Andy Robertson says blaming Sergio Ramos for Liverpool’s Champions League agony is ‘clutching at straws’ despite the challenge that ended Mohamed Salah’s dream season.
A record-breaking campaign finished in despair for the Egyptian against Real Madrid. His World Cup ambitions now relying on the diagnosis of his national team’s medical department, who are said to be confident that he could be fit again in as little as ten days' time.
Ramos has been condemned for the first half challenge on Liverpool’s star player, but the Anfield left back took a rounded view of the incident.
“I think it is just how he has landed but Ramos is quite clever, isn’t he?” said Robertson.
“We are clutching at straws if we are saying that (was the reason Liverpool lost). It is unfortunate. Hopefully he’ll come back bigger and stronger.
“It could have been any of us. It just disrupted our rhythm a wee bit. Everyone looks because it is Mo Salah. He has done unbelievably this season and for it to end that way for him was devastating.
“I hope he goes to the World Cup because a nation is relying on him. It looked bad. Knowing Mo as I do, he would not go off with a light injury, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him.
“How many records has Mo broken? But he will probably look back on it as disappointment because that’s what happens when you to go a final and lose. We had our chance to be heroes, to make our own history, but it was not meant to be.
“The last minutes of the first half we sat back and they created a couple of chances. We got into half-time 0-0 and that was fine. I thought we started well in the second half, then the mistake happened. We bounced back well and then the second goal. What can you say about that? Nobody is stopping that. Fair play to him. We have just fallen short.”
Robertson has been a stand out performer in the European campaign and is determined to build on it to end Liverpool’s enduring trophy jinx. They have now lost in every major final during the last six years – the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup – as well as just missing out on the title in 2014.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool, player ratings
“We will try to use it as motivation for next season, come back and work really hard. We will try to get off to a flyer,” he said.
“But it will be a long summer, that is for sure. I will be itching to get back. All the lads will be the same. The quicker we get back, the better.
“Hopefully we will have more of these nights. People say you might not get another one, but we will try. We know it is the biggest tournament in Europe and it is hard to get there.”
Despite the souvenir of the runners-up medal, Robertson was left wanting more.
“It is an achievement to get here but second is as good as last in my book,” he said.
“We wanted to win. We were one step too short.”