Liverpool earned their manager his first trophy for the club in Madrid on Saturday night by collecting their sixth European Cup/Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Spurs. In a game that is it is safe won’t go down as one of the great finals, a controversial handball awarded Liverpool a penalty after just two minutes which Mo Salah duly dispatched. Despite the early advantage Liverpool failed to gain much momentum in the match and it was only a late Divock Origi angled finish that assured that would they end their superb season with the trophy their performances have fully merited.
In between Liverpool’s two goals in truth not a great deal actually happened in the Madrid heat. Tottenham, after such a memorable road to the final, toiled for an equaliser for the majority of the second half but only began to test Allison in the Liverpool goal towards the end of proceedings in what was an anti-climax of a final after the legendary semi finals that had proceeded it. Whatever the nature of the final itself, glory was Liverpool’s and after amassing 97 points in the league and still not winning the title they surely deserve to finish the season with a trophy. A trophy that so happens to be the biggest one in club football.
For Jurgen Klopp, after losing six finals on the trot for both Dortmund and Liverpool, he will no doubt be relieved than more anything that he finally has the major silverware to show for his superb efforts as Liverpool boss over the past three and a half years or so. And despite the pain of narrowly missing out on a long awaited domestic title still raw in Liverpool hearts, another Champions League in the trophy cabinet will go for a long way in easing that recent domestic pain. In Klopp’s words ‘This is only the start’ and when looking at the relative youth of Liverpool’s brilliant first eleven and the fact that no doubt the squad will be added to in the summer, it’s difficult to argue with such confidence regarding the club’s future. With the monkey off Klopp’s back, it looks like he and his side will go toe to toe with Pep’s City once again and look to replicate their European triumph of this season. With Chelsea, United, Arsenal and a certain extent Spurs looking to rebuild it looks like its Liverpool’s time to be and play like one of the country’s best sides once more.
As for Tottenham, they have can no real regrets after a superb run at Champions League glory that involved knocking out Man City and that unforgettable second half semi final turnaround in Amsterdam. They tried admirably in Madrid but ultimately their front players looked blunt in attack and many might question the decision to start Harry Kane after two months out ahead of Amsterdam hat trick hero Lucas Moura. Kane had just 15 touches of the ball in the first half and mainly played in the fringes of the game with Dele Alli equally anonymous. Many might say it was one step too far for Spurs, however 65% of the ball and eight shots on target to Liverpool’s three suggests otherwise. They did control the game but didn’t really do anything with that control and in the end may well think about what might have been. As after that special night versus Ajax, it looked like it might be written in the stars for them.
Now though, after stuttering to fourth place in a league campaign where they lost on thirteen occasions after being regarded as being the title race at the turn of the year. Spurs, like many other clubs in the top six have a huge summer ahead. A Champions League final is a brilliant achievement with the squad they have however surely Mauricio Pochettino will demand financial backing if he is stay at the club. With Liverpool and City being as strong as they are and Manchester United likely to throw money at their own perilous state, standing still in the transfer market will surely hurt Spurs more than ever.
Through superb management and an excellent first eleven they nearly pulled off the almost impossible on the European stage, however now the stadium is built their fans will feel it’s time to splash the cash on players in order bolster a playing squad that relies too heavily on both the ability of its manager and its star men to perform week in week out. As Pochettino keeps hinting in his press conferences, it might be now or never in regard to Tottenham pushing to be the elite team they continually threaten to be season upon season.
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