Bale stunner, Karius blunders in historic Real win

Real Madrid

While Cristiano Ronaldo became the first five-time victor in the post-1993 Champions League era, this was a comparatively muted performance in a final for a player who has contributed decisive goals in the three finals Madrid had contested in the previous four seasons. He generally hasn't started in Champions League games because he's been struggling with his fitness.

Real Madrid is going for an incredible hat-trick of titles in Kiev to cement their status as the dominant force in European football.

But Bale has endured a hard season marred by regular spells on the bench as he struggled to convince Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane to give him a starting place.

Real face Premier League side Liverpool in Saturday's final at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev (kick-off 19:45 BST).

"You should be judged on what you do in your domestic league when you're a manager and Real Madrid are so far behind Barcelona now it's ridiculous".

At the very highest level, the best players perform.

The Portuguese knows what it is like to depart a big final hurt, doing so in the Euro 2016 finale against France.

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"I am keeping the faith, I feel good about it". I had an injury five, six weeks in but have been fit ever since.

With Salah gone and conceding in such a freakish fashion, you thought that might be it for Liverpool.

PSG need a goalkeeping upgrade, for example, though they're linked with Gigi Buffon, whilst it's still up for debate if the improved Loris Karius has done quite enough to convince Liverpool that he's a long-term solution to a long-persisting problem.

The opening chance of the game fell the way of Real Madrid with Isco latching onto a ball over the top by Modric which Karius saved but the linesman had already flagged for offside.

Salah's absence made a huge difference and helped swing the game in Real Madrid's favor with the Reds having just seven touches in Real's half in the 14 first half minutes after Salah went off compared to 111 before that.

"They remind me of the Real Madrid of days gone by, with fast, pacey forwards".

He added: "Everyone speaks about the three-up front (Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane) and says they're less at the back, but they're a team unit".

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