For the 6th time in their history, Liverpool FC are the Champions of Europe having won the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspurs on Saturday. With the remarkable comeback against Barçelona a few weeks ago (Tottenham staged their own comeback against Ajax), I really wasn't sure how this was going to go, I just wanted Liverpool to win.
I've followed Liverpool FC for about 25 years now and on the 4 occasions I've seen them make the final of the biggest club competition in football, I've not had a chance to be there for pre-match atmosphere which always looks fantastic.
Of those four finals, only two have been won. The first was the Miracle of Istanbul in 2015, the greatest final I've ever witnessed. The second was a re-match against AC Milan who got their revenge and then last year's final against Real Madrid.
Liverpool beat Tottenham by two goals despite being outplayed for most of the game and giving up possession without much pressure from their opponents. Just seconds in to the game, with a penalty awarded, it was the dream start every Liverpool fan would have wanted as we watched Mohamed Salah put the ball into the back of the net, but it meant the game became very cagey. Neither team really had enough quality to trouble each other despite Tottenham getting into decent positions and Liverpool effective on the counter attack. It wasn't until the 87th minute that it felt like the trophy was ours as Divock Origi doubled Liverpools leave. Tottenham had more possession, composure and ideas throughout but they couldn’t make it count.
Sadio Mané was fantastic, holding up play and earning the penalty at the very beginning of the game. Virgil Van Dijk wouldn't let anyone pass him and Alisson Becker stopped everything Spurs hit at him.
Allez Allez Allez
Last season, the Liverpool version of Allez Allez Allez became an anthem that we've carried into this season as we reached the final for a second season. Other teams have adopted it, but the original is the best:
We've conquered all of Europe,
We're never going to stop,
From Paris Down To Turkey,
We've won the fuckin’ lot!
Last year's final against Madrid was hard to take as they weren't exactly outplayed by their Spanish counterparts. There was just a lot of misfortune all over the pitch. A major injury to Mohamed Salah (he could have missed the World Cup), a concussion to our goalkeeper Karius and a wonder goal from Gareth Bale meant Liverpool left empty handed. Thankfully this year was different, although in contrast to the previous year, the performance on Saturday was pretty terrible.
Now, only Real Madrid and AC Milan have won the competition more times than Liverpool have. It's domestic success fans crave now, with the last league title won over 30 years ago. There's only been one domestic cup added to the trophy cabinet since 2016's FA Cup trophy.
With Jurgen Klopp in charge though, it feels like there really is more to come from this Liverpool side.
Highlights of the 2019 Champions League final
INSIDE MADRID covers the squads build up but if you didn't see the game, you can see BT Sport's UCL Unfiltered video of the game below. I'm biased, but it's glorious!
Reactions to Liverpool winning the 2019 Champions League final
Jan Aage Fjortoft's interview with Jurgen Klopp, you can skip to 2:11 for the best bit:
- Jordan Henderson on Jurgen Klopp
- Liverpool players react to winning the Champions League
- The game and the parade in photos from the Guardian
- Parade photos from the Liverpool Echo
- @lfc's parade video
- The BBC's parade coverage
- Rory Smith and Andrew Das for the New York Times
- Simon Hughes for the Independent
- Photos from Ethan White
I have a whole load of content to catch up and I'll share the best bits here.
The only trophy that Liverpool haven't won is the World Club Cup, a tournament featuring teams that have won the major continental trophies across the globe. Their last, and only, appearance was in 2005. There was a lot of confusion about what was happening with the tournament given that FIFA wanted to expand to a 24-team tournament but for the next to years at least, it will be hosted by Qatar in the winter.
The cynic in me suggests that this is Qatar's way of proving they are capable of hosting a football tournament in the run up to the 2022 World Cup.
The official Liverpool FC YouTube channel put together a short animated video looking at the each of the six times that the club became champions of Europe.
I didn't think this would be worth watching, but gave in today. What a guy. Having supported the club through some odd times with managers that just didn't fit, I thought we'd found the best in Rafa Benitez and it was difficult to see anyone matching his, well deserved, cult status but then along came Jurgen Klopp.
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