Europe is red once again, but unfortunately, it’s not the shade of red we would prefer.
For the sixth time in club history, Liverpool FC have won the Champions League. After defeating Bayern Munich in the Round of 16, they proceeded to beat Porto and Barcelona in dramatic fashion, before beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to claim the greatest prize in club football.
A controversial handball in the box from Mousa Sissoko just two minutes into the game led to Liverpool’s Egyptian king Mohammed Salah converting a penalty to put The Reds up 1-0.
An uninspired first half was followed by a tense second half, where Tottenham pressed, but couldn’t convert. A Divock Origi goal in the 88’ sealed the victory for Jürgen Klopp’s men.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane made his return to the pitch for the first time since April, but couldn’t make an impact as Spurs only managed eight shots on target.
Former Bayern Munich man Xheridan Shaqiri has won his second Champions League winner medal.
And so, back into the red. In the end it seemed fitting that Liverpool should win this Champions League final through an effort of shared will. This was a night when the gears refused to click, the circuits rarely sparked, and when taking that last step was always likely to be matter of spirit and bloody-minded certainty.
How do you make a champion team? At the final whistle in Madrid, as the air seemed to fizz and crackle and the red and white shapes melted into the green, Jürgen Klopp hugged Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson to his chest, his great beaming, bearded face looming over them like a proud father of twins.
Liverpool’s full-backs have been a dual-track express train this season, making every part of this team function a little easier. They seem both deeply Liverpool and deeply Klopp too, a local lad with a midfielder’s range of passing and movement and an upwardly mobile Scot fed with that strange red-shirted fury, echoes of the great teams of the pre-modern era.
A reminder to all Bayern fans: Jürgen Klopp is 1-2 in UCL finals.
Jürgen Klopp said he was overwhelmed by Liverpool’s Champions League triumph and the greatest night of his career as the club became champions of Europe for a sixth time with victory over Tottenham.
The Liverpool manager received a call of congratulation from his Manchester City rival Pep Guardiola, in which the pair vowed “to kick each other’s butts again next season”, after ending a run of six consecutive cup final defeats with a 2-0 win against Mauricio Pochettino’s team in Madrid. Mohamed Salah scored a penalty awarded after only 22 seconds, before Divock Origi sealed the first trophy of Klopp’s Liverpool reign in the 87th minute. Goalkeeper Alisson was in commanding form as Spurs created more chances but lacked the champions’ clinical touch.
“This may be the best night of my life, professional wise,” Klopp said. “This is so important. Tonight it’s really emotional. I am overwhelmed to be honest but I’m much calmer than I thought I would be when it finally happened.
“I feel mostly relieved, to be honest. Relieved for my family because the last six times we were away on holiday and always with a silver medal and that doesn’t feel so cool. This is for the boys, the fans and for the owners who do not put any pressure on us and appreciate the development of huge steps we have made. For the players, they were pretty much crying on the pitch because it was so emotional, so big, and it means so much to us. I have sat here many times explaining how we lost this game. Now I don’t want to explain why we won, I just want to enjoy that we won.”