- Real Madrid secured their 3rd straight UCL title following their 3-1 win against Liverpool
- Gareth Bale scored a stunning bicycle kick, which was overshadowed by two major howlers by Loris Karius
- Liverpool’s talisman Mohamed Salah had to go off injured in the 1st half with a suspected dislocated shoulder
Real Madrid secured their 13 UEFA Champions League title on Saturday (May 26th) after defeating Liverpool 3-1 in the Final at the Olympic National Sports Complex in Kiev in Ukraine. The record European winners won their 3rd straight Champions League title, which confirmed this team’s place in the history books. As the time fades away, not many will remember how they achieved this feat but all that will count is how this team won 3 back to back titles, did something that no other team in the history of this competition has managed to do.
The hero of the night was none other than former world record signing Gareth Bale, who struck what is being called the greatest ever Champions League Final goal in between two major howlers from the Liverpool keeper Loris Karius, who ended the night on his knees and in tears.
Liverpool started the game dominating possession and creating chances but suffered a major mental blow at the half-hour stage when their talisman Mohamed Salah was involved in a tussle with Madrid Captain Sergio Ramos and had to subsequently go off injured with a suspected dislocated shoulder, which not only ended his night in Kiev but put him in major doubt for upcoming World Cup.
Mohamed Salah’s injury the turning point for Liverpool
Soon after Salah went off, Real Madrid took charge of the possession but neither team couldn’t find the breakthrough in the 1st half. The action started soon after the break as Madrid Karim Benzema took advantage of Karius’ astonishing gaffe at distributing the ball from box to deflect his throw straight into the goal. Many thought Madrid would take advantage of this slip and take complete charge of the game but Liverpool fought back and equalised just 4 minutes thanks to a tap-in by Sadio Mane from Dejan Lovren’s headed shot into his path.
However, no one could have predicted what was about to come as Gareth Bale bicycle kicked a Marcelo’s over Karius into the Liverpool net and edged his name into the history books of this famous competition. His coach Zinedine Zidane was gobsmacked on the sidelines, while the world stood up and applauded his brilliant strike. From there on it was a fairly easy time for Madrid, as they controlled the pace of the game and hardly gave the young Liverpool team a chance in their half. Any thoughts of Liverpool’s comeback were wiped away when Karius fumbled Bale’s stingy 30-yard shot straight into his net. That sealed Madrid’s 13th Champions League title and Zidane’s 3rd in 3 years.
Jurgen Klopp’s 6th consecutive defeat in a Final, while Zidane’s 3rd UCL win in 3 years
Jurgen Klopp and team played some unbelievable football this season but unfortunately the experience and class of Real Madrid was a bridge to far for them as they stumbled on the final hurdle. This was the German manager’s 6th consecutive defeat in a Final including his time at Borussia Dortmund, something he would be mulling over through the summer as he gets ready to launch another challenge next season.
Gareth Bale was the star of the night but the history creator was Cristiano Ronaldo, for whom this was his 5th Champions League a record equally feat for the Portuguese. The concerns over the Salah’s injury were elevated after Klopp’s post-match press conference, in which he confirmed that it wasn’t looking to good for the Egyptian but positive news came hours later from his national federation, who confirmed that it wasn’t a dislocated shoulder rather, but he will still need to recover fully. The race against starts now for Mohamed Salah.
WATCH: Real Madrid celebrating their 13th Champions League win