Though Liverpool were beaten by an outrageous goal, and some equally outrageous goalkeeping, it felt as though their chance to upset the odds against Real Madrid slipped away with Mohamed Salah’s departure after half an hour.
Their Egyptian talisman found his arm jammed between Sergio Ramos’s body and crooked arm as the Spanish defender landed on top of him as they tussled for a bouncing ball.
Some have speculated that Ramos’ fall and its unfortunate outcome may not have been a mere accident.
Shocking, I know.
In effort to clear the name of Real Madrid’s captain, we’ve enlisted the help of several expert body language analysts and the very latest mind reading technology – you wouldn’t believe what these algorithms can get out of just a video clip – to piece together what was really going through Ramos’s mind during this crucial episode.
The Anatomy of an injury
The ball is thrown in and Salah makes a run, from the right into the heart of the Madrid half. Ramos has been caught flatfooted and must move quickly to recover.
Ramos: “Ah, fashionable Salah, who pretends to the throne of greatest player in the world, hahahahahahahaahah… hahahahaahahahaaa, oh my… ahhaahahahahahahahahaha, who could think this puny, so-called “Liver Pool”, or any of these feeble players, can challenge the might of Sergio Ramos and Real Mad… where’s he gone?”
As the forward tries to control the bouncing ball, Ramos attempts one of the more conventional moves in his arsenal, reaching to pull the Egyptian back and jostling him. This fails, meaning he must adopt a different approach if Madrid aren’t to be caught by a Liverpool overload down the right.
Ramos: “The fashionable one is fast, but my mind is faster. I will step in and swat this fly away with a flick of my powerful buttocks.”
Unfortunately, as Ramos executes this deft manoeuvre, he is afflicted by a sudden itch in his midriff. His arm, moving to alleviate the irritation, is linked with Salah’s.
Ramos: “Salah, your arm, how does it dare to impede my relief from this infernal affliction?!”
Both players stumble, entangled. His arm rigidly maintains its crooked position.
Ramos: “If you would just let me scratch…”
As the pair land, Ramos suffers a momentary loss of consciousness due to his inability to relieve himself of the ailment. His body temporarily becomes a dead-weight, landing flat on top of and sliding over Salah’s arm, which is still entangled with Ramos’ in its stiff-despite-unconscious right-angle position.
Ramos: “………………………………………..What the…? Where am I? What year is it? Is that used car salesman still president? Errr, I better not look directly at that guy I just landed on. I’m sure he’s fine anyway.”
So there you go, proof that an unfortunate series of events conspired to see the most important player in Liverpool’s team taken out by the most cynical player in Madrid’s team in the biggest games of the season, a game where the underdogs had had the best of the opening exchanges.