Kiev (AFP) – Devastated Jurgen Klopp admitted he was shell-shocked by Loris Karius’s costly mistakes in Liverpool’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid on Saturday.
Liverpool goalkeeper Karius played a huge role in his side’s misery in Kiev as he gifted Madrid two goals.
The 24-year-old handed Karim Benzema the opening goal when he threw the ball against the France forward and it rebounded into the net.
Then, with Liverpool hoping to snatch a late equaliser, Karius let Gareth Bale’s long-range effort slip through his grasp and into the net.
Karius was in tears afer the final whistle, but tellingly not one of Liverpool’s shattered players went over to immediately console him.
Only Madrid’s jubilant stars acknowledged the German’s angst before, still sobbing uncontrollably, he went toward Liverpool’s supporters to hold his hands up in an attempt to apologise for his blunders.
While he wouldn’t publicly condemn Karius, Reds boss Klopp made it clear the difference in the match was the mistakes made by the man he signed from Mainz in 2016.
“Yeah, what can I say? Loris knows it, everybody knows it. It’s a shame, in a game like this and after a season like this. I really feel for him, he is a fantastic boy,” Klopp said.
“The first one…I don’t know. The second one came because of the first one.
“It is really difficult to get rid of bad thoughts in your mind in a game like this.”
Aside from Karius’s woeful display, the other crucial turning point was the first half injury suffered by Mohamed Salah.
The Liverpool forward was forced off after suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder in a challenge with Real defender Sergio Ramos.
Klopp admitted the loss of Liverpool’s 44-goal star was a huge blow to his team’s confidence.
“The situation with Ramos and Mo was really bad a shock for the team. You could see that, Madrid immediately came up,” he said.
Bale’s brilliant overhead kick had put Madrid 2-1 ahead as Klopp endured his sixth successive final defeat — a painful run that includes losing the 2013 Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich.
“Finals are for winning, nothing else. We started well, exactly like we wanted,” Klopp said.
“But the Bale bicycle kick was unbelievable. The boys did their best, but it was not the best script for us tonight.”