Real Madrid man's confession over Loris Karius 2018 Champions League final howler: 'It wasn't his fault'

Liverpool’s dreams of Champions League glory back in 2018 were ended in the final in Kyiv with defeat to Real Madrid. 

Two goals from substitute Gareth Bale ultimately decided the fate of the encounter in the favour of Los Blancos but there were numerous sub-plots around the showpiece final. 

Sergio Ramos made himself Liverpool’s public enemy No.1 by injuring Mohamed Salah’s shoulder with a rash challenge, a blow that necessitated a substitution and placed the Egyptian’s World Cup campaign in jeopardy. 

The form of Reds’ goalkeeper Loris Karuis, too, came under scrutiny given the scale of the errors he made on the night. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp later excused Karius’ mistakes, citing a suspected concussion suffered in a tangle with Ramos. 

"We don't use it as an excuse, we use it as an explanation,” Klopp said. “For me, it's 100 percent the explanation. He was influenced by that knock – that is 100 percent.” 

Madrid took the lead just after half time after Karius intercepted an over-hit through ball and restarted the play with a throw to one of his defenders. However, Benzema appeared to anticipate the pass, deflecting the ball into the corner of the net and giving Madrid a 1-0 lead. 

Bale's incredible goal

Liverpool recovered shortly thereafter with Sadio Mane turning a Dejan Lovren header goalward to equalise. 

However, Madrid again went ahead within minutes when Bale scored, arguably, one of the greatest goals a Champions League final had ever seen not long after coming on for Isco. 

His bicycle kick will live long in the memory and an army of goalkeepers probably wouldn’t have saved it. 

Man-of-the-match Bale killed the contest in the closing stages after his shot deviated away from Karius with the Liverpool keeper powerless to prevent the ball from going behind the line after taking a touch from his gloves. 

Karius error lets Madrid in

Bale’s contributions will be forever remembered by Madrid faithful but it was Benzema’s goal which sent the Spanish capital side on their way. 

And one man who was there that night has shed light on the circumstances of the go-ahead goal, claiming it wasn’t an opportunistic strike on behalf of the Frenchman. 

READ MORE: Karius marries DAZN presenter and model Diletta Leotta

Instead, substitute goalkeeper Kiko Casilla states that Benzema watched how Karius restarted the play very carefully and took advantage. 

Saying that the Liverpool man wasn’t to blame for the goal, former Leeds goalkeeper Casilla instead offered all the credit to Benzema. 

Casilla: Benzema goal was PLANNED

"Benzema's goal, well everyone thinks it's Karius' fault but Benzema spent half an hour looking for it, knowing it could happen," Casilla told the Offsiders podcast

"That didn't come out of nowhere. He knew that Karius used to pass the ball quick and without looking and he already had it studied. 

"Was it planned? Yes. 

"I told him later, I saw that the goalkeeper used to pass the ball without looking, carelessly. And then, after the goal, I asked Benzema: 'Had you seen that he did the same couple of times, right?' 

"And he said: 'Yes'."

Karius appeared in 49 matches overall for the Anfield side amid loan spells as Besiktas and Union Berlin. 

He recently married Italian DAZN presenter and model Diletta Leotta at a star-studded bash on the Sicilian island of Vulcano. 

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