Jurgen Klopp broke his poor record in finals to guide Liverpool to their sixth Champions League trophy against Spurs in Madrid!
Liverpool played Spurs on Saturday night at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the final of the Champions Leauge. This was Spurs and Pochettinos first European final whilst it was Liverpool’s second in two years. Liverpool had won the competition five times before Saturday and were confident of making it six.
The pressure was also on Klopp going into the game. He had lost the last six finals he had been in which included the 2018 Champions League final and the 2016 Europa League final. Liverpool did go into the finals as favourites though, especially having already beaten Spurs twice in the league this season.
Both sides got into the final in dramatic fashion. Liverpool turned around a first leg 3-0 loss away at Barcelona to win 4-0 at Anfield. Spurs were 3-0 on aggregate at half time away to Ajax. A second-half hattrick from Lucas Moura which included a last-minute goal sent them to Madrid.
Going into the game there were questions regarding the fitness of players from both teams. Harry Kane had been out for a while but had declared himself fit for the game. Pochettino started Kane whilst dropping semi-final hero Lucas Moura. This decision wasn’t one that Spurs fans seemed pleased with. Liverpool had worries about the fitness of Firmino. Like Kane, he hadn’t featured much towards the end of the season and like Kane, it showed on Saturday night.
The start of the match couldn’t have been any better for Liverpool. Within the first minute, a ball was played through over the top to Sadio Mane. He cut the ball back onto his right foot and looked to cross the ball. It struck Sissoko at the very top of his arm and Liverpool were awarded a penalty within 23 seconds of the game starting. It was a debatable decision and surprisingly the referee didn’t use VAR. Up stepped Mo Salah who smashed the ball down the middle of the goal and Liverpool were 1-0 up at one minute.
This woke Spurs up who then looked the better team. But, Liverpool nearly put the game to bed on the 16th minute. Alexander-Arnold trying his look from 25 yards out and the ball just flying inches past the post. The rest of the first half was fairly quiet, with Spurs having the ball but not doing much with it.
The second half started the same for Spurs, they had much of the ball but couldn’t really create any chances. Milner nearly scored on the 68th minute. He was just inside the box and hit it with his left foot but again the ball just went past the post. It took Spurs until the 79th minute to force Alisson into a save. Son shooting from 25 yards out and Alisson pulling off a good save low to his right to keep Spurs out.
Six seconds later and Spurs had their second chance of the match. Moura getting the ball near the penalty spot and trying to place it into the bottom right corner but Alisson got down well to hold onto the ball. Eriksen then forced the Brazilian keeper into another save. A freekick on the 84th minute that Alisson parried away for a corner.
But it would be Liverpool who would have the final and most important chance of the match. A corner came in and Spurs failed to clear it properly. Matip passed the ball to Origi, who scored the winner in the semi, and the Belgian striker smashed it across goal into the bottom right corner. Game over.
Spurs were deflated and new they wouldn’t score two in the final few minutes. The whistle went and the Liverpool bench ran onto the pitch. This wasn’t their greatest ever performance but will go down as one of their greatest ever nights.
They had now won six Champions League trophies, only AC Milan and Real Madrid have more. This capped off what was a brilliant season for Liverpool.
Champions League 2020
Bet365 already have odds on next years competition. Man City are the favourites at 5/1, having lost out on away goals to Spurs in the quarterfinals, you felt had they have got through they would have gone on to win the competition. Barcelona are next at 6/1, they have some big signings on the way including De Jong and will be back stronger next year. Liverpool come in at 7/1. They have been in the final the last two years and could definitely make it three in a row next year.