Continuing our series of controversies that defined the year, Liverpool’s key player was fouled by Real’s controversial hard man in the 22nd minute of the Champions League final
It was four minutes before the enormity of the situation truly sunk in and a communal gasp came from the sea of red inside Kiev’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium. Mohamed Salah was down for a second time in quick succession, only this time he was down and out of the Champions League final. A season of joy, brilliance and 44 goals had been brought to a premature, painful and tearful halt. Sergio Ramos shared a joke with an assistant referee as the idol of Liverpool and Egypt headed for the tunnel and the worst moment of his career. Real Madrid set course for their 13th European Cup triumph in his absence.
Recriminations from the Ramos hold and twist that ended Salah’s final – no foul was awarded on the night by the Serbian referee, Milorad Mazic – started long before the Real captain, almost as though rubbing Liverpool’s noses in it, lifted the trophy for a third consecutive season on 26 May.