Mohamed Salah’s penalty in the 2nd minute and Divock Origi’s 87th minute strike sealed victory for Liverpool and claim their 6th European Champions League title, beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final at Madrid.
After finishing second to Real Madrid in the Final last year, Liverpool had agonizingly missed out the English Premier League title by a solitary point to Manchester City this year. Jurgen Klopp and his Red brigade were on a mission to leave no stone unturned to claim the Europe’s biggest prize in Madrid.
Madrid was painted in Red as Liverpool won Europe’s biggest prize. The Spanish capital was flooded with Liverpool and Tottenham fans as the final was an all English affair. 63,272 packed into the Wanda Estadio Metropolitano, as the final erupted to life with Liverpool’s tactical play forcing the Spurs onto the back foot.
Minutes after kickoff, Slovenia Referee Damir Skomina pointed to the spot when Moussa Sissoko was penalised for handball. VAR confirmed the decision. The World winning French Goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris had a reputation with vital penalty saves against Arsenal, Leicester and Manchester City this year. Salah willingly took responsibility from 12 yards out and fired firm and fast down the middle and beyond Lloris to give Liverpool the perfect start.
Mohamed Salah’s opener in the 2nd minute is the second fastest goal in a Champions League final, only behind Paolo Maldni (00:50) for AC Milan against Liverpool in 2005. In doing so, he became the first Egyptian to score in a Champions League final.
In India: Politics & Entertainment
Tottenham rallied hard to assert themselves especially in the Second half through stinging long range efforts from the South Korean, Son Heung-min, while Dele Alli’s, Christian Eriksen and substitute Lucas Moura were unable to find a way past Alisson in the Liverpool goal.
However three minutes from full time, the Spurs defense failed to clear their lines from a corner and Divock Origi, struck the final nail in the coffin, with a scorching left footed finish into the bottom corner. The 24 year old Belgian was Liverpool’s hero in their stunning semi-final second-leg turnaround against Barcelona.
The win was sweet redemption especially for German Coach Jurgen Klopp, who had suffered defeat on his last six appearances in major finals, including Champions League showpieces with Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and Liverpool in 2018.
“I am so happy for the boys all these people, and my family. They suffer for me, they deserve it more than anybody,” Klopp said.
Mauricio Pochettino had taken a bold but gamble in fielding Harry Kane, who taken off after he suffered an ankle injury against Manchester City in the Quarterfinal first leg. With the talismanic England captain struggling to influence play, Dele Alli and Song were the only threat for the Liverpool defense. The decision to deny Lucas Moura a starting spot would not go well with the Spurs fans as the Brazilian had scored the decisive hat trick against Ajax in the Semi final to help Tottenam book a berth in the final.
Read Cricket: Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka
While it as a complete team effort from Liverpool, 20 year old right full back Alexander-Arnold and Brazilian Goalkeeper Alisson Becker came up with outstanding performances, but it was Virgil van Dijk who earned UEFA Champions League final Man of the Match by the UEFA Technical Observers. The Dutch central defender’s calm and commanding display won him the title.
Thomas Schaaf, leader of the UEFA Technical Observers in Madrid, said: “Van Dijk showed outstanding leadership and was Liverpool’s best defender. He made crucial interventions when needed and played with a cool head throughout.”
After Rome 1977, London 1978, Paris 1981, Rome 1984, Istanbul 2005, Liverpool have one again conquered Europe in Madrid 2019. With this win Liverpool become the third most successful club in the European Cup – and are now one title clear of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The Victory also set Liverpool in title clash against Chelsea for the 2019 UEFA Super Cup to be played at Besiktas Park, Istanbul on August 14. Chelsea, booked their spot in the one-off fixture by beating Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final earlier this week. In 2005, under Rafael Benitez Liverpool beat CSKA Moscow 3-1 in the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco.