There is no pleasure to be derived from this game. Nothing to magically make it all ok and erase the pain of what happened. As such, we all inevitably look to scapegoats, be it players or managers. Loris Karius will clearly bear the brunt of a lot of blame tonight, as will Jordan Henderson.
The Liverpool captain himself was refreshingly honest about the proceedings.
“It is disappointing, of course”, Henderson told BT Sport, as reported by BBC Sport. “We did well to get the goal and get back into the game but made mistakes and Real Madrid were really good.
“They are a fantastic side and will always hurt you, they deserved to win and were better on the night”.
Talking about the pattern of the game, Henderson explained that in “the first 30 or 35 minutes, we dominated with the ball, had a couple of chances but it is frustrating. You have to give credit to them”, he said. Claiming the injury to Mohamed Salah as a significant turning point, Henderson added that when he got injured, “they started to dominate with the ball. They scored a goal which was offside in the first half but we stayed in the game. We still believed we could go on but there were a couple of goals on another night which would not have gone in.
“The first goal I am not sure what happened, whether Karim Benzema stopped it with his hand, and then the overhead kick he could do nothing about. The third goal, the ball had loads of movement on it.
“It is not the mistakes Loris Karius made, we got to the final as a team and lose as a team. It is about everybody. We were not good enough on the night, and I am so proud of the players and the fans who came out for us on the night. I hope we can carry on and get into more finals and use it going forward.”
Wise words for all of us from the skipper, here. This Liverpool are a young, dynamic, improving side. While this final is painful to deal with, there is every hope of some better days to come.