Real Madrid was favored over Liverpool in today’s Champions League final, but for the first half hour or so it was Liverpool that looked to be the better team.
Much of that, unsurprisingly, was thanks to strong play from Liverpool star Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian wonder scored a record 32 goals in the Premier League this season, and had drawn plenty of attention from Real Madrid defenders through the start.
That led to this play, featuring Sergio Ramos locking Salah’s arm on the way down.
Salah would return after a brief stay on the sidelines, but he was forced to leave for good shortly thereafter, understandably in tears:
Salah was replaced by Adam Lallana, a fine player but not nearly in Salah’s class. That Egypt has a World Cup game in less than three weeks is also a factor; few players would be missed more in Russia than Mo Salah. Hopefully it’s an injury that won’t prevent him from being there.
As for Liverpool, they looked much shakier in the aftermath of Salah’s exit, but currently cling to a 0-0 halftime scoreline. Winning without Salah, though, is going to be a very tough task indeed.