The Reds clinched their sixth Champions League title after an extraordinary campaign.
After three consecutive losses in three years in distinct finals, the German finally succeeded in handing over the Merseyside club with their first trophy under his reign which was also their first silverware in eight years, as they defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 to clinch their sixth UEFA Champions League title.
However, in fairness to the final, it was far from the best game Liverpool played this season and contrary to that, Spurs were dominant for majority of the game; alas, an overall lackadaisical approach cost them dearly.
Let’s have a quick look at the talking points of the game-
5. Did erroneous passing in the final third cost Tottenham the game?
With all due respect, Tottenham were always the better side in the final at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Possession-wise, ball distribution-wise and attacking-wise, the Spurs dominated Klopp’s men for almost entirety of the game.
However, the one thing that Mauricio Pochettino’s men lacked in was their passing in the final third. It was very often the case when the Londoners brought on an attack with a strong build-up and just when that one final pass mattered, it all came down to lack of precision.
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk-led back line comfortably managed to intercept majority of the Spurs’ passes in the final third and successfully blocked their attempts, with a huge credit going to Alisson Becker. Had the Tottenham attackers been a notch higher in their quality of passing, it could have been a different story in the final.
4. Would letting Divock Origi leave in the summer be a big mistake for Liverpool?
With less than 10 minutes to the final whistle, Tottenham began looking more resilient in their attack since they were trailing by a solitary Liverpool goal. At such a time, the Reds needed just one strike to kill the game off and they successfully did so.
And it was none other than Divock Origi – the Reds’ saviour of the season, who was yet again at the right place and at the right time to net the winner for his side, with a cool-headed finish from the edge of the box.
The Belgian once again proved his quality and made a point for himself that he deserves a place in the first team next season. Having Roberto Firmino as his sole competitor for the starting eleven spot, Origi is the best fit for an out-and-out striker if not for the Brazilian. Cutting him loose from the squad in the summer would be one of the poorest decisions made by the Merseysiders.
3. Was the penalty a harsh decision by the referee against Moussa Sissoko?
Did VAR get the penalty call right?
Not even a minute had passed-by since the game started and the referee blew his whistle, pointing towards the spot as he stole the excitement out of every Tottenham fan watching the game. Sadio Mane’s chipped attempt to cross inside the box was allegedly blocked by Moussa Sissoko with his arm, who was at the time signalling his teammates to cover the far post.
The referee was close enough to see what had happened and instantly awarded the penalty to Liverpool. Naturally, Spurs appealed for a VAR review but to their disappointment, the referee’s decision remained constant.
Mohamed Salah, who was seeking redemption for missing out a major part of the last year’s final against Real Madrid, slotted home powerfully to hand over an early lead to the Reds. Many might call the penalty to be a little too harsh for Tottenham but it turned out to be the right decision altogether.
2. Is Alisson the permanent solution for Liverpool’s problems under the bar?
The Brazilian delivered another stellar performance between the sticks for the Reds
Before the season, Liverpool were facing acute problems in the goalkeeping position. Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, in honesty, were two good keepers, however their minor errors in games very often cost the Reds the three points. The best example to cite would be the final of the Champions League last summer when a couple of ghastly mistakes by the latter turned the entire course of the game in favour of Real Madrid.
Realising the dire need for a world class keeper, the club brought in Alisson from Roma who had a lot of suitors in the market after impressing the previous season. His arrival immediately made an impact for the Reds and the fans could actually make out from the confidence of the Brazilian that they won’t have to worry about a goalkeeper.
Picking up 21 clean sheets in the Premier League in his very first season at the club was an exemplary stat for Alisson. Moreover, he is the sole reason why Liverpool progressed towards the knockouts of the Champions League as he pulled off a heroic save against Napoli in the dying minutes of their group stage game.
And then there was this performance by the 26 year-old against Tottenham which assured the fans that they no longer have to worry about buying a goalkeeper as long as he is there at the club.
1. Is this the beginning of an era for the Reds?
An excellent end to an extraordinary season! Liverpool’s year was everything that their fans had hoped for since long. Despite losing the league title by very close margins, the Reds gave immense joy to all the people who had supported them through thick and thin all this time, with a performance that was absolutely a class apart.
Jurgen Klopp deserves a majority of the credit for bringing the team this far. Moreover, this is the result of being a team in its truest sense. The players, the fans, the coaching staff, everyone has made a crucial contribution towards the club’s success and this will always remain constant.
The Champions League is just the start of it and it wouldn’t be long until Liverpool bring home the most awaited league title after a period of 30 years.