MNA Sports Desk: Gareth Bale scored a brace, including a sensational overhead kick, to inspire Real Madrid to a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev on Saturday.
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius had a night to forget as he was at fault for two of the Real goals but the result could have been different had the Reds not lost talisman Mohamed Salah to a shoulder injury early in the game.
Salah left the field in tears after going down while vying for the ball with Real captain Sergio Ramos shortly before the half-hour-mark. He tried to carry on for a while, but had to leave the field in pain.
Liverpool did not shy away despite losing their star man and were equal to their more illustrious opponents when the first half ended.
A grave mistake from Karius, however, changed the colour of the gamesix minutes after the interval. The German was attempting to throw the ball to a team-mate when Karim Benzemaintercepted and a touch from the French striker’s toe was enough to sendthe ball home past a bewildered Karius.
Liverpool took only four minutes to equalise, as the tireless Sadio Mane poked the ball into the net from a James Milner corner.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane then sent on Gareth Bale and the move did wonders for the Spanish side. Three minutes after entering the fray, Bale attempted a bicycle kick when a deflected Marcelo cross was flying by and the timing was so perfect that it hit the back of the net.
Seven minutes after Bale’s 64-minute strike, Sadio Mane hit the woodwork as Real heaved a sigh of relief. On the 83rd minute, Karius made another big mistake to hand Real the title.
Bale was 30 yards from the goal and his shot somehow made its way between the goalkeeper’s hands and into the net.
It was Real’s 13th Champions League (previously European Cup) title, and the third one in a row, all masterminded by Zidane, reported new agency.