Liverpool have secured their 6th European Cup on 1st June in the Champions League final against Tottenham. The match took place in Atletico Madrid`s beauty “Wanda Metropolitano” in Madrid.
Few days after the most important match in the European club football, it is time to see what exactly happened on the pitch during these 90 minutes and how every one of the Liverpool players performed in that match.
Road to the Champions League Final
After last year’s Champions League Final against Real Madrid, there weren’t many people that expected Liverpool to play another final so soon. And they were right after The Reds performance in the group stage of this year’s edition.
They were drawn in group “C” also known as the Group of the Death alongside with the teams of PSG, Napoli and Red Star. Somehow, Liverpool managed to get through, despite the fact that they lost all of their visits – 1-2 from PSG, 0-1 from Napoli and 0-2 in Belgrade.
Things were different at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s men beat PSG 3-2 at the opening day, won with 4-0 against Red Star and beat Napoli 1-0 at home in the last day of the group stage in a match, that had to decide which team will qualify.
The ⅛ finals were not getting easier. As a team that finished in second place in their group, Liverpool knew they will get a tough opponent and this is exactly what happened. Bayern Munich were next. But Klopp knew the exact recipe to beat his old German opponent and despite a 0-0 in the first leg at Anfield, Liverpool played a fantastic second match in Munich and won 3-1. The next round met the Reds with a well-known team from the last year- Porto.
People were talking how the ¼ final won’t be easy for Klopp and co., but it actually was. Liverpool won easily the first leg and the second one in Portugal was even easier. The aggregate result was 6-1 and Liverpool were through again. But the ½ was the real deal, where the Reds had to face the favorite to win the Champions League – FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi.
The first match was played in Spain and ended with a crucial 3-0 victory for the home side, despite that Jurgen Klopp`s men created enough chances to score at Nou Camp. The second leg seemed protocol. Moreover, Liverpool had to play without the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino due to injuries.
But then, the impossible happened – Liverpool displayed another amazing performance in front of the Kop and Anfield – they smashed the Catalans 4-0 and it was more than enough to secure a second consecutive Champions League final.
Liverpool’s starting 11 was as it follows: 1. Alisson Becker – 66. Trent Alexander-Arnold, 32. Joel Matip, 4. Virgil Van Dijk, 26. Andy Robertson – 3. Fabinho, 5. Georginio Wijnaldum, 14. Jordan Henderson – 10. Sadio Mane, 9. Roberto Firmino, 11. Mohamed Salah
Despite the injury of Naby Keita during the 0-3 heavy defeat against Barcelona, Jurgen Klopp had no other worries before the match. So the starting 11 were no surprise for anyone.
The following player stats are provided by WhoScored.com:
Alisson Becker – 8.7
The Brazilian international made a huge impact and everyone saw the difference with the last year and Loris Karius`s fatal mistakes. He had almost nothing to do for the bigger part of the match, but the final 15 minutes were decisive and he made several saves that were key to keep the 1-0 advantage for his team. It was not a surprise that he got the Man of the Match award after the final whistle.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.2
The young full-back is the first U21 player who starts in back-to-back UCL finals. The corners he took were real disappointment, but in fact he managed to keep Son quiet for most of the game. He managed to deliver some nice balls in the opposition third.
Joel Matip – 8.0
The Cameroonian showed once again that he has his place in that team. He keeps building and building, and although he wasn’t put under big pressure during the final, he was playing with confidence.
Virgil Van Dijk – 7.3
Another solid performance by the Dutch International. Whenever some of Tottenham’s attacking players tried to go past him, he was like a rock. His presence was colossal during the whole season for his team and we can finally say that no opposition player could go past him in any of his 50 appearances for Liverpool this season. Astonishing!
Andy Robertson – 7.1
Just like his team-mate on the other flank – Trent, Robertson put a good display. He was constantly running towards Kieran Trippier’s zone and caused trouble for him. He was also close to score his first goal for the season, but his shot was saved by Lloris.
Fabinho – 6.7
The defensive midfielder did a very good job during most of the match. While Tottenham controlled the middlе in some periods of the match, he made sure he covered the back four.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 6.4
Wijnaldum had a quiet game comparing it to his excellent performance against the second match with Barcelona. He deserved his place in the starting 11, but James Milner was preferred over him in 62 mins, as the Reds needed to take back the control in the middle.
Jordan Henderson – 7.1
Liverpool’s captain showed why he had to be on the pitch. He was tireless, chasing every ball and he was very solid when not possessing the ball. 82% pass accuracy might not be the best stat, but he was often going forward.
Sadio Mane – 7.1
In big parts of the match, he was the most active from Liverpool’s front 3. He was taking the ball and trying to play 1vs1. However, his biggest impact was the penalty we won in the 2nd minute of the match and it seemed like he aimed Sissoko’s hand. Key moment.
Roberto Firmino – 6.1
It was clear that if he is fit, he will definitely start the match. But for the time he was on the pitch, he didn’t show he was ready for 90 minutes. He couldn’t provide his usual performance, but it is understandable, as he missed the last 3 matches of the season. He was replaced in the 58th min.
Mohamed Salah – 6.8
Did not have many chances at all. He improved his performance during the second half, as he failed to cause a lot of trouble to Tottenham’s defence. Still, he had his key role, as he scored the penalty in the 2nd min, although it was not the best penalty in the world. He had another good chance during the second half, but Vertonghen blocked his shot.
James Milner – 6.3
His presence was very important for the moment he went in. He was very close to the goal, but the shot went off. Did a solid performance for 30 minutes.
Divock Origi – 7.0
He was again the unexpected hero for Liverpool. He might deserved his chance to start from the 1st minute, but he managed to use the time he got. He secured the win with an 87th mins winner after assist from Joel Matip.
Joe Gomez – n/a
He didn’t really had the time to make an impact. He came in for Sadio Mane in the last few minutes.
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