Arsene Wenger believes Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are to blame for Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League final.
After losing the Premier League title to Manchester City, the former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger believes the Reds tandem lost some flare during the Champions League final.
On Saturday night, the Reds faced Los Blancos at Stade de France in a rematch of the 2018 final, in which Madrid won 3-1.
During the 2022 edition of the tournament, Vinicius Junior scored the game’s sole goal in the 59th minute after connecting with Federico Valverde’s assist.
It was a dismal finale to the season for the Merseyside club, which had hoped to achieve an unprecedented quadruple just a few weeks ago.
The former Arsenal manager believed that Liverpool’s loss of the Premier League title to Manchester City had an impact on Salah and Mane before the Champions League final.
“I wonder after watching that game if the disappointment of last week, being beaten [to the title] in the last game of the season had somewhere dropped a level of confidence,” Wenger, who helped the Gunners reach the Champions League final in 2006 but lost 1-0 to Barcelona, told beIN Sports.
“You felt as well that Salah, Mane, the guys who make the difference, didn’t have the same freshness, the same belief that they can make the difference.”
The 72-year-old tactician also praised former Chelsea shot-stopper, Thibaut Courtois, for the outstanding saves made to deny the Reds and ensure the La Liga Champions carried the day.
“Overall they [Liverpool] came short, we must be honest, because of Courtois,” Wenger continued.
“I felt at some stage that if Liverpool came back to 1-1 they’d come back and win the game. But they never found that special moment where they could finish their chances off, and a lot of that is down to Courtois.”
Real Madrid have already won 14 Champions League title, and manager Carlo Ancelotti has become the first coach to win Europe’s club premier competition four times.
The Reds finished the season with both the League Cup and the FA Cup.