- The Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Liverpool felt like it could have a lot of goals in it.
- But after a scoreless first half, contrarian under bettors were feeling good.
- Then, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius ruined under bets all over the world.
With Liverpool and Real Madrid taking the pitch in Kiev, vying for the European Cup, the idea of goals — or many goals — being scored shouldn’t have shocked many soccer fans.
After all, the match would feature the four top goal-scorers from the 2018 UCL season (Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah) and the total ended up falling anywhere between 3 and 3.5 goals in most books (which, to me, seemed low).
That being said, the manner in which goals would be scored in this year’s UCL Final … could only be described as “shocking.” Yes, it took a comedy of errors — an almost Schumannian symphony of errors — for this match to go “over” the total.
After a 0-0 first half, under bettors had to have been feeling good. Especially after Salah, who’s been scoring at a breakneck pace of late, left the pitch in the 31′ with injury. Sure, the idea of four goals being slotted in a half wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility, but it would likely require a really colossal effort from both sides. Or some really colossal mistakes.
Unfortunately for under bettors, it would turn out to be the latter.
Benzema (and I say that lightly) opened up scoring in the 51′ minute on the type of thing you (usually) only see in FIFA (yes, the video game). Liverpool keeper Loris Karius tried clearing the ball by rolling it out wide … oblivious to the fact that Benzema was, indeed, right in front of him. As you can probably visualize, or see above, this will probably go down as the easiest goal ever scored in a Champions League Final.
One down, for under bettors. Still two (and maybe a half) lives left.
The reds would answer, though, relatively quickly — with an equalizing goal from Sadio Mané in the 55′ to level the score at one-all. It wouldn’t stand for long, however, as Gareth Bale — who tends to have a nose for the big moment — came on for Los Blancos in the 61′ and would put Madrid ahead just a few minutes later.
Now, with the score at 2-1, and still around 30 minutes to play — under bettors were probably thinking about their next bet. But the pace would mellow down — and, as the clock ticked past the 80′ with the count still locked at 2-1, under bettors could feel the juice start to flow again throughout their wagers.
But, little did they know, it would all be for naught soon — in simply baffling fashion.
In the 83′, Bale would launch a strike from, like, 35 yards out that — off the foot — looked benign, which is to say, Reds’ keeper Karius appeared to have it all lined up (like a punt returner waiting for the ball to come down). Karius couldn’t secure it — instead, palming the ball into his own net — and that would be the final dagger for under bettors.
Without the two Karius blunders, this match probably stays under. But, today, it looked like Karius carried little more than the weight of over bettors (and Madrid moneyline bettors). Shake it off. Or temporarily imagine how Loris, himself, feels.
Yeah, ain’t so bad, huh?