The 36 minutes that pushed Liverpool to defeat in the Champions League
Stage fright is normal, even for a seasoned artist. Singers and people who perform in front of crowds always point out that excitement remains a good sign if it does not turn into a panic attack. But there is a measure to everything; excessive excitement is evident. Any spectator involuntarily guesses at a penalty shootout when, moments before the kick, he tries to read on the face of the kicker whether he will miss or hit it.
Yesterday, as Liverpool’s players came out for warm-ups, the sixth physiological sense could record non-verbal cues-the way Salah huddled around, the way Mane sullenly waved his head, the way confusion flashed in Van Dijk’s rocky eyes. Only Keita came onto the pitch with the ball on his head, but the match showed – he’d better not be so fearless and think first and only then do.
The Parisians organized the final terribly, so Liverpool’s bus got caught in a traffic jam. As a result, the final was postponed by 14 minutes. Next, there were added problems with the passage of the Reds fans. Ceballos says Carvajal, Modrić and Benzema were playing cards at the time. Salah and Mane did not live up to that level of self-control, and Courtois, even after the final, looked like he was grilling steaks in the backyard and a little tired of cooking for his friends.
Real Madrid’s fearlessness allowed them to beat formidable opponents in the playoffs against the laws of soccer. Usually the one who creates more quality chances wins more often. To say that numbers don’t work is a blatant lie. Even simple algorithms of evaluation based on statistics will show that Courtois and Casemiro are the heroes of the final, and they are. The great champions played their cards right and then came out and broke the intimidated Liverpool, desperate to pretend to be champions at the start of the match.
Liverpool fans came to the match with fake tickets
Let us not make saints of English fans. Back in 2007, Athens saw riots on the eve of the Milan-Liverpool final. More than once UEFA has crooked ticket sales, and when it comes to inattentive hosts of the final, there will be trouble. The Greeks let about 5,000 people into the stadium without tickets and with fake passes. Liverpool’s quota was 17,000 and a lot more people came to Athens.
There were even isolated cases of drunken fans snatching tickets out of someone else’s hands, running away and going through the turnstiles with them. As a result, the organizers said the stadium was packed to capacity, but there were thousands of fans with real tickets waiting behind the turnstiles. The police are rarely the good guys when they meet a crowd – tear gas and batons with electric shocks were used. After the match, Liverpool management blamed UEFA, and some officials blamed the fans.
It should be noted that the Milan fans marched calmly into the stadium. There are certainly individuals among Liverpool fans who deliberately come to the Champions League finals with fake passes. But it’s clear that such trickery must be dealt with by the organizers. Innocent people should not suffer, and yesterday in Paris the Athens story was repeated. UEFA will again say that it was the bad English, and they will be partly right. But only partly, because there was police mayhem.
The cops behaved inadequately and innocent people got hurt
Yesterday, the turnstiles jammed when a crowd with fake tickets got in. That is so far UEFA’s main theory, judging by the reaction of the Chefferin’s office. It could have happened in St. Petersburg, too. Note that the Real Madrid fans quietly walked into the stadium long before the match. Let’s take that part into account – some Reds fans knew they had a wrapper on their hands, but brazenly tried to sneak into the stadium. Except that the organizers of the finals could have put up cordons and taken away fake tickets.
Russian police, who arrested 400 people after the CSKA and Zenit games and provoked a conflict with the ultras of the local club at the St. Petersburg stadium, also could have used force against the Englishmen if they tried to enter the stadium through the fences. Except that the Paris police sprayed tear gas through the fences, behind which there were quiet young guys, old men, girls and even children.
All the videos show the usual soccer crowd, no angry gangs. That said, the Paris police and stewards failed to catch everyone who ran into the stadium unchecked. Although we can’t rule out that the people running had real tickets, the turnstiles just stopped working. It’s lucky that there was no crush – after all, the majority of spectators got to the match, the scale of the disaster should not be overestimated. We feel sorry for everyone who was injured, but there was no tragedy.
Only 53 people were detained for the entire day of the final, many for drunken brawls in the city itself and in the Paris Metro, a trifle for any match of this level. There were no problems with the Spaniards, they are some of the most boring fans in Europe outside the stadium. But Real Madrid came out for a warm-up and saw a sea of white in the stands. The performance of the club anthem with Raul singing was seen by the whole world. But the Liverpool fans were spoiled the holiday. Not everyone can afford, because of work or financial situation, to travel to away matches of their favorite club.
There were Reds fans waiting for the main soccer game of their lives yesterday. Some of them were simply not allowed into the stadium by the crooked Frenchmen, because stowaways ran into the arena and took someone else’s place. The stewards didn’t take anyone out for fear of a fight, so they got chaos instead of order. The French police even deleted video of the incidents from the journalists’ phones, which is simply illegal. Liverpool fans need to file class action lawsuits, Paris must pay thousands of euros in moral compensation.
Courtois and Real Madrid won the final, but Liverpool also helped them
Thirty-six minutes of delay is almost a whole half. The biological clock exists, the players’ bodies took the second half as overtime. It’s no surprise that the tempo was lacking. “Liverpool” was out of their skin – they made 4 accurate shots after halftime, and “Real” kept the blow in defense, but managed to implement the only apt shot in the protocol of the match. The Spanish did not go to the stadium with fake tickets, and it was their club that was hurt by the massive attempts by the English to cheat.
Benzema was collected, although he was also a little worried. But Karim’s trademark passes, with the foot hardly moving, proved that the Frenchman was in control. But Salah’s FNL-style circling – predictable and criminally slow – reminded us that character wins in soccer. When Liverpool in Istanbul proved morally more powerful, surviving the pressure of the first half, even Ancelotti’s great phlegmatic Milan shuddered.
The wily Dudek was allowed by fate to step two meters out of the goal before the kick to repel Pirlo’s attempt at a penalty shootout. Now Jerzy would have been shown a yellow card and Andrea would have been given the chance to convert the penalty in the series. And he would have scored, because before the 2006 World Cup final in a year, the midfielder would sleep until lunchtime, then play on a console, and then come out and score against Barthez in the series. Liverpool lost their rest yesterday, and Vinicius made the difference after a great Valverde pass.
The Real Madrid players are definitely joking among themselves that Perez sold his soul to the devil to combine class, luck and will with his favorite team. A killer combination, which is why Real Madrid has 14 Champions Cups, while Milan, second in history, has half as many. Liverpool lost to the great element, and Klopp can only joke that since the next final is in Istanbul, fans can already book tickets.
Jurgen knows that you can and should take revenge on fate. But his boys, on the other hand, have been sitting on the bus and in the locker room, burned out. Alexander-Arnold looked at the world yesterday through the eyes of a Manchester City player, not the guy who served up that very corner kick against Barcelona. The result of the transformation was no surprise. Courtois is the hero of the final and of the season, but Real Madrid’s defense allowed clear chances. Any accurate shot by Salah and a characteristic Real could have floated in. Not only did a strong-willed Spanish team win, but an underwhelming English team lost.