Kiev, Ukraine - Three quick thoughts on Real Madrid's 3-1 victory over Liverpool to win their third straight Champions League and fourth in five years.
Gareth Bale's sensational strike proved the winner as Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to lift their third straight Champions League crown."This was a totally unexpected decision.Much of the pre-match build-up centred on the anticipated battle between star forwards Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo in Kiev, but the duel was cut short before the half hour when Liverpool's talisman suffered an apparent shoulder injury.It will be the great unknown as to what might have happened had Salah stayed on but there is no question his departure was a savage blow to Liverpool and a lift for Real Madrid."We thought at the time that winning back-to-back Champions Leagues was an incredible feat.The loss to injury of Salah after just 30 minutes of this game was every Liverpool supporter's worst nightmare.The Welshman than made it 3-1 in the closing stages with a long-range effort that embarrassed Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius to hammer home his ongoing importance to Zidane's team.Real lost their fear of Liverpool just when Klopp's team had a 10-minute period of doubt.Mane's pace gives Liverpool the ability to trouble any team, but the real blow caused by Salah's injury was that to Liverpool's self-belief.Karius mistake reveals Liverpool's Achilles' heel again."I would love for him to be by my side forever.".
Real Madrid won their third straight Champions League thanks to a moment of sublime brilliance from Gareth Bale and Loris Karius' errors.
"The situation with Sergio Ramos and Mohamed Salah looked really bad and it was a shock for the team, we lost the positive momentum and they immediately came.
Had Salah been fit to stay on the pitch, it could have been a different story.
Jurgen Klopp has lost six of his seven major finals as manager, only winning the DFB-Pokal with Borussia Dortmund in 2012.
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Liverpool fans have a banner that reads, "Form is temporary, class is permanent but that could apply to Gareth Bale in Kiev after the Real Madrid forward climbed off the substitutes' bench to score twice to secure his club's third successive Champions League title.
Benzema instinctively stuck out a boot to block an attempted throw from the keeper and could not believe his luck as the ball trickled home."This is a sad day for me, for the players and for everyone involved with the club.The experts have their say.LiveAll-time European Cup honours board, liveZidane: just deal online 'This squad doesn't have a ceiling'.The keeper lay flat on the turf at the final whistle, being consoled by Real Madrid's players before apologising tearfully in front of Liverpool's fans.
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That win saw him join Bob Paisley (three at Liverpool) and Carlo Ancelotti (AC Milan two, Real Madrid one) as the only managers to have won the Champions League/European Cup three times.