The former Arsenal manager believes the Reds duo had lost some spark after losing the Premier League title to Manchester City
Celebrated French coach Arsene Wenger has suggested Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are partly to blame for Liverpool’s 1-0 loss in the Uefa Champions League final to Real Madrid.
The Reds played Los Blancos at Stade de France on Saturday night in a repeat of the 2018 final, where Madrid won 3-1.
On Saturday, Vinicius Junior scored the only goal of the match when he connected with Federico Valverde’s assist in the 59th minute to score the only goal of the match.
It was a disappointing ending to the season for the Merseyside outfit who, just a few weeks ago, had hoped to win an unprecedented quadruple.
The former Arsenal manager felt missing out on the Premier League title to Manchester City might have affected the influence Salah and Mane have had for Jurgen Klopp’s team this season.
“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.”
By defeating Liverpool, Real Madrid have now won 14 Champions League titles while their manager Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach to win Europe’s club elite competitions four times.
The Reds ended the season with the League Cup and the FA Cup trophies.
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