Liverpool were let down by an erroneous display from Loris Karius in goal, as they were beaten to the UEFA Champions League glory by Real Madrid.
Liverpool’s magical UEFA Champions League campaign was brought to a disappointing end as they were defeated 3-1 by Real Madrid in the final in Kiev on Saturday.
The Reds were off to a sprightly start in the first period, but saw the momentum sapped somewhat following the unfortunate substitution of Mohamed Salah due to a shoulder injury in the 30th minute.
Los Blancos grew into the game with time and went ahead five minutes after the break, courtesy of an alert goal from Karim Benzema who toe-poked a poor release from Karius. Liverpool hit back almost immediately, as Sadio Mane slotted home from close range four minutes later to restore parity.
It was the Gareth Bale show from then on however, as the Welshman, coming on as a substitute, put Real back ahead with an absolutely sensational bicycle kick in the 63rd minute. With eight minutes left on the clock, the former Tottenham Hotspur man made it 3-1 with a well-struck effort from distance, that Karius fumbled over the line.
It was Real Madrid’s 13th Champions League trophy, third in a row under Zinedine Zidane while Liverpool once again faltered on the final stages under Jurgen Klopp. And here’s how the Reds fared on the night.
Loris Karius: 2/10
A disastrous performance from the German stopper in the goal. At fault for the opening goal as Benzema reacted to his poor throw, then made a huge blunder for Bale’s second. Did make a solid save from Cristiano Ronaldo in the first-half, but that will be forgotten amidst his high-profile errors.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7/10
Playing the biggest game of his fledgling career, the Englishman did not show any signs of nerve and was unfazed by the occasion. Got forward with intent and got into dangerous positions in the first period. Saw a fierce strike saved by Keylor Navas. Continued to provide an outlet throughout the game and stood up well at the back when under pressure.
Dejan Lovren: 7/10
The Croatian international managed to keep a tight lid on Ronaldo for most parts of the game, in what was an aggressive performance. Denied Bale his hat-trick with a brilliant last-ditch tackle late in the game. Got the assist for Mane’s goal. One of his better displays this season, in vain though.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
Not as composed as one would usually expect him to be. Nevertheless, the Dutchman put in a solid display at the back with some strong tackles and smart interceptions. His passing and use of the ball was once again very sharp.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Did not provide the same threat as he has done so often going forward this season, more so in the second period as he was pegged inside his own half by Real. Produced a brilliant sliding challenge to thwart Ronaldo from scoring in the second period.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10
The Dutchman started off brilliantly, providing great drive and purpose from the middle of the park for the Reds. Always looked to get forward when he had the ball, but the final pass was lacking. Seemed to wear off in the second half.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
The Liverpool captain marshalled his troops very well from the middle of the park. Showed positive intent when his side were on the front foot in the first quarter of the game and held things together well as Real Madrid piled on the pressure.
James Milner: 6/10
Another energetic display from the veteran English midfielder, but failed to have the desired impact on the proceedings. Pressed and harried his opposition, worked his socks off before being subbed off for Emre Can as Klopp looked to change things up.
Mohamed Salah: N/A
Started off brightly, but came out the worse from a tangle with Sergio Ramos, injuring his shoulder in the process. Could not continue and left the field in tears in the 30th minute.
Roberto Firmino: 6/10
The Brazilian worked hard at the top for Liverpool, pressing from the front, but was easily dealt with by the Real Madrid defenders for most parts of the game. No lack of effort, but nothing seemed to work for him on the night as he came away without a single meaningful effort on goal.
Sadio Mane: 8/10
Stepped up for Liverpool after Salah’s substitution, scoring the equalizer with a smart finish from close range. Was a lively presence and posed a lot of issues to the Real Madrid backline with his pace and movement on either flanks. Hit the base of the post with a powerful effort with the score at 2-1.
Adam Lallana: 5/10
Replaced the injured Salah at the half-hour mark. Hardly offered any incision in the attacking third. Still recovering from his injury woes.
Emre Can: N/A
Replaced Milner in the 83rd minute. Could very well be his last appearance for the Merseyside outfit.