Ibrahima Konate impressed, but the frontline failed to make the desired impact as Liverpool lost 0-1 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final.
The game was off to a delayed start due to some problems with fans entering the stadium. Once the whistle blew, Liverpool and Real Madrid started a bit cagily in the first 15 minutes before the Reds started to exert their dominance. Mohamed Salah drew a save from Thibaut Courtois after some good work by Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right, while Thiago Alcantara also forced the Belgian into a straightforward stop.
Real Madrid did not create much for the most of the first period but close to half-time, Karim Benzema had the ball into the back of the net, only for the linesman to raise the offside flag. A lengthy VAR review ensued before the onfield decision was upheld somewhat controversially as both teams went into the break on level terms.
Liverpool started the second half brightly but could not make the most of their control. And Real Madrid punished Jurgen Klopp’s men just before the hour mark as Vinicius Junior tapped home from point-blank range after being found at the back-post by Fede Valverde. Liverpool were snapped into action immediately, as Salah forced Courtois into two top saves, one from a long-distance curler and another from close range.
As the Reds looked to push their way back, Courtois was called into action again around the 80th minute when he had to push away a ricocheted effort off of Diogo Jota. The big Belgian then pulled off another brilliant stop to deny Salah, before Real Madrid wasted a brilliant 3-on-2 opportunity on the break to double their lead. Dani Ceballos also had a chance to do so in stoppage time, but could not take it.
But the missed chances did not hurt Real Madrid as they did well to see out the game professionally and secure a 1-0 victory to lift their 14th European Cup/UEFA Champions League trophy. Liverpool, meanwhile, were left ruing their lack of clinical edge in the final third, while they also came up against an inspired Courtois, as they lost their second Champions League final in four years against Los Blancos.
Here are our player ratings for the Liverpool stars after a disheartening end to their 2021/22 campaign at Stade de France.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker: 6/10
A mix-up with Ibrahima Konate in the moment leading up to Benzema’s ruled out goal aside, Alisson was largely secure. He had no chance against Vinicius’ goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6/10
The 23-year-old became the youngest player to start three Champions League finals and carried much of Liverpool’s attacking threat on the right, even creating a fine chance for Salah in the first half. However, Alexander-Arnold was dragged infield and left Vinicius completely unmarked for the only goal of the game.
Ibrahima Konate: 8/10
Ibrahima Konaté Stats vs Real Madrid #UCLfinal :
87% (41/47) Pass Accuracy
1 Chance Created
5 Ground Duels Won
2 Tackles Won
100% (2/2) Dribble Success
Deserved Better pic.twitter.com/yEFPz9rk5E
— StatATM (@StatATM) May 28, 2022
Given the nod over Joel Matip, Konate justified his selection with a big display in defence. The Frenchman covered for Alexander-Arnold very well on the right, keeping Vinicius Junior quiet for large parts while making some crucial tackles and interceptions. A brilliant challenge to deny the Brazilian a goalscoring chance at 1-0.
Virgil van Dijk: 6/10
The Liverpool defensive stalwart had a solid enough game as he never really was put under a great deal of pressure on the night. He also stepped out of the line effectively at times, without really making a telling impact on the proceedings.
Andrew Robertson: 5.5/10
The Scotsman did not have much of an impact going forward on the night while he was caught way out of position for the Real Madrid goal, which gave Valverde space to run into and cross for Vinicius. Delivery from corners was not up to the mark either.
Jordan Henderson: 6/10
The Liverpool skipper was a lively presence on the pitch, especially in the first half, as he looked to press forward and make things happen. He even had a shot whistle past the goal. However, his influence waned after the break and was taken off after Liverpool went behind.
🇧🇷 Fabinho 💯
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 28, 2022
Back to full fitness and starting, the Brazilian looked in control in the first half as he helped Liverpool stay on the front foot when in possession while mopping up things effectively when Real Madrid broke forward. However, like Henderson, he too faded a bit after the break and seemed to get frustrated after going behind. Booked.
Thiago Alcantara: 6/10
Survived a late injury scare in the pre-game warm-ups to start and looked in his elements in the first period. However, Thiago could not stamp his authority on the proceedings as Liverpool fans have come to expect of him this season and had a fairly quiet game by his standards.
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
UCL Final ❌
AFCON Final ❌
World Cup playoff ❌
Mo Salah is having a tough year 😤 pic.twitter.com/s34IubJHUQ
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) May 28, 2022
The Egyptian had revenge on his mind heading into the game and more often than not, looked like the player who could make it happen for Liverpool. Salah had a couple of shots saved by Courtois in the first half, while the Belgian pulled off three fine stops to deny the Reds’ superstar after the half-time break.
Sadio Mane: 6/10
The in-form Liverpool forward looked to take the game to the Real Madrid defence early on and had a shot saved by Courtois. However, he could not sustain the level of threat and faded as the game wore on.
Luis Diaz: 6/10
The Colombian had a few bright moments here and there, especially in the opening quarter of the contest. But, he was largely well defended by the brilliant Dani Carvajal, who ensured that Diaz did not get sight of the goal. Taken off soon after Real Madrid scored.
Carvajal is a Madridista if I ever saw one. What an effort so far defensively on Luis Diaz
— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) May 28, 2022
Diogo Jota: 5/10
Replaced Diaz a little after the hour mark. The Portuguese could not do much to impact the proceedings.
Naby Keita: N/A
On for Henderson with less than 15 minutes left. Fired an effort wildly into the stands.
Roberto Firmino: N/A
Sent on in place of Thiago in the 77th minute. Caused some problems for the Real Madrid backline with his zippy movement and created a fine chance for Salah late on.