Real Madrid secure three-in-a-row as Gareth Bale punishes Liverpool

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"He would have tried to play on [if he could have] but I have not seen him". Madrid and Zidane had already wrapped up their very own hat-tricks by then, though.

Liverpool fans will be ruing the performance of German goalkeeper Loris Karius, who made two crucial blunders which lead to goals, including Bale's second and Benzema's opener.

Karim Benzema struck a weird opening goal after an error by goalkeeper Loris Karius on 51 minutes before Liverpool, who lost leading scorer Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, replied through Sadio Mane.

Bale went on to score again seven minutes before the final whistle, crushing whatever remained of Liverpool's hopes.

The match featured its fair share of talking points - none more so than that Bale goal.

Jan Oblak at Atletico Madrid would fit the bill and give Liverpool one of the top five keepers in the world, while the Roma keeper Alisson Becker is another who would be an upgrade.

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Salah (Liverpool's leading goalscorer with 44 goals in all competitions this season) landed heavily on his left shoulder after a challenge with Sergio Ramos.

The loss to injury of Salah after just 30 minutes of this game was every Liverpool supporter's worst nightmare.

However, sources close to Manchester United said in January they doubted any claims that Ronaldo really wants to leave Real Madrid to return to Old Trafford and that he was merely trying to force a better deal out of his current club.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's long wait for a European trophy continues, after the German lost as manager of Dortmund in the 2013 final. Dejan Lovren headed goalward from a corner and Sadio Mane nipped in front of Keylor Navas to poke home.

Defender Dani Carvajal, who had been struggling in the warm-up, also left the pitch in tears moments later after injuring his ankle but it hardly redressed the balance of Salah's absence.

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