LIVERPOOL clinched the Champions League title in Madrid after a controversial Mo Salah penalty, awarded after 24 seconds, and a late Divock Origi strike sank Spurs.
A year after their defeat to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp’s men won their sixth European Cup which was set up after Moussa Sissoko handled the ball in the box after trying to close down Sadio Mane in the first passage of play.
The ball appeared to strike his chest before his arm but, after consulting with VAR, the referee Damir Skomina upheld his original decision.
It was Salah, with the heartache of last year’s final when he was forced off with injury still fresh in his mind, who buried the spot-kick past Hugo Lloris and a disjointed Tottenham side, who risked the fit-again Harry Kane and Harry Winks in their starting line-up, could not muster much to trouble their opponents for the rest of the first half.
Although Mauricio Pochettino’s men improved in the second period, and had chances to equalise, they could not pull off another remarkable comeback, with Origi – who scored the final goal for the Reds in their semi-final win over Barcelona – sealing the win for Liverpool with a laser-like strike in the 87th minute.
In truth, after one of the most gripping seasons in recent history, the showpiece in club football proved an anti-climax. But Liverpool and Klopp will care little, the German celebrating his first trophy as Reds manager.
For Spurs and Pochettino, their long wait for a trophy continues. Whether the Argentine will be around at the start of next season remains to be seen.
After the heartache of missing out on the Premier League with a record 97 points, it is only right this fantastic, free-flowing, fluid, ruthless Reds team end the season with the biggest trophy of them all. Ironically, few of their usual characteristics were on display in what was one of their poorest displays of the season. Not that Jurgen Klopp will care.
After six successive cup final defeats, the German finally gets his hand on some much needed silverware. Silverware, he hopes, will only be the start of something truly special with this brilliant group of talented, young and hungry players. – Eurosport