Liverpool are UEFA champions once again! After scoring four goals in an improbable semifinal come-from-behind victory vs Barcelona last month, they delivered a clean sheet to EPL rival Tottenham to lift the Cup, winning the UEFA Champions League for the sixth time and the first since 2005.
The Reds were not going to be denied again
After falling short of the EPL title by two points to Manchester City this season, and falling short in last year’s Champions League Final to Real Madrid, Liverpool carried a big chip on its shoulders heading into this game. Klopp and his army needed to come through, and they did in a big way. Just 23 seconds into the game, a Sadio Mane cross struck Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko in the chest and then his outstretched arm inside the box. Referee Damir Skomina immediately awarded a penalty shot to Liverpool, which Mohamed Salah, always as calm as you like, would convert, putting the Reds up 1-0 in the early going.
While it didn’t look like Sissoko intended to touch the ball with his arm, a harsher adoption of the handball rules this season by UEFA explains why that by-the-rule call on the field was correct.
“When the arm is totally out of the body above the shoulder it should be penalized.”
UEFA’s head of referees, Roberto Rossetti
Spurs would see some chances fall their way in the second half, but thanks to some brilliant goalkeeping by Alisson Becker, they would be unable to get on the scoreboard. Becker’s game was a sure relief from Loris Klaus goal keeping in last year’s Champions League final in Kiev.
The nail in the coffin would come in the 87’ as Joel Matip would play a ball out to Divock Origi on the edge of the box where he had a clear lane and buried his chance and with it Tottenham’s championship hopes.
Champions get parades
500,000 plus fans packed the city Sunday to celebrate with the team. Red smoke and confetti occasionally clouded the bus carrying the team, but the gleaming silver trophy would still shine for all to see. This marks the first Championship of any kind under manager Jurgen Klopp. After several almosts, this team finally has a championship to call their own, and it’s the big one. They were denied being able to call themselves the Champions of England, so instead they’ll have to settle for Champions of Europe. Oh well!