Salah, Mane help Liverpool win Champions League

<em>Sadio Mane and Mohammad Sala lifted Champions League trophy <em>

The African pair were both in the starting lineup as Liverpool saw off their Premier League rivals to win a sixth Champions League in Madrid with Mohammad on the scoresheet.

The Egyptian scored from penalty in the second minute of the game after Sadio Mane had forced a handball from Spurs midfielder Mousa Sissoko to give the Reds an early lead.  

The Senegalese international got the ball at the edge of the box saw his attempted cross bounce off Sissoko’s arm in the area and the referee did not hesitate to point at the spot before Salah stepped forward to slot home the penalty.

Divock origi, who also possesses an African origin in Kenya despite playing for Belgium, scored Liverpool’s second goal in the 87th minute to end Spurs hopes of finding the equalizer and secure the title for Liverpool.

The Belgian struck with his left a pinpoint low effort into the far right corner past Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Iloris.

Mane and Salah will be delighted for having won Europe’s premier club football trophy with Liverpool after narrowly missing out on winning the Premier League by just a single point. T

The pair together with their coach Jürgen Klopp earned their first trophy at Liverpool since the Germany took over at Anfield in 2015. The victory was also Klopp’s first in four finals since he joined Liverpool.

Whereas Klopp will be celebrating and relieved for winning his first major title, his counterpart at Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino still waits for his first piece of silverware at North London.

How Liverpool pimped Spurs to the title

After the two English giants had spent three-and-a-half weeks of preparations, the first minute of the game produced the first flashpoint when man’s chipped ball was blocked by Sissoko. Initially the ball hit Sissoko’s shoulder and then brushed his arm calling a brief intervention of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) that confirmed a penalty which left divided opinions among fans.

Salah stepped forward and slotted down the middle to compensate for his last season’s bad luck when he was forced out of the final against Real Madrid early on with a shoulder injury.

Although Spurs enjoyed more possession in a disjointed first half, they failed to make the final ball count before Liverpool’s fullbacks Trent Alexander Arnold and Andrew both went close to scoring with long-range strikes towards the end of first half.

Some life was breathed into the game in the second half as both teams tried to open up play though there was no much threat either side until Liverpool substitute James Milner narrowly missed scoring in the 69th minute after teaming-up well with Mane.

Spurs had to wait until the 73rd minute to register a shot on target when Dele Ali chipped his effort into Alisson’s hands which was followed by another save by the Brazilian from Heung-Min Son’s long-range shot before substitute Lucas Moura also missed an effort from close range.

Spurs hopes of finding an equalizer were all but ended in the 87th when Divok Origi pounced on a loose ball on the left of the box to strike in the far bottom right corner past Hugo Iloris to double Liverpool’s lead and one hand on the trophy.

The Belgian’s effort in Madrid saw him registering three goals from just three shots in the entire campaign this season with the other two coming in his semi-final heroics against Barcelona at Anfield.

A man of the match performance from Alisson saw the Brazilian deny a largely absent Harry Kane in stoppage time and Liverpool stood firm till the final whistle to get the job done for their first piece of silverware since 2012.

What the coaches said

Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp spoke to BT Sport after the game and described the victory as the night of their professional lives.

“Did you ever see a team like this, fighting with no fuel in the tank? And we have a keeper who makes difficult things look easy.

“It is the best night of our professional lives. It took a while, it is important for our development and improvement, this little mark helps a lot, now we can carry on. The owners never put pressure on us.

“Normally 20 minutes after the game I am half drunk, but now I have only had water!” Said Klopp.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino did no regret selecting Harry Kane ahead of Semi-final hero Lucas Moura…

“This wasn’t a drama; it was a decision. For me Harry Kane, after one month and a half, he finished the game fresh. He didn’t score but my decision I promise was very analytical, with all the information. I have no regrets.” Said Pochettino.

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