Liverpool may have one foot in the Champions League final but it came at a hefty cost.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was stretchered off just 18 minutes into the tie and looked in serious pain following his well-timed tackle on Aleksandar Kolarov.
Everyone associated with Liverpool immediately feared the worse.
And with Emre Can and Adam Lallana already seemingly ruled out for the season, an injury to a midfielder was the last thing they wanted.
While they coped pretty well without Oxlade-Chamberlain for the remaining 70 minutes, thrashing Roma 5-2, they will have to cope without him for the rest of the season.
Liverpool’s worst fears were realised on Wednesday evening in a club statement.
“Liverpool FC can confirm Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's 2017-18 season is over for both club and country due to a knee ligament injury sustained against AS Roma on Tuesday evening,” it read.
“The extent of the injury means Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the remainder of the campaign for Liverpool, as well as the World Cup finals in Russia with England.
“However, Oxlade-Chamberlain will now begin a rehabilitation programme to enable him to reach full fitness again as soon as possible, returning to action next season.”
As soon as the news was confirmed, tributes poured in for the midfielder who was in the form of his career.
But there was one tribute that stood out more than most.
BENJAMIN MENDY TWEETS OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN
Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy has missed almost the entire season after suffering cruciate knee ligament injury against Crystal Palace in September.
Mendy may have recently returned to the City side but he’s had to work extremely hard to get back to full fitness. And he knows the road of struggle ahead of Oxlade-Chamberlain more than most.
That’s why he took the time to tweet the Liverpool midfielder upon hearing the news.
He wrote: “Bro sorry to hear that.. wishing you a good recovery, come back stonger.”
That is top class.
Football fans certainly enjoyed Mendy’s small gesture and thanked him for his kind words.
While Mendy couldn’t really help City to their Premier League title this season, Oxlade-Chamberlain could miss what would have been the biggest match of his career in the form of the Champions League final, while also missing out on the World Cup - where he may well have started for Gareth Southgate’s side.
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