Just as it was two years ago, Liverpool have suffered a 3-1 defeat to a Spanish team in a European final.
Jurgen Klopp’s side strode into Kiev full of optimism that they could win the European Cup for the sixth time – but a Mo Salah injury, two Loris Karius howlers and an absolute screamer by Gareth Bale meant that the Reds’ Champions League campaign ended in heartbreak.
After a promising start, Liverpool were rocked midway through the first half to Mo Salah, The Egyptian was the subject of a particularly robust challenge from Sergio Ramos and although he attempted to carry on, the injury proved too severe and he had to be replaced.
The game sparked into life early in the second half but it took a huge error from Loris Karius to do it. The German goalkeeper rolled the ball straight into the path of the onrushing Karim Benzema, whose deflection took the ball into the open net.
Liverpool equalised through Sadio Mane just minutes later, but the introduction of Gareth Bale proved to be a huge turning point in the game. Only on the pitch a matter of moments,the Welsh forward met Marcelo’s cross with a stunning show of athleticism to power home from an overhead kick to give Real the lead once again.
The Spaniard put the icing on the cake with less than ten minutes remaining, again through a very unfortunate error from Karius. Bale struck a long distance shot that should have been a comfortable save, but the keeper fumbled the ball and allowed it to squirm past him.
3-1 the final score, Real claim European Cup number 13 but for Liverpool it proved to be a miserable end to what was a thrilling European campaign.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 26, 2018
— Real Madrid C.F.???? (@realmadriden) May 26, 2018
Real Madrid are the first team in the Champions League era to win the competition three times ?
Kings. Of. Europe. ? pic.twitter.com/fiZTVpgKdx
— Real Madrid vs Liverpool live on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2018
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) May 26, 2018
— FourFourTwo ⚽️ (@FourFourTwo) May 26, 2018
Karius sobbing uncontrollably & apologising to Liverpool supporters. Should be remembered the effect that mistakes, doubt & then depression had on the late Robert Enke. It is sport, & it means a lot but it is just sport & all of us make mistakes
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 26, 2018