“It was Mohamed Salah, such a disconsolate figure when he was injured early in that loss to Real Madrid, who set Liverpool on their way with a penalty after two minutes when Moussa Sissoko was contentiously punished for handball.
In a final that rarely touched the heights of the blockbuster semi-finals that made this an all-Premier League showpiece, Spurs had chances but were denied by Liverpool keeper Alisson, who saved well from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen.
And their failure to capitalise was ruthlessly punished when substitute Divock Origi ensured manager Jurgen Klopp won his first trophy as Liverpool manager by driving low and powerfully past Hugo Lloris with three minutes left.
The big gamble
Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino took the gamble of selecting England captain and main striker Harry Kane despite his not having played since April because of an ankle injury, replacing semi-final hat-trick hero Lucas Moura, but he had no impact.”
Those are the words of BBC who took it upon themselves to try and sum up what was, in essence, one of the worst Champions League finals of all time. ‘Worst’ may not exactly the best or most ‘fair’ description, but let’s face it, nobody was covered in glory from a performance perspective once the full time whistle blew in Madrid on Saturday night. Even The Independent was clutching at straws when it came to what they wanted to discuss and pick out when it was all said and done.
Tottenham came into the game knowing the stakes and knowing what was ahead of them – or, at least, so we thought. We assumed they also came into the game knowing that there was way more pressure on the shoulders of Liverpool than themselves, because the Reds had already lost the Champions League final twelve months prior against Real Madrid.
Falling when it matters
When push came to shove neither team was able to produce the goods, and the Reds only really won the game due to a moment of brilliance from Divock Origi and a moment of chaos from Sissoko. If you remove those two moments from the game, there really wasn’t all that much to talk about.
A lot of Spurs fans also seem to be taking the approach of ‘well, we’re just happy to have reached the final’. No. That just isn’t good enough. You might be proud of getting to that point, but there is absolutely no way you can be proud of that final performance. This is the game that everyone remembers and this is the one that can define the legacy of your club, and they blew it. There’s no way of getting around that or trying to phrase it in a different manner: they blew it.
Liverpool are now the Champions of Europe but if English football wants to extend this brief reign of dominance over the continent, they need to buck up their ideas. Thankfully, it seems as if Manchester City are more than ready to do just that next season.