Just football

Gareth Bale stunner and Karius blunders see Real Madrid beat Liverpool in UCL final

A stunning overhead kick from Gareth Bale and two howlers from goalkeeper Loris Karius gave Real Madrid their third successive Champions League title, their fourth in five years.

Bale, 28, produced an influential 29-minute cameo in the 3-1 victory which was a horror show for goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Liverpool had already suffered the devastating blow of losing top scorer Mohamed Salah midway through the first half – with a shoulder injury sustained in a challenge with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos – when calamity struck for Karius.

Six minutes after half-time, the German inexplicably threw the ball against Karim Benzema, who was not even challenging with urgency, and watched in horror as the ball rolled behind him into the net.

Liverpool recovered from the shock to equalise through Sadio Mane before Bale stepped off the bench to score his wonder goal.

Karius turned Isco’s shot wide but he was helpless with Real’s next effort as substitute Bale produced an unstoppable world-class overhead kick which dropped just under the crossbar in the 64th minute.


Gareth Bale scores a stunning overhead kick against Liverpool in the Champions League final

Mane struck the post as Klopp’s side rallied, while Andrew Robertson’s brilliant last-ditch tackle denied Ronaldo a certain goal which would have ended the match there and then.

Karius blocked Benzema’s effort as time ticked down but the goalkeeper was at fault once more seven minutes from time as he allowed Bale’s 30-yard strike to slip through his hands.

It sealed Real’s record 13th win in this competition, and their fourth in five seasons to give coach Zinedine Zidane this third triumph in three years.

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