Photo: Mike Hewitt (Getty Images)

In an otherwise uneventful match that was bookended by two Liverpool goals, Jürgen Klopp’s side defeated Tottenham 2-0 for the club’s sixth European title. Mohamed Salah got the Reds on the board early after a very Spursy gaffe gave Liverpool a penalty less than 30 seconds into the game.

However, the remaining 90+ minutes did not do a whole lot to maintain the same energy that that early score seemed to establish. Despite being down so early, Tottenham showed little to no urgency for a majority of the game, creating very few chances for themselves. Liverpool weren’t much better, but because they already had their lead, it wasn’t a detrimental approach.

Spurs eventually stopped smashing the snooze button and finally woke up about midway through the second half. They began to send wave after wave of attacks towards Liverpool’s goal, but through incredible defending from Virgil van Dijk, impressive goalkeeping from Alison and some occasional sheer incompetence from Spurs forwards, they were unable to convert their attempts into anything meaningful—despite the numerous excellent efforts from Heung-Min Son.

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The lack of results haunted Tottenham soon after their offense began to dry up. In the 86th minute, Liverpool were able to double their lead over their English foes when a defensive breakdown on a corner left Divock Origi open in the box for a shot on goal. Just as he did against Barcelona, he was calm, cool and collected with the chance, and converted the shot with ease.

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From then, the result that viewers were waiting for shifted from wondering if Tottenham would be able to get one back, to when Jürgen Klopp was going to manhandle one of his players and break their collarbone in celebration.

The fact that this game was an absolute snoozefest obviously doesn’t change how Liverpool and their supporters see this result. This was the long-awaited, and now two-pronged, redemption story that the club desperately searched for following not just the heartbreaking loss to Real Madrid in last year’s final, but also the agonizingly close Premier League title race that they let slip away to Manchester City. It was a sentiment that Trent Alexander-Arnold expressed to reporters afterwards.

“It’s hard to even put into words what’s just happened. With the season we’ve had we deserved it more than any other team. We’ve beaten everyone put in our path, We were probably dominated for the main part of the game but we showed we’re a world class side and can win any way. When we look back tonight we’re not going to think it was a sluggish game, we’re going to think we’ve just won the European Cup! I’m just a normal lad from Liverpool who’s dream just come true.” 

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While it was a big moment for the players, this was certainly a huge moment for Klopp’s career. Saturday’s victory helped the German manager avoid a seventh consecutive cup final loss for his career, meaning that he not only brought redemption to the club he works for, but he also brought it to himself. Needless to say, he was emotional about how his players performed and excited for the celebrations later in the evening.

“I’m so happy for the boys, I’m so happy for all of these people, I’m so happy for my family..... Did you ever see a team like this? Fighting with no fuel in the tank any more. And we had a goalkeeper who makes difficult things look easy. Tonight this is going to be great. This may be the best night of my life, professional wise.”

“This is so important. We have our owners who never put pressure on us, they only support and say ‘you can deliver this’. They are brilliant.”

Asked how he intends celebrating he says: “I don’t know. Normally when I win, 20 minutes after the game I am already half-pissed ...”

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[The Guardian]