There is a Champions League revenge final on the cards after Real Madrid sent Manchester City packing in a thumping comeback win on Wednesday night; Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah got his wish granted and it’s all about preparations for the 28th of May now.
“We have a score to settle.” That is the message the Egyptian King sent to the Real Madrid squad following their dramatic win over Man City. Mo Salah seems to not have forgotten about Kyiv 2018 and is ready to return the favor.
Afore the Reds’ own comeback victory when in Spain and at the expense of Villarreal, Salah made sure he was clear in his statement. The Premier League’s leading scorer was asked about who he’d rather face in the final in Paris and he replied quite sternly, “Real Madrid”.
"I want to play Madrid. I have to be honest. City is a really tough team, we play against them a few times this season. But if you ask me personally I would prefer Madrid.We lost in the final so I want to play against them, hopefully win it from them as well. (Via: ESPN)"
A small recap of the day back in 2018
It was the second European final that Jurgen Klopp led his Liverpool team to. It was a season where Liverpool were the returning party while Real were on route to claiming their third UCL title in back-to-back campaigns.
The game was meant to be a tight affair. Unfortunately, error-prone Loris Karius and ex-captain Sergio Ramos had other ideas. Karius was at fault for costly errors that led to goals and Ramos was the mastermind behind injuring the Reds’ star man that campaign, Mohamed Salah.
As early as the 30th minute Ramos, Real Madrid’s captain at the time, brought Salah down in an untidy challenge that looked like both men would walk away from. Sadly, after being dragged to the ground by the Spaniard, Salah suffered a match-ending shoulder injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the 90 minutes.
The Egyptian was then replaced by Adam Lallana, Madrid introduced the super-sub Gareth Bale, and the rest is history, as they would say. Madrid went on to win the game 3-1 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Bale, who scored a brace after being introduced to the clash in the 61st minute.
Los Blancos then took their third UCL title in three seasons and the 13th in the history of the club, maintaining their status as the biggest team on European soil.
Liverpool is in a better place to take on Real Madrid
As Liverpool prep for their third Champions League Final in five years and aims for their seven UCL title, Madrid prep for their 14th title and are on route to a double under Carlo Ancelotti this season, having already taken La Liga.
These two sides are way different from what they looked like when the pair met in 2018. No more Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo while over on the other end, no more Loris Karius with Salah fit again and leading the Premier League in goals and assists.
But like Salah is firing on all cylinders for Liverpool, so is the other man making a claim for the Ballon d’Or from Real Madrid: Karim Benzema. The Reds also have it all to play for still, with the UCL Final being one of two they must partake in before the season concludes.