This will be a game the Liverpool goalkeeper will never be able to forget.
In the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Roma, Loris Karius got a flimsy touch of a speculative 30-yard pop on his goal but the ball ricocheted off the Liverpool crossbar and Mo Salah got to goalscoring work soon after.
In the final, against Real Madrid and with Salah already off, the goalkeeping mishaps of Karius were left exposed in brutal and unforgiving terms.
The German had a solid enough opening 45 minutes, in Kiev, but the second half was nightmare stuff. In trying to roll out a ball to Dejan Lovren, Karius instead found the outstretched boot of Karim Benzema and the ball rolled home.
Gareth Bale scored a stunning overhead kick to put Real 2-1 up and then ended the contest with a goal some Irish fans will recall was horrifically similar to Wim Jonk’s long-range range that flummoxed Packie Bonner at the 1994 World Cup. Bale took his chances from way out and Karius flapped at the ball before it squirmed into the goal.
On RTE, after Liverpool’s 3-1 loss, Eamon Dunphy declared:
“Karius is no good… I can tell you a fact, as Didi [Hamann] just told me about it, Karius drives around in a car and the logo on it has ‘LK 1’.
“He’s a big star in his own head.”
As Bonner did in 1994, Karius will have to live with and own these mistakes for some time to come. Liverpool fans in Kiev responded well to his post-match gestures of apology but it would take some remarkable fortitude from himself and stubbornness from Jurgen Klopp to see him start 2018/19 as the Reds’ number one.
Over on German TV, meanwhile, there was some interesting footage unearthed of an incident in the 47th minute that could well have played a part in Karius’ first error.
Real defender Sergio Ramos appeared to connect a forearm or elbow against the side of the 24-year-old in the 49th minute of the match. After jostling with Virgil Van Dijk, the Spaniard made a glancing connection and Karius, after picking himself up off the pitch, appealed to the match officials about the incident.
— Prometheus (@68Bor) May 26, 2018
The blow could have left Karius rattled or may well have been playing on his mind when, less than two minutes later, he made that woeful clanger that led to Benzema’s goal.
Having tussled with Mo Salah before the Egyptian went off with a shoulder injury, it appears that Ramos had an even bigger influence on events than many first realised.