Talking Points: Tottenham 0 Liverpool 2

Goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi saw Liverpool beat Spurs and win the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday. In a sloppy and tense affair, the Reds did enough to secure their sixth title and for Jürgen Klopp and his players to write their names into the history books.

Under-par Liverpool do whatever it takes…

We did it. They did it. Liverpool did it. Champions of Europe once more. It certainly wasn’t pretty and the neutrals will claim it was the lowest standard of quality ever seen in a final, but who cares. Liverpool fans certainly won’t. Liverpool learnt the hard way after last year’s final. Do whatever it takes to win. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just get over the line. Spurs were better on the night in many aspects. They pressed Liverpool well and gave them little room, while the Reds were unable to deny Spurs’ players constantly finding pockets of space in dangerous areas. Spurs were fairly calm in possession, while Klopp’s side were chaotic and rushed. Perhaps Liverpool’s perfect start – Salah’s penalty after just two minutes – was a cause of the Reds dropping off so much, but it was just very un-Liverpool like. There was a fair bit of time-wasting from the Liverpool players, but again, they were simply doing whatever it took to win. For all their possession, Spurs only created one real chance, which Lucas Moura shot tamely at Alisson, and the Reds created just as much and actually took their chances. Nobody will remember how poor the game was, all that matters is that Liverpool emerged victorious.

Alisson epitomises fitting end to season for defence…

It really is fitting that Liverpool’s defence, which has come on leaps and bounds this season and been arguably the best in Europe, was what won them the match in Madrid. Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson all played their part, but Alisson in particular was superb. The Brazilian made eight saves in the final – saves that a goalkeeper of his quality should be expected to make, but you still must save them and he didn’t parry or spill anything. He repaid all of his £67m cost on Saturday alone, never mind all the other matches he has been excellent in this season. The obvious comparisons were made to how Loris Karius, performed in the final last year, and it was a relief to see a major error-free Liverpool performance in a final. Michael Edwards and FSG have spent big money on the likes of Alisson and Van Dijk, and their performances since arriving at the club have fully justified such investments, especially now they are resulting in silverware.

Hunger in every player in the squad evident…

It is one of the biggest advantages of having Klopp as manager. The German makes every player in his squad feel appreciated and that they can and want to contribute to the team. Whether they are starting or coming off the bench, these Liverpool players want to make an impact. Origi is possibly the best example of this, and the Belgian has had one of the strangest, most sensational, and pivotal seasons a player has had in recent times. With his Liverpool career seemingly quickly fading, Origi has made his limited time on the pitch count this season. The winners against Everton and Newcastle, the brace against Barcelona and now a goal in the Champions League final. Origi hasn’t let his limited game-time affect him, he’s been determined to impress whenever he does get on the pitch and he certainly has done – having the best minutes per goal contribution ratio in the Liverpool squad this season. This impact and mindset can be said of the whole squad, and it’s why they are all so deserving of their winners medal. They all push each other hard in training ever day, and Klopp is the one to oversee it all.

Reds and Klopp have something to show for incredible journey…

Rival fans can criticise no more. The Liverpool players and their manager finally have a trophy, perhaps the biggest of the lot, and there is nothing haters can do about it. The project that began as soon as Klopp arrived, the mission to turn doubters to believers, the aim to restore Liverpool’s position as one of the best teams in world football, has finally reached a glorious marker. It was perhaps the footballing god’s plan all along, to not enable the Reds to win a trophy under Klopp until they were ready, until they had built a squad strong in all areas and perfectly balanced. This wasn’t the case going into any of the finals under Klopp so far, until Saturday when nobody could deny that this Liverpool side was definitely ready. Liverpool have been superb throughout the 2018/19 campaign, but everyone knew that a trophy was needed to signify just how good it they have been. Thankfully this was claimed in Madrid. But while this could be the end of one journey – Klopp’s beginning through to now – it also needs to be the start of another, ideally the start of a dynasty. Now the Reds have got their first trophy out of the way under Klopp, many will now hopefully follow, starting with the Super Cup against Chelsea.

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