The match was goalless but Jurgen Klopp’s side were in the ascendency until midway through the first half when they lost their 44-goal forward with a shoulder injury after falling in a tangle with Sergio Ramos.
Liverpool’s players struggled to adjust and Real took advantage, eventually running out 3-1 winners partly thanks to two errors by goalkeeper Loris Karius and a stunning overhead kick by Gareth Bale.
“I think it was a big blow for us, it seemed like a big blow for us the way the way we reacted after his injury,” said Wijnaldum. “I think when he was on the pitch we did it well for 25 minutes but (after the injury) there was less than before.
“Those things happen and we had to deal with it but it was difficult.”
Read more coverage on the Champions League final:
- Miguel Delaney: The definitive read from an enthralling night
- Jonathan Liew: The emptiness of the biggest stage
- Ed Malyon: Why relentless Real make their own luck
- Mark Critchley: Salah's early exit cripples Liverpool
- Explained: Salah's injury and his chances of playing in Russia
- Man marking: We run the rule over both teams in Kiev
- Transfer talk #1: Ronaldo opens the door to shock exit
- Transfer talk #2: Bale issues come and get me plea
Asked what Klopp said at half-time the Holland international added: “He said that it looked like we were devastated about Mo but we had to let it go and change because it could not change.
“Sometimes those things happen in football. It is hugely frustrating but we can’t change it.”
Egypt’s team doctor Mohamed Abou El-Ela said in a statement that, according to information from Liverpool’s medical staff, Salah has sustained only ligament damage and he remained optimistic he would still feature in the World Cup.
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