UEFA Champions League

Liverpool sink Spurs for sixth European crown

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final
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  • Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League final
  • Salah and substitute Origi got the goals
  • Win books place at FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019

An early Mohamed Salah penalty and a late Divock Origi strike earned Liverpool a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur that crowned the Reds European champions for the sixth time – a figure outranked only by AC Milan (seven) and Real Madrid (13) – and earning a place at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019.

It took merely 26 seconds for the spot-kick to be awarded. Sadio Mane’s attempted cross hit the arm of Moussa Sissoko, and Salah successfully converted the resulting penalty to record the second-fastest goal in a UEFA Champions League final, behind Paolo Maldini's against Liverpool in 2005.

Tottenham had the better of the remainder of the first half, but couldn’t create any clear chances, with Virgil van Dijk making a decisive challenge when one-on-one with a charging Heungmin Son.

Jurgen Klopp threw Origi on for Roberto Firmino, who had been an injury doubt, before the hour mark. Mauricio Pochettino quickly responded by sending on Lucas Moura, the hat-trick hero in their dramatic comeback win over Ajax in the semi-finals, for Harry Winks.

Thereafter, Spurs threatened considerably more. Son burst through in the 75th minute, but as he appeared set to pull the trigger, Van Dijk did superbly to divert the ball behind for a corner.

Minutes later, the Korea Republic’s vicious strike tested Alisson’s hands, before Lucas failed to properly trouble the Liverpool goalkeeper from ten yards out. A diving Alisson then tipped a Christian Eriksen free-kick round the post.

But in the 87th minute, a rare Liverpool corner resulted in the ball falling to Origi, who coolly slotted it across Hugo Lloris into the bottom corner.

Tottenham kept trying, with Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Son getting shots on target, but they couldn't find a way past Alisson.

Klopp, Hendo, TAA rejoice

Klopp, who lost in the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2013 and '18, was euphoric after the final whistle.

“I’m so happy for the boys,” he said. “I’m so happy for the fans. I’m so happy for my family.

“Did you ever see a team like this? Fighting with absolutely no fuel in the tank. Tottenham came out and made things difficult. But then you have a goalkeeper [in Alisson] who makes difficult things look easy.

"Maybe the best night of my life! Normally 20 minutes after the game I’m half [drunk], but I haven’t even had a water.”

Captain Jordan Henderson, fighting back tears, said: “Without the manager this is impossible. What he’s done in this club is incredible. Not only the players he’s brought in that have made us stronger, but he’s also made the players who were already here better.

“I’m so proud to be part of this football club. I’ve just tried to give my best every time I’ve played football and help the team. There’s been tough times over my career but I’ve kept going. This is what you’ve done it for. This is the best moment of my life apart from [having] my children.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold, who played such a huge role in their comeback win over Barcelona in the semi-finals, added: “It’s hard to even put into words what's just happened. With the season we’ve had we deserved it more than any other team. We were probably dominated for the main part of the game, but we showed we’re a world-class side and can win any way. I’m just a normal lad from Liverpool whose dream has just come true.”

Liverpool now face another all-English battle for a European trophy. Chelsea, the UEFA Europa League winners, await them in Istanbul – the city in which Liverpool enjoyed one of their greatest nights in 2005 – on 14 August 2019.

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