Takeaways from the 2019 Champions League Final #563

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Liverpool had an absolutely heartbreaking season in the Premier League losing the title by one point as the drought has seemingly continued. A record 97 point season still not enough. However, none of that mattered Saturday as they met in Madrid for the Champions League final against Spurs. It was a chance to prove that this team is one of Europe’s Elites. After making the Champions League final last season it was another chance at lifting the most desirable trophy in World football. It wasn’t an easy Road for either team to get to this point. Liverpool at one point in time we’re in danger of not qualifying for The Knockout stage. After fending off Napoli and PSG they made it by the skin of their teeth. In the round of 16, they took care of Bayern Munich before doing the same to FC Porto as they faced their toughest test facing Barcelona and Lionel Messi in the semifinals. Things did not go as planned as they lost 3-0 at the Camp Nou. Everyone thought Liverpool’s Champions League campaign had to run its course. However, the team didn’t lose belief and did the Impossible beating Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield. Spurs Had A Cinderella Story of their own much like Liverpool they almost failed to make the knockout rounds before taking out Dortmund Manchester City and Dark Horse Ajax in dramatic fashion as Luca Mora scored a very life goal supposed to come into the Champions League final. the two English heavyweights when head-to-head in front of the entire world which everything on the line as one of these teams will become champions of Europe. Liverpool hopes to put an end to their champions league droughts while Spurs looking for their first title. A controversial penalty put Liverpool up after 2 minutes as Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool a 1-0 lead from 12 yards out. Giving the Reds the momentum out of the gate. Spurs fought back in but throughout the first 45 minutes despite a great chance Christian Eriksen who had the opportunity to equalize before half-time. In the second half, it was Spurs who claimed superiority many in chances and opportunities for Spurs but for some reason they couldn’t find the back of the net. Wasted chances may have contributed to the results. Spurs could not finish the job. Then with just minutes, Origi scored with just minutes to go to put the nail in the coffin. It may not have been pretty but Liverpool ends the drought becoming champions of Europe for the first time since 2005. The result justifies Jurgen Klopp’s greatness at Anfield. A loss would have broken Liverpool spirit in a way I’m not sure they would have come back from. Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool answer the Bell from their critics taking Liverpool to the Mountaintop. Liverpool wins the Champions League putting themselves back in the conversation of one of the best clubs in the world. Congratulations to Liverpool for doing something that very few thought they could.

 

 

 

Controversial Early Penalty 

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There was a controversial penalty given to Liverpool in the opening 2 minutes of the match. A decision and a moment that affected the momentum of the game. Pushing things into Liverpool’s favor early not only by the goal but they had the psychological advantage because of the situation. It is very uncommon for a referee to make that decision of that early in the game whether it’s right or wrong. In Saturday’s game, it wasn’t abundantly clear whether it was a penalty. A handball was called on Moussa Sissoko although if it was a penalty it was a very soft one. The ball hit the shoulder and underarms of the Spurs midfielder it was not a clear handball. That early in the game in what was already a questionable decision you cannot make that call. Then all of a sudden you’re losing a Champions League final after 2 minutes it takes the energy and momentum out of the game. Much of this game Spurs were the better team but in the first half Liverpool had that advantage and the fluidity in a 2-0 champions league win. I am not suggesting the Liverpool would have lost the game if it wasn’t for the early decision but in the situation, I don’t think you can make that call. There have been other clear penalties not given. The handball on alexander-Arnold and last year’s Champions League semi-final you could literally see his hands on the ball. Again Spurs could have won this game they had more than enough opportunities. However, it was still a questionable decision to make especially in the opening 120 seconds of a Champions League final

 

 

 

Alisson was THE DIFFERNCE 

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Liverpool paid 75 million for a goalkeeper as Allison made his move from Roma to Liverpool. It seemed he was what they lacked last season in a big part of why they were unsuccessful winning the Champions League against Real Madrid. Real Madrid at the end of their Dynasty but still managed to beat Liverpool following some incredible goalkeeping errors. The club made a decision to break the bank for the best goalkeeper on the market which at the time was Alisson. Last year for Roma he was unbelievable which prompted them to make the big money offer for him. Saturday he was the man of the match the most important player not only during the Champions League campaign but was incredibly important during the final. Liverpool just had a few chances all game fortunately they were able to convert them. Alisson was busy all night and made some really great saves in important moments of the game. Spurs were pushing for a good portion of the second half and at times it looked like they were going to get that equalizer. Alisson made every save he needed to. If it wasn’t for his performance it is quite possible Spurs would have got back into the game. He is without question the best goalkeeper in the world I do not think it is even debatable anymore. The way he has performed not only in the final but throughout the Champions League campaign has been just special. He proved that he has been worth every penny of that deal. He pushed Liverpool Scott over the edge. The Brazilian was the biggest Difference Maker in Liverpool winning the champions league for the 6th time.

 

 

 

Wasted Chances Lead to Spurs Demise 

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Spurs had done so well to get to this point. They deserve a lot of credit because much of the game they were the better team. Had that early decision not occurred momentum would not have gone to Liverpool directly. You take that into account as well as the number of chances they had to put it away. It truly could have gone either way. It was not one of those matches where Liverpool was unbelievable this was one of their less impressive games. Quite honestly even when they were down in this game they were very much in it throughout the whole thing. There were so many opportunities for them. Early in the game, they struggled to complete passes. They came out a little bit flat to start but as the game progressed they got more and more into it. The chances they wasted cost them dearly. This is not to take anything away from what Allison did last night because he was truly world-class. Even so, Spurs had far too many chances to let this thing slip away. I understand they went down early but they had more than enough time to turn this game around. For a good portion of the game, it looked like it was possible they could come back and win this game. They should be really proud in which the way they performed but in the end wasted chances derailed what could have been a historic Champions League title. Spurs missed a lot of chances but one in particular sticks out in my mind. Christian Eriksen could have equalized at the very end of the first half. Christian Eriksen struck a ball from outside the box on his weak foot. On that play, he had three different options. He had enough time to reposition himself to strike on either side as well as sending a through-ball to dele Alli who was unmarked. That incident in itself perfectly capped off their struggles had they converted more chances they would be lifting the Champions League trophy, not Liverpool they did it to themselves.

 

 

Put Some Respect on Jürgen Klopp’s Name

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Jurgen Klopp has been universally regarded as one of the best managers in the world. However, he has been criticized for his lack of trophies at Liverpool. The Champions League final was a make-or-break for Jurgen Klopp. He has done a sensational job turning the team around. A certain extent they were the laughingstock in England. Having choked a league title several seasons ago. When Klopp took over for Liverpool they were in 9th Place he guided them at to the Champions League final in consecutive seasons and a top-four finish in his second year. The only thing he lacks is trophies. Even though he has lost The League cup in the Champions League final last year he has progressed this Liverpool side to unbelievable standards. He got rid of a whole bunch of players making some tough sales in the process, all in all, he turned out to make the right decision. He has been brilliant at Liverpool he is a tactical genius one of the best managers in the world if not the best. He is on par with Pep Guardiola as the best manager in Europe. We should start respecting what he has done. I know his record in finals has not been fantastic but he just won Liverpool something that they’ve been searching for over a decade. This Liverpool team is as dangerous as they have ever been. Jurgen Klopp engineered the turnaround that had a ripple effect ending with Liverpool lifting the Champions League trophy. The narrative that he can’t get the job done in finals has died. This was an incredibly difficult campaign for Liverpool he engineered a comeback against Barcelona who had a 3-0 lead in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals. Then they absolutely crushed Barcelona at Anfield. One of the biggest comebacks in champions league history. He has reached an incredible level of greatness it hasn’t always come with trophies but this it’s something he truly deserves. This season he nearly won Liverpool premier league title falling one point short and just won the biggest title in all the football. Regardless of his past, there is no denying the greatness of Jurgen Klopp without question one of the best managers in the world. He Has been truly remarkable he identified the weaknesses of the team and found players at discount prices as well as overpaying for a few but a large portion of his team has come at a reasonable rate which truly proves how impactful he has been in this turnaround. All the hardships have finally paid off his critics are certainly silent now.

 

Pochettino Has taken Spurs as far as they can Go 

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Spurs were so close they could taste it. They were in this game the entire time and had a few things on their way they could have lifted that trophy. However given the fact they didn’t break their spirit. This was a team of determination during the champions league and but they just couldn’t pull this off. However from all accounts based on what we know it appears Mauricio Pochettino has taken him as far as they can go. I do not see this team coming back and making another run at the Champions League trophy. Tactical decisions in this match impacted the results such as starting Harry Kane over Lucas Moura. They have some quality players in the side and this team has been on the verge of winning tropgies for the last 3 years. I think this might be the last straw this club will break up at some point. Harry Kane will probably stay for the Long Haul but Christian Eriksen, Son dele Alli and others may look for the exit door sooner rather than later. The same goes for Mauricio pochettino. He has done an exceptional job with his team but he still has not won anything and unless there’s some a groundbreaking signing I find it difficult to believe that they will. This was their one shot Liverpool and Man City are so much better than everybody else they would be only playing third fiddle to the two of them. In the Champions League teams are going to get stronger this was Spurs opportunity to win something to change the narrative that they’re just a bunch of chokers. They played a really strong match  just could not finish the job and because of this it is unlikely that they will rebound. Given the situation and where they find themselves they come up short far too often players will start to think that they can do better. They deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve achieved getting to this point but this is as far as they will go. I’m not sure they can overcome it.

 

 

 

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