Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0 in the UCL finals, winning their 6th finals on Saturday. This was what I thought about the match and what it means.
- It was the most boring Champions League finals I've ever seen- I eat, sleep and breathe football, but this match had me falling asleep. I honestly never expected this. As you may recall, this season of the UCL has been so exciting. Every round was better than the last, and filled with all the right drama. I just thought that the culmination of the tournament would be the best match of the tournament, or at least one of the best matches. However, after the penalty, which we will get to in a moment, the match was anti-climatic. Both teams look uninspired and tired. There were some shots on goal but there weren't any exciting counterattacks or anything spectacular. I'd give this match 1/10. The 1 is for the fact that they finished it in 90 mins and didn't go into extra time. That would have been a real tragedy.
- The penalty call was right- Within the first minute of the match, a penalty was awarded to Liverpool, which Mo Salah converted to the first goal. The penalty was rewarded because a ball from Sadio Mané was obstructed by Moussa Sissoko's arm. Many fans felt as though the call was wrong or that Mané kicked the ball on Sissoko's hand for the penalty. Based on research and a another look at it, the referees and VAR got it correct. There was no reason for Sissoko's hand to be in that position in the first place if he wasn't hoping to impact the ball. The unnatural position and his hand subsequently moving the ball was what caused the penalty so the mystery is solved it was a clear penalty.
- Ajax vs Liverpool would have been a much better finals- Ajax graced us with some beautiful football in this season's competition. If it wasn't for that last Lucas Moura goal in additional time, they would have made it to the finals. I have no doubts that Ajax would have put on a much better fight than what I saw Spurs doing. They have the ability to attack and defend so well that the match couldn't be anything less than epic. Both teams have had defensive issues, think back to Liverpool vs Barcelona first leg and Ajax vs Spurs second leg. They are also both skilled in attack. It would be interesting to see in which ways the team would be tactical or how they would have adjusted their game plan to not expose their weaknesses. Some fans have even said they wanted an Ajax vs Barcelona finals but as a Real Madrid fan I can't cosign that.
- Harry Kane should have sat this one- Harry Kane picked up an injury a couple months ago thus missing most of the recent matches with Spurs. Spurs have gone above and beyond without him, making it into their first ever Champions League finals. Mauricio Pochettino, their manager shouldn't have started Harry Kane. Spurs did so well without him in the knockout rounds and putting him back into their winning formula didn't give him the result he wanted. His first game back from injury shouldn't have been a competitive and important finals anyway. I think Spurs would have done much better without him. I didn't understand why Lucas Moura, their saviour in a tough semi final leg was benched and was put on until the second half. He should have started. Kane should have only been put on if Spurs was winning comfortably and he just wanted Kane to feel as if he did something. I can't even remember one pass Kane made in that match, it's like he wasn't even there.
- Alisson Becker was the difference- Liverpool is no stranger to the finals of the Champions League. As a matter of fact, they were there just last year. The main difference between Liverpool in the finals last year vs this year was the addition of their goalkeeper Alisson Becker. After Liverpool narrowly defeated Roma in the semi finals last year, Klopp seemed to have been impressed with Roma's keeper; Alisson. Liverpool promptly bought him for a record fee and now Liverpool has a trophy and a European trophy at that. Spurs only 8 shots on target and Alisson dealt with everything making sure Liverpool wasn't in any real danger. The Brazilian had a great season this year, as Liverpool only lost one match in the league and has maintained his skills for this finals. No one can forget the defensive mistakes made by Liverpool's then goalie Loris Karius which costed them the trophy last year. They have him now on loan but by the looks of it, I don't see him making his way back into the team.
- Both Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool deserved a trophy- While Klopp has always been lauded as a great manager, the fact that he has lost 6 finals will always make it's way into any conversation about him. Klopp has transformed Liverpool into a force to be reckoned with after years of them being a club fun to banter. Liverpool finished second in the Premier League this year with 97 points and was just unlucky enough not to win a trophy. This UCL trophy is just a testament to both club and manager's hard work and it is well deserved.
- The Super Cup will be better than the finals- There is no way Chelsea vs Liverpool is going to be worse than the finals I have just witnessed. As you know the winner of the Europa League league plays the winner of the Champions League. I think both Liverpool and Chelsea will want a preseason boost and give us some good football. It should be interesting because Chelsea may be without Eden Hazard and Liverpool could possibly have Matthijs de Ligt. In that case, it's looking like another trophy to Liverpool but it's a while until the match so we can't make any predictions yet. This is especially true since teams tend to rather sluggish in preseason. Even then, I hope the match will be better, none of us deserve a match like Liverpool vs Spurs finals ever again.