Report as goals 85 minutes apart earn Jurgen Klopp his first trophy at Liverpool
Liverpool were crowned European champions for the sixth time as goals from Mo Salah and Divock Origi gave them a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid.
Liverpool were given a helping hand after just 22 seconds when Sadio Mane’s ball brushed Moussa Sissoko’s arm at close range, prompting Slovenian referee Damir Skomina to point to the spot for Salah to convert down the middle (2).
It was an otherwise turgid affair in sweltering conditions in the Spanish capital, until sub Origi, the two-goal hero in Liverpool’s unforgettable semi-final win over Barcelona, struck a pinpoint low effort into the far corner from the left of the box (87).
After finishing second to Manchester City in the Premier League by just a point, Jurgen Klopp finally earned his first trophy at Liverpool in his fourth final, while Mauricio Pochettino still waits for his first piece of silverware at Spurs.
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Trippier (6), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (7), Rose (6), Winks (7), Sissoko (5), Alli (4), Eriksen (6), Son (6), Kane (4)
Subs: Moura (5), Dier (5), Llorente (NA)
Liverpool: Alisson (8), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (7), Van Dijk (8), Robertson (8), Fabinho (7), Wijnaldum (6), Henderson (7), Salah (7), Firmino (4), Mane (7)
Subs: Origi (7), Milner (7), Gomez (NA)
Man of the match: Alisson
How Liverpool earned European glory
After three-and-a-half weeks of intense build-up, the first flashpoint came in the first minute as Mane’s chipped ball was blocked at point-blank range by Sissoko. Though the ball initially hit Sissoko’s shoulder, it did then brush his arm, and a brief VAR check confirmed a penalty which seemed to split opinion elsewhere.
New or old rules?
New handball rules, which came into effect from June 1 but were NOT implemented for the Champions League final, state that if a player’s hand or arm makes their body ‘unnaturally bigger’ they will be penalised.
Nevertheless, the penalty was given by Slovenian referee Damir Skomina, prompting more confusion surrounding tolerance towards handball in the Champions League.
Salah, who was forced out of last season’s final against Real Madrid early on with a shoulder injury, slotted down the middle, stunning Spurs in their first European Cup final.
Tottenham had more of the possession in an otherwise disjointed first half but couldn’t make the final ball count, and Liverpool went closest to doubling their lead through full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, both inches away with long-range efforts.
Harry Kane started for Spurs despite mising the final two months of the season through injury, meaning semi-final hero Lucas Moura dropped to the bench. Harry Winks also started in midfield.
Roberto Firmino started for Liverpool despite missing the final three games of the campaign, Divock Origi dropped to the bench, and Gini Wijnaldum was named in a midfield three alongside Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
Play opened up slightly after the break, but the first clear-cut chance didn’t come until the 69th minute as substitute James Milner’s low drive missed Lloris’ right-hand post by a whisker following fine work from Mane.
Spurs’ first shot on target came in the 73rd minute as Dele Alli chipped harmlessly into Alisson’s grateful hands, before the Brazilian goalkeeper did well to stop Heung-Min Son’s long-range shot and sub Lucas Moura’s poked effort from 12 yards.
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But Spurs’ hopes of a leveller were dashed three minutes from time as Origi picked up a loose ball on the left of the box, finding the bottom right corner with a fine left-footed drive.
The Belgian registered three goals from just three shots in the entire Champions League campaign: two for his semi-final heroics against Barcelona, and one in Madrid.
A rock-solid Alisson denied a largely absent Harry Kane in stoppage time, but Liverpool got the job done for their first piece of silverware since 2012.
But what a jewel to have won.
Alisson Wonderland, Van Dijk imperious, and where was Harry Kane?
Ron Walker provides in-depth player ratings from the Champions League final, and it doesn’t make great reading for Spurs…
They said this was second prize. That it was the Premier League title that Liverpool wanted. But tell that to the supporters now celebrating this sixth European Cup win. Tell that to Jurgen Klopp after he ended his run of six defeats in finals to triumph in Europe’s biggest game at the third attempt. Liverpool – Klopp’s Liverpool – are the champions of Europe.
It has been a long time coming but it could be just the start.
Read Adam Bate’s analysis on Klopp’s big night above.
Klopp: Best night of our lives
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Jurgen Klopp hailed the victory as the best night of their professional lives.
“Did you ever see a team like this, fighting with no fuel in the tank? And we have a ‘keeper who makes difficult things look easy.
“It is the best night of our professional lives. It took a while, it is important for our development and improvement, this little mark helps a lot, now we can carry on. The owners never put pressure on us.
“Normally 20 minutes after the game I am half drunk, but now I have only had water!”View image on Twitter
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Poch: No Kane regrets
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had no regrets in starting Harry Kane ahead of Lucas Moura…
Pochettino said: “This wasn’t a drama, it was a decision. For me Harry Kane, after one month and a half, he finished the game fresh. He didn’t score but my decision I promise was very analytical, with all the information. I have no regrets.”
- Liverpool have won their sixth Champions League/European Cup trophy – twice as many as any other English team has won (Man Utd, 3).
- Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ended a run of six consecutive unsuccessful finals in major competitions, since winning the DFB-Pokal with Borussia Dortmund in 2012.
- Liverpool (35.4 per cent) have become the first side to win the Champions League final despite having less possession than the opposition since Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich in 2010; a final which was also played in Madrid.
- This was the first ever Champions League final without a single card shown.
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah became the fifth different African player to score in a Champions League/European Cup final, after Rabah Madjer, Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Sadio Mane.
- Salah’s opener for Liverpool was the second fastest goal in a Champions League final, only behind Paolo Maldini (00:50) for AC Milan versus Liverpool in 2005.
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