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Champions League Final : 3 stats explaining Tottenham's loss to Liverpool

Liverpool wins the UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool wins the UEFA Champions League.
Modified 02 Jun 2019, 16:45 IST

Liverpool's seven-year cup drought ended yesterday as they put in an impressive display to emerge as the winners against Spurs in the Champions League final. Mo Salah's second-minute penalty and Divock Origi's 87th-minute goal ensured the win for the Reds as Pochettino's men struggled to create big chances for the majority of the game.

Harry Kane was restored to the line up after nearly two months in the expense of Lucas Moura, who was dropped to the bench. However, Spurs' skipper didn't really look sharp enough and failed to inspire his team once they had the game to chase.

Here are three stats which explain the defeat of Spurs on the big night:

#1 Spurs' defense had 38.5% of the total possession

Possession stats of Spurs
Possession stats of Spurs' defenders

Tottenham enjoyed 64.6% possession on the ball but they hardly created chances in the final third to really trouble Liverpool's defenders. Spurs' defensive line along with Hugo Lloris had 38.5% of the total possession which is incredibly high for a losing team.

Pochettino's men were very cautious with their play and were reluctant to push the ball forward. Liverpool's high pressing troubled them a lot which resulted in a large number of back-passes to Lloris in goal.

In the last five Champions League finals, none of the losing team's defense shared more than 20% of the possession. Atletico Madrid defense's 19.6% possession of the ball in the loss to Real Madrid in 2015/16 final is the next highest, which is nearly half of what Tottenham's defense had yesterday.


#2 Tottenham's 40% of the passes were backward

The passes made by Spurs players in the defensive third
The passes made by Spurs players in the defensive third

While Pochettino's side made 510 passes yesterday, 204 of them were backward. This conservative approach never helped them as they failed to come back from the early penalty scored by Mo Salah. In the past 10 finals of the competition, this 40% backward pass ratio is the highest among the losing teams.

Another astonishing passing stat reveals that Spurs players made 162 passes in the defensive third, 20 more than what they made in the final third. Tottenham became the first team in last 10 finals of the competition to play out more passes in the defensive third than in the final third.

While these stats reveal the negative football Spurs played yesterday, credit must be given to Klopp's men too. They pressed high relentlessly and the lack of creativity in the Spurs side resulted in a lot of backward passes.

#1 No. of touches for Harry Kane - 26

Harry Kane could not lead the team to a win.
Harry Kane could not lead the team to a win.

Harry Kane, who returned to lead the side, had a quiet game and failed to create any major impact on the game. He was left isolated up front as his team-mates struggled to bring him into the picture.

He had the fewest of touches in the Spurs starting lineup and it is safe to say that the centre-back pairing of Liverpool kept him silent throughout the game.

Kane managed to shoot only once in the 90 minutes which was straight at Alisson who gathered it comfortably. The England international managed to find his team-mates only 13 times in the game which was the second lowest for a starter yesterday.

Published 02 Jun 2019, 16:45 IST
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