On Liverpool's night of tears in the Champions League final, goalkeeper Loris Karius cried long and hard.

True, the decisive goal in Real Madrid's 3-1 win on Saturday was a sublime scissor-kick by substitute Gareth Bale that the 24-year-old German could do nothing to stop.

But Madrid's other two goals came from major errors by Karius that verged on the ridiculous.

Gifting Karim Benzema an opening goal in the 51st minute let Madrid take control after Liverpool were better for much of the first half.

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Spilling Bale's long-range shot into the net in the 83rd meant there was no way back for Liverpool at 3-1 down to the two-time defending champion. At the final whistle, Karius put his hands to his head and slumped to his knees in his goalmouth.

No teammate came to console him and he then lay flat out, face to the turf hiding his tears.

"It's not about him and the mistakes he might have made, it's about the team. We weren't good enough on the night," Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson told British broadcaster BT Sport.

Reds coach Jurgen Klopp said: "What can I say? Loris knows it. Everyone knows it. It's a shame in a game like this, a season like this, I feel for him. It's really difficult to get rid of the bad thoughts in his mind."

Karius was a broken man after the full-time whistle. He sobbed uncontrollably as he made his way over to the Liverpool supporters in the crowd and apologised.

"My mistakes have lost the final. I'm sorry ... sorry to everyone," he said afterwards.

Social media wasn't so forgiving in the immediate aftermath of his mistake that gifted Benzema Real's opener, but when the rage died down, there was genuine sympathy for the man whose career will likely be forever tainted with the memory of this match.

Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard joined the chorus of support for Karius after his horrific night.

"Listen, on a human level you feel absolute sadness for him," Lampard said. "We also have to say there, it's a horrible, horrible moment for him.

"I'm feeling sorry for him and he needs some big support from his teammates and everyone around him.

"No matter what his future is, football goes a bit to the side there."

Karius' forgettable match was summed up in a series of devastating photos.

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius kneels on the pitch at the end of the Champions League Final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Photo / AP
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius kneels on the pitch at the end of the Champions League Final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Photo / AP
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius looks at the ball after Real Madrid's Gareth Bale scored his side's 3rd goal during the Champions League Final. Photo / AP
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius looks at the ball after Real Madrid's Gareth Bale scored his side's 3rd goal during the Champions League Final. Photo / AP
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius can't stop the ball shot by Real Madrid's Gareth Bale during the Champions League Final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Photo / AP
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius can't stop the ball shot by Real Madrid's Gareth Bale during the Champions League Final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Photo / AP
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius reacts after Real Madrid's Gareth Bale scored during the Champions League Final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Photo / AP
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius reacts after Real Madrid's Gareth Bale scored during the Champions League Final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Photo / AP

Liverpool had threatened to sweep Madrid aside in an impressive first 25 minutes.

Then star forward Mohamed Salah's left shoulder was injured when he was dragged to the ground in a tangling fall with wily Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. Within four minutes, Salah gave into obvious searing pain and left the field in tears. The final game of his glorious Liverpool season was over.

Liverpool lost momentum and relied on an excellent Karius save, pushing away Cristiano Ronaldo's header, just to get to halftime on level terms. In a first reckless act by Karius, he gathered an aimless Madrid through-ball at the edge of his penalty area, then tried to roll the ball underarm to a defender.

Benzema stuck out a right foot, connected and the ball rolled slowly into an unguarded net, leaving Karius to appeal haplessly to the referee for a non-existent foul.

Karius was redeemed by Sadio Mane's equaliser within four minutes, before Bale scored a goal worthy of winning a Champions League final and a place in the competition's history.

But Karius letting Bale's mostly harmless shot squirm through his hands at chest-height gave the former Manchester City trainee his place in European soccer infamy.