Liverpool was ruthless in the first half, creating more chances, but a more thorough and well-thought-out approach by Thomas Tuchel in the second half, allowed Chelsea to get back into the game.
When Liverpool was gathering steam in the first half, all eyes were on their front three – Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, and Sadio Mane. But unfortunately for the Reds, Salah felt some discomfort in his groin and was subbed off in the 33rd minute.
This was an enormous blow for the Reds to see their number 11 off the pitch in the middle of a crucial final and a bigger blow in terms of the upcoming Champions League final against Real Madrid.
While Salah was leaving the pitch, he turned and exchanged a glance with Antonio Rudiger, which got Real Madrid fans all excited and riled up, considering that the German is Madrid bound at the end of the season. This all looked eerily familiar to the fans of the Whites.
Seeing Salah leave the ground with an injury in the big final reminded Real Madrid fans of the 2018 Champions League final when their captain Sergio Ramos, tackled and brought Salah down, forcing the Egyptian to leave the pitch amid a heated encounter which many believe Liverpool would have won if Salah wasn’t fouled by Ramos.
Since Rudiger is soon to be a Galactico, many assumed him to be a double agent for Real Madrid’s boss, Florentino Perez who was given the assignment to injure Salah, making him unavailable for the Champions League final against the Los Blancos in two weeks.
Despite not being in the all whites of Real Madrid, Rudiger seems to be getting the love of Madridistas who are impressed with his abilities to turn up in big matches and especially against players like Salah who can take the game away at any point. Although Rudiger has been praised before as well. In the Premier League encounter against Liverpool this season, a video surfaced online after the game which saw Rudiger man-marking Salah to such precision that the Egyptian had to wrestle to get out of the German’s grasp. It seems like Rudiger has been eyeing that Madrid job before, even before he was considered by the Los Blancos.
A fan suggested that Rudiger has planted that same fear in Salah as Ramos did back in 2018. No matter what’s the case, Rudiger has made headways with Real Madrid fans already.
But unfortunately for Los Blancos, Rudiger didn’t entirely succeed in his pursuit this time. An injury update by Jurgen Klopp post the FA Cup final clearly stated that Salah is alright and should be available for the game against Real Madrid.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying, but this time Salah had the last laugh by adding another trophy to his cabinet while keeping his eyes set on the big one, the UEFA Champions League.