Last week, We Love Sport took an in-depth look at the UEFA Champions League final in 2005 between AC Milan and Liverpool – widely regarded as one of the greatest finals in the competition’s history. This week it’s a stark contrast as we look back to 2019 and the Champions League Final and Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool – considered one of the worst in history!
It all started so promisingly, the context alone was exciting – only the second ever all-English final in the history of the competition, the same week that two English teams (Chelsea and Arsenal) competed in the UEFA Europa League final. An early penalty for Mohamed Salah after a handball from Moussa Sissoko in the box in the first minute put Liverpool ahead and it suggested the game would be potentially highly entertaining. Unfortunately, a penalty that should really have kickstarted the action, simply remained the only highlight of the next 80 minutes of football.
Tottenham’s star talisman Harry Kane was only able to record 30 touches of the ball in the first half an hour in the game, partly due to a complete lack of flair on the pitch – Liverpool seemingly happy to sit back and maintain their early lead and Spurs simply lacking the ability to break the Reds down.
In the second half, the game did improve slightly, Spurs were successful in forcing a number of key saves from Alisson Becker, the Liverpool Goalkeeper, but nothing really troubling for the Brazilian.
In the 87th minute, Divock Origi scored the second for Liverpool and sealed the game for the Reds as fans thanked the fact that the match will not go beyond the 90 minutes.
For Liverpool, the celebrations began with the club and fans relieved to be lifting their 6th European Cup after coming so close the year before against Real Madrid in Kyiv. Former Red Philippe Coutinho was the butt of many jokes as he had left Liverpool for Barcelona saying he wanted to win the Champions League. Liverpool obviously went on to win the Champions League that same season and in fact, knocked out Barcelona in one of the most memorable semi-finals on record. The success wouldn’t stop for Liverpool in Madrid, with the club winning the Premier League in a truly dominant display the following year along with the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup.
Spurs, having made their first UEFA Champions League final ever, have so far been unable to live up to this moment. Mauricio Pochettino would be fired by the club a few months later with Jose Mourinho being brought in after departing Manchester United. Mourinho failed to bring any glory to the brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Spurs have unfortunately fallen from UEFA Champions League Finalists in 2019 to struggling in the UEFA Europa Conference League Group Stage in 2021.
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