Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool “wanted everything and got minus nothing” in Kiev as their Champions League final dreams died with a serious injury to Mohamed Salah and two dreadful goalkeeping mistakes from Loris Karius. Both players were reduced to tears while Real Madrid celebrated a third consecutive Champions League triumph.
Salah left the Olimpiyskiy Stadium with his left shoulder in a sling having been forced out of the final in the 30th minute following a challenge by Sergio Ramos. Klopp described Ramos’s challenge as “harsh”, with the Real captain holding Salah’s arm as he dragged him to the ground, and admitted the Egypt international could miss the World Cup. Liverpool’s leading scorer was taken to hospital after the game while the squad flew home to Merseyside.
“It was a big moment in the game,” said Klopp, who congratulated Zinedine Zidane’s team on their victory. “I know if you say something like that after you’ve lost, you sound like a bad loser. But for me that was kind of a harsh challenge because the arm is there and it was like wrestling a little bit.
“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. I don’t know what would have happened had Mo played on, we will never know that. Everybody saw in the first half-hour we were the opponent they probably will have expected. We played good football but we lost 3-1 so I don’t think in 10 years people will talk about that. The other decisive moments were the goals. They were quite strange.”
Salah’s injury was not the only decisive moment to go against Liverpool. Karius handed Karim Benzema the opening goal and, while he could do nothing about Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick, he also let a shot from the Wales international slip through his grasp.
Karius spoke to Talksport after the game: “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.
“If I could go back in time, I would. I feel sorry for my team,” he continued. “I know I let them down today. It’s very hard right now but that’s the life of a goalkeeper. You have to get your head up again. These goals cost us the title, basically.”
Karius apologised to Liverpool fans in the stadium after the final whistle and, though few of his team-mates offered consolation on the pitch, Klopp insisted the club would stand by the young German.
“I have only had very few words after the game,” the manager said. “It’s really hard for him and I really feel for him. Nobody wants that. The mistakes were obvious. We don’t have to talk about them. He knows it, I know it, you all know it. Now he has to deal with it, we have to deal with it and we will do that. We will be with him, no doubt about that. It was not his night, obviously.”
The defeat was Klopp’s sixth consecutive cup final defeat and he said Salah’s injury made the latest all the more painful. He explained: “I am not fine. I’m the opposite of fine. I have lost games in my life before so I know how to deal with that but you cannot avoid the feeling the night after the game. We all feel really, really bad and the trip home will not be the best trip we’ve ever had in our lives.
“We wanted everything and got minus something with the injury of Mo. We didn’t win the final, we lost a very important player and Egypt maybe lost a very important player for the World Cup. I hope it’s not like this. I have no idea exactly but the medical department … what they said so far it doesn’t look really good.”