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Arsene Wenger points finger at Sadio Mane and Mo Salah after Liverpool's Real Madrid loss


Arsene Wenger appeared to blame Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane after Liverpool’s disappointing performance in Saturday’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid

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Liverpool v Real Madrid: Champions League final pictures

Arsene Wenger appeared to blame Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for their poor performances in Liverpool’s disappointing Champions League defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday night.

Former Arsenal boss Wenger appeared on beIN Sports to discuss the game and offered up his theory on why Liverpool appeared to be so sluggish in their play. The Reds were poor despite dominating the ball and were made to pay for a series of wasted chances.

Real Madrid scored with their first shot on target of the game and were able to hold on to secure a 1-0 win and their 14th Champions League trophy. The defeat came just six days after Liverpool’s Premier League dream ended on the final day of the season.

Liverpool went into the game at the Stade de France attempting to bounce back after the heartache of missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by just two points.

And Wenger believes the drama-filled final day of the campaign had an impact on Liverpool’s performance on Saturday, explaining to beIN Sports that he believed both Salah and Mane were disappointing.

“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. 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.”







Arsene Wenger didn’t hold back when discussing Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid
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Image:

beIN Sports)

Wenger went on to praise the performance of Madrid’s key man Thibaut Courtois, who was named Man of the Match for his heroics between the posts. The goalkeeper kept Madrid in the game with a series of terrific saves in the first half, and produced a couple of spell-binding stops in the second half after Madrid had taken the lead.

The Frenchman said: “Overall they came short, we must be honest, because of Courtois. 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.”

Madrid’s Champions League win was their 14th, and saw Ancelotti become the first manager ever to win the competition four times. And Wenger believes the Italian maestro has got his stars playing like a team of friends rather than a team of individuals.

He continued: “[Ancelotti] plays a big part in it, there’s a good connection between him and his players. They look relaxed when they face him, he knows how to handle these big players.

“But I think as well, these players have a remarkable experience together, I think particularly in midfield. [Toni] Kroos was outstanding, [Luka] Modric was outstanding. [Federico] Valverde outstanding, Casimero outstanding. They’ve experienced winning together. They know when it gets difficult in the game they can get through it because they’ve done it before. There’s something special, Ancelotti deserves credit.

“But as well, when you’ve got a past together it creates a special bond. It’s a team of stars that looks like a team of friends, that’s not always the case.”

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