Did You Know?
How Clinical Are You?
Mohammed Salah had to endure another heartbreak in the Champions League after watching Real Madrid lift the trophy. He watched Sadio Mane lift the African Nations Cup while also watching Manchester City lift the Premier League title late at the end of City's pulsating affair with Aston Villa. It's never an easy feeling to come that close to winning a trophy and then lose it. There can only be one winner and it was Real Madrid who came in to win it.
Liverpool didn't make their efforts count and also Courtois made sure he further frustrated Liverpool with impressive saves on the night. The night couldn't have gotten any worse for Liverpool as they succumbed to a final defeat after Vinicius Jr expertly bundled the ball into the back of the net after he was found with a low drive cross into the box.
Finals are always about being clinical. It doesn't matter how best you played or how many chances you had during the game. The question you would be asked when they see the result is "How clinical were you?". Liverpool had better chances throughout the game but Real Madrid made the most important one to count and that's what being clinical is about - the ability to find the back of the net against all odds without the necessity of being the better team throughout the game.
Liverpool couldn't get the ball over the line and even struck the bar with Sadio Mane's effort. It was the same story of coming so close and then not getting it. It happened with the English Premier League and now the most prestigious of them all; the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool enjoyed success in the Champions League in 2019 after defeating Tottenham in the final with a 2-0 win. The year before, they lost to this same Real Madrid side after Mohammed Salah missed out with the infamous Sergio Ramos clumsy pull that led to Salah being substituted. He was involved in this one this time around but they couldn't get over the line.
Real Madrid are making this Champions League their own and once they get a sniff of the final, it looks like a certainty that they would win it. What they did over the course of this season's competition has been phenomenal. The comeback against Paris Saint Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City should be admired. The funny thing is, they were not even the better team in those games but they had a moment of goal rush and they took it...how is that for being clinical?
Any game a team plays, there would always be another team with the upper hand in terms of possession and other statistics that matter but the one where everyone would be looking forward to would be the scoreline. Manchester United won the Europa League with Jose Mourinho and they were not even the best against the youthful and exciting Ajax that day. I am not saying it's not okay for a team to play well, I am simply saying playing well doesn't guarantee a win especially when it comes to football. It's your ability to put the ball into the back of the net that everyone would love to see and get the fans excited. The fans didn't pay to have their hopes up but to see their team cross over the finish line, first.
Regardless of how the season turned out for Liverpool with the dream of quadruple being dented, no one can take it away from them that they had the most amazing season too. They won two cup domestic titles, Salah was joint goalscorer with Son, Mane won the African Nations Cup, Luis Diaz made a name for himself, Origi still proved useful in vital moments, Jota keeps making everyone's jaw drop with the kind of goals he scored and Matip stepped up too. A lot can be said about this team and I know they would use the disappointment of this season to push further next season.
Football is about being clinical; taking your chances, so, congratulations to Real Madrid. 14th UEFA Champions League trophy in the bag. They have won 4 in the last 7 seasons. What a stat.
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