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Champions League

Liverpool vs Real Madrid | Champions League: Lallana on 2018 Champions League final: I couldn’t get near Modric, I felt like a rabbit in the headlights

Adam Lallana has reflected on just how difficult he found coming on to replace Mohamed Salah in the first half of the 2018 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The score was 0-0 when Lallana, who now plays for Brighton, came onto the pitch, but Liverpool went on to lose the match 3-1 to Los Blancos.

“Looking back now, I was petrified [coming on],” Lallana said on the Super 6 Podcast.

“Maybe petrified is a bit of a strong word, but looking back I feel like I’m in a position now where I can maybe say that.

“I had a terrible year, it was my first year when it was kind of one injury after another, and I just couldn’t find any sort of rhythm in terms of being on the pitch.

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“So I’d just come back from a big, big hamstring injury, I think I’d played 15 minutes of the last game of the [Premier League] season, and I just had no rhythm, no form.

“We’d lost the Champions League final, and I remember kind of after it finished just being relieved [that] I got through the game.

“I couldn’t get near anyone. I couldn’t get near [Luka] Modric, I couldn’t get near anyone. I was just running around. I felt like a rabbit in the headlights.”

Rather than embracing the game itself, Lallana revealed that he was simply determined not to make a mistake that could cost his team.

“I didn’t feel like I’d let myself down when I came on and how I performed, because if you play football, the worst thing is coming on after 20, 25 minutes,” he continued.

“To come on into a game, especially of that magnitude and especially because I had no minutes…

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“I remember just running around and I was late into tackles. I was absolutely blowing, catching my breath.

“I didn’t ever think, ‘oh, I’ve just played in the Champions League final’. I just remember thinking, ‘thank god I didn’t make a mistake leading to a goal.’”

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