By Ibrahim Zirimu
Real Madrid beats Liverpool 3-1 in an eventful Champions League final, African excitement and obsession with Egypt’s Mohammed Salah is cut short.
The whole emphasis of the final shifted as Salah slumped to the turf for a second time after realizing he could not carry on with the shoulder injury sustained in the tangle with Ramos.
Liverpool had started well and Real’s deep defending hinted at the apprehension they were felt faced with the attacking trio of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
As Salah left the pitch, inconsolable and in tears, even Liverpool’s fans were temporarily hushed and it was clear Real had suddenly been given fresh impetus. It is also clear that African soccer fans were engulfed by agony as there was a possibility for the Egypt hit man to miss the World Cup.
Liverpool, with the magnificent Mane leading the fight, showed commendable heart but they had been robbed of their world-class talisman who, before his substitution, had scored 33% of their goals in all competitions.
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.
The first goal came in just six minutes after half-time, when the reds’ goal keeper inexplicably threw the ball against Karim Benzema, who was not even challenging with urgency, and watched in horror as the ball rolled behind him into the net.
Liverpool recovered from the shock to equalize through Sadio Mane before Gareth Bale scored his wonder goal just two minutes and two seconds stepping off the bench.
There was to be no comeback from Liverpool this time and Karius’s misery was complete when he fumbled Bale’s hopeful 30-yard shot behind him to seal Real’s win.
Real’s win become historical with Zinedine Zidane joining the race of managers who won the title three times but added extra gloss by becoming the first to win it in three successive seasons.
Bob Paisley, Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane (left to right) are the only managers to win the European Cup/Champions League three times.
Christiano Ronaldo becomes the first ever player to win the Champions league five times. Ronaldo won his first UCL trophy in 2007/08 with Manchester United and now added four in five years with Real Madrid, where he has now won it in 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18.
Source: www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website