Liverpool Beat Spurs To Become Champions Of Europe For Sixth Time
Liverpool erased the disappointment of last season’s Champions League final loss by claiming the trophy for the sixth time with victory over Tottenham in Madrid.
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.
Klopp casts aside ‘unlucky loser’ tag
Liverpool manager Klopp knew one sub-plot to this Champions League final, played out in the searing heat of Madrid, would be his grim record of losing six successive finals.
He had lost three with Liverpool, including in this competition last season, and while no-one can seriously doubt the German’s outstanding work it was his legendary Anfield predecessor Bill Shankly who coined the phrase: “First is first and second is nowhere.”
Klopp can now cast off that mantle and instead be known as the manager who restored Liverpool to the pinnacle of European competition.
Ironically, after a season of sustained brilliance and a single defeat brought the scant reward of second place to Manchester City in the Premier League, this landmark triumph was achieved with one of Liverpool’s least sparkling performances for some time.
That will not matter, however, because Liverpool earned this glory with wins such as those over Bayern Munich in the quarter-final and the astonishing 4-0 turnaround against Barcelona at Anfield in the semi-final.
Klopp was already a much-loved figure – now his name will be written into club folklore.