Goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi sealed Liverpool’s sixth European Cup win on Saturday night at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid. Liverpool’s win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League Final marked their first win of the competition since 2005 in Istanbul.
Champions League Final: Liverpool win in ugly fashion
The Reds took little time getting on the scoreboard as Salah slotted away a second-minute penalty.
VAR confirmed Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Sissoko had handled a Sadio Mane cross in the 18-yard-box. Salah smashed the ensuing penalty into the back of the net as the Reds never looked back.
Anyone hoping to see a silky, fluid Champions League Final did not get their wish. The first half of the final was start-stop with errant passes made all over the pitch. Liverpool finished the fixture with an appalling 64% pass success rate.
The Reds had overcome Barcelona in the semifinal with one of the most amazing displays in their Champions League history. The final lacked the same emotion from Jurgen Klopp’s squad, however. It was truly Liverpool’s worst performance of the tournament.
Champions League Final: Too soon for Harry Kane
Despite being poor, Liverpool were still too much for Tottenham Hotspur. Perhaps the early penalty changed Klopp’s game plan as the Reds sat back and soaked up Spurs’ pressure for the next 88 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino deployed striker Harry Kane in his first match since returning from an ankle injury. Kane had suffered the injury in the Champions League quarterfinals against Manchester City in mid-April.
Kane’s lack of match fitness was apparent from the early stages. He failed to link up with his teammates and often times, Tottenham Hotspur looked like they had 10 men on the pitch.
The Englishman managed just one shot and a mere 26 touches during the match. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Beck had nearly double the number of touches to Kane.
Pochettino left semifinal star Lucas Moura on the bench which may have been the biggest issue in Spurs’ poor play in front of goal. Supporters, though happy to see Kane back, will question the manager over Moura starting on the bench.
Klopp also chose to sit his semifinal hero, Origi, from the start. The Belgian did come on for Roberto Firmino just before the hour-mark. The Brazilian returned from a groin injury that had kept him out since April and Klopp had got the most out of Firmino to that point.
Origi gave Liverpool a different option through the middle and with three minutes left on the clock, it was the No. 27 who rifled home a low shot past Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris.
Champions League Final: Alisson Becker man of the match
Although Salah and Origi got the goals, it was Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson who was the real hero. After last season’s final in which Lorius Karius made two crucial mistakes to hand Real Madrid the European Cup, Alisson was signed for £66.8 million.
The Brazilian’s performances all season were proof it was money well spent by Liverpool. Alisson made eight saves with several of those coming in the final 10 minutes to deny Tottenham Hotspur and equaliser. Alisson was Liverpool’s man of the match thanks to his great saves and 27th clean sheet of the season.
Liverpool’s win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League Final has many football pundits claiming the Reds can now win the Premier League for the first time in what will be 30 years next term.
After leading Liverpool to three European tournament cup finals, Klopp finally lifted the biggest prize in club football. Liverpool are now six-time European Cup/Champions League winners. With the monkey off of Klopp’s back in the trophy hunt at Anfield, the sky is the limits for the Reds.