Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League for the third time in a row, after beating Premier League club Liverpool 3-1 in the Final in Kyiv.
Gareth Bale, who came on as a substitute in the 60th minute, played a starring role for the Los Blancos. His jaw-dropping overhead kick in the 64th minute put Real 2-1 up just moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.
Bale’s second goal made it 3-1 for Real, as unfortunate karius could punch his long-range strike only into his own net, to make it the worst night of his life.
For Liverpool, this game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah’s tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi.
ZINEDINE ZIDANE –
This is a legendary club. This is a club that has won 13 European Cups so I’m happy to be part of this history. We are going to think about what we achieved, enjoy the moment first. This is the most important thing now. We have hope and desire to do things well. I’ve told the players to enjoy it because this is not going to be seen again.
JURGEN KLOPP –
For me it was a very harsh challenge on Salah. It was very bad for Mo, very bad for us, very bad for Egypt. That’s part of the sport I don’t like, but things like this can happen. We played good football but we lost 3-1 so I don’t think in 10 years people will talk about that.
LORIS KARIUS –
I don’t feel anything right now. Today I lost my team the game and I feel sorry for everyone. I’m sorry for everyone – from the team, from the whole club – that the mistakes cost dearly.
"I need to be playing week-in-week-out…that hasn't happened this season."
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2018
KEY OBSERVATIONS –
#1 On Liverpool’s night of tears in the Champions League final, their goalkeeper Loris Karius cried the hardest. Other than Gareth Bale’s unbelievable first goal, Madrid’s other two goals came from major errors by Karius, which were simply unacceptable in such a big match. No teammate came to console him and he then lay flat out, face to the turf hiding his tears. He was a broken man, as he made his way over to the Liverpool supporters in the crowd and apologised. He will need support from his teammates, fans and Jurgen Klopp to get over this.
#2 Gareth Bale scored one of the best goals in a Champions League final, along with Mario Mandzukic’s screamer against Real madrid in last season’s final and Zinedine Zidane’s volley against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002. For most of the season Bale has been the forgotten man at Real Madrid, but his goals in this match and the one he scored in the El Clasico proved that after Cristiano Ronaldo, he is the biggest match winner for the Los Blancos and deserves a lot more respect from Zinedine Zidane.
#3 A historic season for Liverpool star Mohamed Salah unexpectedly ended in tears and it could get even worse if he misses the upcoming World Cup because of his shoulder injury. Nobody will ever really know what Sergio Ramos intended as he grabbed Salah’s arm and tumbled him to the ground, but either way Salah was done, going down in distress clutching a dislocated shoulder.
#4 Real Madrid fans were left with mixed emotions after Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a really bad game, dropped a bombshell in his post match interview, that spoiled the party of the Los Blancos fans.
Now I’ll enjoy, and in the next few days I’ll give an answer to the fans, who have been by my side. It was very nice to play for Madrid. For now, we have to enjoy the moment.
— #CHAMP13NS 🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) May 26, 2018
PLAYER RATINGS –
REAL MADRID –
Carvajal(6) Varane(7) Ramos(8) Marcelo(7)
Modric(7.5) Casemiro(7) Kroos(7)
Isco(5) Benzema(7) Ronaldo(5)
Bale – 9 (MOTM)
Alexander-Arnold(7) Lovren(7) Van Dijk(7) Robertson(8)
Wijnaldum(6) Henderson(7) Milner(6)
Salah(6) Firmino(6) Mane(8)