Loris Karius' howlers define Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid

Project Kiev: That goal, Real Madrid win UCL (4:29)

Check out some of the sights and sounds from Kiev, Liverpool and Madrid as Gareth Bale scored twice to clinch the Champions League title for Real Madrid. (4:29)

It was a game of two benches, as Real Madrid's Gareth Bale got the two goals that won the Champions League while Liverpool had nobody to truly replace their season-long talisman Mohamed Salah, falling 3-1 in Saturday's final in Kiev, Ukraine. There will be a focus on the goalkeeper's errors, of course, but the better team won.


The Reds showed good character to get back into the match. Their most inexperienced players did particularly well and can look forward to very promising futures.


Beaten by a very good side, it would be churlish to talk about a style that seems to sap the team's strength well before the 90th minute. If Liverpool are to stay at this level, they need stronger players and a deeper squad. The loss of one man -- even one as important as Salah -- shouldn't really affect them so much.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- Jurgen Klopp has taken Liverpool on a great ride, but he must bully his bosses into supplying greater financial support or all this promise will evaporate. It's up to him now.

Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Loris Karius, 3 -- You can't give a side like Real two goals, but that's precisely what the German did on a dismal night. He actually did make some good saves, but no one will remember those after such dreadful errors.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 -- Gave a performance well beyond his years. The opposition seemed to be focusing on his side of the pitch early on, but they got little change out of the youngster, and the 19-year-old almost opened the scoring, too, with a good low strike. One of the finds of the season.

DF Dejan Lovren, 8 -- Regarded as a potential weakness beforehand, he in fact dealt with most things that came his way. Given the forward line facing him, that was no mean feat.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 -- Has supplied calm and control this season, although he can be too casual with his passing sometimes. He can certainly take no blame for how the night unfolded.

DF Andrew Robertson, 8 -- Another great game from the Scot, an incredibly mature performance. Looked a real threat coming forward before the injury to Salah took all of Liverpool's early confidence away. Fine challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo stopped a certain goal, although the game was lost by then anyway.

MF Jordan Henderson, 6 -- Disciplined and tidy, his flaws shine through when his team badly needs some invention. If Klopp can find a player with that as well as the captain's work rate, it will boost the Reds' long-term chances of success.

MF James Milner, 6 -- Worked hard and was his usual reliable self; limitations were simply exposed as a result of the quality opposition. Tired badly at the end and had to withdraw.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 -- Like most players, he did well in a reasonable first half. His energy levels never dropped, unlike some, but again a lack of real flair was noticeable.

FW Sadio Mane, 7 -- With Salah withdrawn, the Senegal international rallied to his side's aid with a fine, opportunist equaliser. He also hit the post at 1-2, which was sadly Liverpool's last real chance of saving the game.

FW Mohamed Salah, 5 -- It was a sad way to end the season for such a pivotal player. Things like that happen 20 times a game and never result in serious injury. He was always going to get close attention and a little physical aggression, but such a freak accident was just bad luck on the night Liverpool needed him most.

FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- Very good early on but unnerved the most by Salah's absence and got progressively less effective as the match wore on.


MF Adam Lallana, 5 -- Unexpected early appearance saw him restricted by not really knowing what to do. Did plenty of pressing but supplied nothing in the way of creativity. That's typically one of his strengths, but this has been a season to forget and Saturday was no different.

MF Emre Can, NR -- Replaced a wilting Milner but could do nothing to affect the outcome of what was surely his final match for Liverpool.