Ecstasy for Liverpool in Champions League glory

Victory: Liverpool had fewer shots on target than Spurs, but goalkeeper Alisson Becker made the difference. © Getty

Liverpool held on to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 on Saturday, in a night of triumph, tears and relief. It was the culmination of a tournament that has seen English clubs dominate Europe.

It was a nightmare start for Tottenham Hotspur. Twenty-two seconds into their first-ever Champions League final, the ball was blasted against Moussa Sissoko’s flailing hand. A penalty scored by Liverpool star Mohammed Salah.

An uneventful 80 minutes later, Spurs finally started to act with urgency, but their hopes were stopped in the 87th minute by a powerful strike from Divock Origi, hero of Liverpool’s miraculous semi-final win against Barcelona.

It wasn’t a picturesque win, but Liverpool didn’t mind.

To lose this year would have been all the more painful after Liverpool missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City, despite getting a huge 97 points — a higher score than any Premier League winner in history, except Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking Manchester City, that topped 100 points last season.

Amid the joy, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was a model of sportsmanship. He told off Liverpool substitutes who had removed their tracksuits to celebrate before the final whistle.

Liverpool’s glory came just days after Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final. It is the first time ever that all four finalists in the European cups have come from the same country.

Golden goal

Is English football the best in the world? At every level — club and national — the last couple of years have been exceptional. These teams are going from strength to strength, just as Spain’s star power is waning.

But how should you define English football?Just eight of 88 starting players at this year’s European cup semi-finals were English. From Klopp to Guardiola, former footballer Lauren says that European managers have “made a different Premier League”, and led English success abroad. Perhaps this is a victory for internationalism, rather than for just one country.

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Some People Say...

“Anyone can have a good day, but you need to be able to perform on a bad day.”

Jurgen Klopp

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the 2019 Champions League final, which took place in Madrid.
What do we not know?
Who will win the Premier League next year. This year, Manchester City and Liverpool both scored near-record points in a tight race for the title.

Word Watch

A nickname for Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite losing 3-0 in the last leg of the game, Liverpool stunned Barcelona with four goals to progress to the final.
100 points
In the 2017/2018 season, Manchester City became the first team in Premier League history to score more than 100 points. This year, they ended one point ahead of Liverpool on 98.
Europa League
A tournament for the top European clubs that failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Star power
Over the last decade, seven Champions League winners have been Spanish.

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