3 reasons why Liverpool edged out Spurs in the UEFA Champions League Final
As the teams walked out for the final there was electricity in the air. The Wanda which is the home stadium of Athletico Madrid may be on the outskirts of Madrid, but for fans of Liverpool and Spurs, it was like tethering on the edge of glory. In the build up to this game much had been said about how the game would pan out.
One expected a scratchy game, given the three-week break that both the finalists had enjoyed. And one could see the element of rustiness once the game began; critics will point to the dismal statistics of Liverpool especially in key areas such as possession and pass completion, where they were comprehensively edged out by Spurs. But when it came to the column that mattered, the Reds were the victorious ones.
That said, as the game progressed, it was not a pleasure to watch and one does have to congratulate Spurs on the manner they went for it against Liverpool in the second half. At times, it seemed Spurs players’ were bull dozing past the Liverpool players; such was the desire and determination. But key moments and interventions helped Liverpool cap off an incredibly good season, with some silverware at last.
Here is a look at the 3 reasons why Liverpool was able to edge out Spurs.
#1 Salah's early penalty puts the pressure
Once the dust settles, Spurs will feel hard done by the early decision of the referee to award a penalty to Liverpool as early as the first minute. An encounter which had been built up as one of the most awaited finals, was already lopsided as early as the second minute as referee, Damir Skomina decided that the actions of Sissoko were a deliberate move towards the ball.
In the aftermath of that penalty, Spurs were on the back foot and from thereon, it was a game they were always chasing. One can argue that Spurs had the entire match to equalize but it’s a different proposition when a team is chasing the game against the likes of Liverpool who have a clinical front three. Salah's relentless running throughout the game, looked like he was a man possessed and desperately trying to make up for lost time especially after the tragedy that afflicted him in last year's final.
The fact that the Egyptian kept his calm amidst the chaos and confusion to score with his first kick off the ball underlined the desire that has haunted him since his tearful substitution off the pitch in Kiev last summer. His opening goal now puts him in an elite list of African players to score in a European Cup final after Rabah Madjer, Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and Sadio Mane.