The mourning after: Liverpool woe after Champions League misery

Liverpool (AFP) –


Liverpool was nursing a collective hangover on Sunday after two costly blunders from Loris Karius and a damaging injury to star striker Mohamed Salah condemned the Reds to Champions League misery against Real Madrid.

"Sore, bitter, disappointed," said street sweeper Tony Peters, summarising the mood of the city as he cleared its pavements of alcohol and fast food containers -- a task he had been working at since four in the morning.

Tens of thousands had gathered in the city to watch Jurgen Klopp's side face Real in the final in Kiev on Saturday -- including 30,000 at a sold-out live viewing event at Liverpool's Anfield stadium.

But their dreams of cheering Liverpool to a sixth European Cup were dashed after Salah had to leave the field in tears after just 31 minutes with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

Adding insult to injury, a sloppy throw and a complete misjudgement from Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius handed holders Real the two-goal lead they needed to retain the trophy.

"Games like that are that big that you make one mistake and that's it," said Liverpool fan Calum Hall as he wandered the streets.

Liverpool was abandoned in the early morning -- in stark contrast to the night before when it was heaving with fans, flags, posters and chants.

The only cheers came when the shutters to Liverpool Central train station lifted.

One fan sang "Let's go home" to the tune of "Allez, allez allez", the fan favourite tune of the day before that continues: "We've conquered all of Europe, We're never gonna stop."

"A lady that I bought back was crying all the way home," said cab driver Charlie McCartney as he waited for a fare.

"I said, 'Look, you don't have to say any more.'"

In the town centre, a huge bin lorry carried away a haul of empty beer bottles and some fans seemed to have slept out in the open.

Others rested at counters of fast food restaurants, doing a roaring morning trade in fried breakfasts.

The waterfront route that would have hosted the team in a victory parade was also abandoned, but a handful of defiant fans were still drinking outside an off-licence.

"I'm not going to lie, I'm quite disappointed," admitted Irish fan Michael Doherty, speaking as he waited for a bus out of the city.

But, reflecting the positivity generated by Liverpool's unexpected run to the final, his ultimate mood was upbeat.

"Liverpool with Klopp at the helm, we'll never go away. We'll always be back," Doherty said.