An early goal and a late minute strike were enough to erase Liverpool’s disappointment of last season’s loss to beat fellow English side in the Champions League finals on Saturday in Madrid.
It was Mohamed Salah, such a disconsolate figure when he was injured early in that loss to Real Madrid, who set Liverpool on their way with a penalty after two minutes when Moussa Sissoko was contentiously punished for handball.
In a final that rarely touched the heights of the blockbuster semi-finals that made this an all-Premier League showpiece, Spurs had chances but were denied by Liverpool keeper Alisson, who saved well from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen.
And their failure to capitalise was ruthlessly punished when substitute Divock Origi ensured manager Jurgen Klopp won his first trophy as Liverpool manager by driving low and powerfully past Hugo Lloris with three minutes left.
Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino took the gamble of selecting England captain and main striker Harry Kane despite his not having played since April because of an ankle injury, replacing semi-final hat-trick hero Lucas Moura, but he had no impact.
Liverpool lifted the trophy that was taken from their grasp in Ukraine last season and now stand behind only Real Madrid and AC Milan as serial winners of this tournament, the final whistle sparking huge celebrations among players, management and the red wave of supporters in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
The win ensured Liverpool lifted their sixth Champions League title but also the first silverware at Anfield for Klopp since 2015.
“We need to feel very proud of the effort, how we fought to get to this final. We were very unlucky to concede that goal from the penalty. We played so well in the second half. It’s not easy to play against a team that plays transition very well, taking risks. I feel so proud. We were a little bit unlucky. Being 1-0 down from the start changed the plans completely. It’s not easy. But having been in the Champions League final for the first time, we have to be optimistic for the future.
“It’s about learning. Use this experience like Liverpool did last year. I’m so pleased to manage this group of players and I congratulate Liverpool because they’ve had a fantastic season. When you live this experience, you want to do it again, to play in the best game in the world after the World Cup.”
“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.”