My thoughts on Liverpool's Champions League final
When Liverpool FC – the club that embarrassed the English champions four times this season and delivered the greatest European comeback of all time in 2005 – held off Roma in the semi-finals to reach the last round of the UEFA Champions League, I admit I was massively optimistic; perhaps naively.
But with all their passion and energy, they just couldn’t quite do it. They were up against serial winners: the Spanish superstars, Real Madrid.
Tonight, however, it wasn’t the Spanish who punished us: it was a Welshman.
Gareth Bale’s first goal has to be one of the best I’ve seen in football. How dare he try that! On this stage! Utterly preposterous goal.
Two metres in the air, back to the goal, legs over the head, foot over the ball, Bale sent it looping into the top left. Unbelievable. You can’t legislate for that.
His second was equally impressive – from 40 yards out, smashing it clean through our goalkeeper’s gloves. At 3-1, with only ten minutes to go, our dreams of a Liverpool win were pretty much over.
Our talisman Mo Salah was a big loss. The game’s sparkle vanished when he was forced off the pitch just 30 minutes into the game. Fingers crossed the Egyptian King is fighting fit for the World Cup next month.
Shocking keeping cost us, too. Not long after I tweeted in defence of Karius, he decided to roll the ball into Benzema's feet, which meant I then had to roll back my punditry on Twitter.
Still, that ridiculous strike from Bale meant Madrid deserved it on the night.
Liverpool have done amazingly to get this far and they've shown the world that they're more than a one-man team. The support for the Reds in Kiev was spine-tingling, proving yet again why we're European Royalty when it comes to the Champions League.
I remain a very patient fan – there’s always next season!