thousands of Liverpool supporters around the world, Karius looked broken. He chose a bad night to be so vulnerable and Liverpool will always wonder what could have possibly gone wrong at this moment. What might have happened if the German had not been so vulnerable. Or indeed, if they had not lost Mo Salah, half an hour in, with the shoulder injury that turned the match in Madrid’s favour.
Liverpool had often played well, and the game seemed to be going in their favour particularly before Salah’s injury. The problem was that their goalkeeper had the worst night of his professional life. It was a sixth successive defeat for Klopp in a major final and at the final whistle, with Karius burying his face in shame and there was consoled by his team mates who where being supportive knowing that sometimes things couldn’t always go golden.
Real Madrid finally emerged, recording 13th win in this competition, and their fourth in five seasons to give coach Zinedine Zidane this third triumph in three years.
For Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, it was a day of disappointment again,as he lost his third successive final since arriving at Anfield, having suffered defeats in the previous League Cup and Europa League finals of 2016.