Champions League final: Liverpool and Spurs prepare for battle
31 May 2019
Liverpool and Tottenham are on the brink of history as both sides make their last preparations for the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid.
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool will be hoping to avenge last season’s final defeat to Real Madrid while Spurs are looking for a first ever Champions League title.
The pair have enjoyed dramatic journeys to the final at the Wanda Metropolitano.
In the round of 16, Liverpool wrapped up a comprehensive 3-1 victory against FC Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena thanks to a brilliance of Sadio Mané and Virgil Van Dijk.
After defeating FC Porto in the quarter-finals, the Reds faced FC Barcelona in the semi-finals where they came up against a dominant force.
Playing the first leg in the Camp Nou, Liverpool were swept aside thanks to goals from Luis Suárez and two Lionel Messi efforts, giving Barça a 3-0 lead heading into the second leg at Anfield.
Without the likes of Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, Liverpool were up against it but an early goal from Divock Origi gave the Reds hope.
Substitute Gini Wijnaldum then scored two in two minutes to make it 3-0 and level the scores on aggregate.
The stunning comeback was complete with 11 minutes to spare as a quick corner from Trent Alexander-Arnold found Origi who lashed home to make it 4-0 and send Liverpool to a second final in as many years.
Tottenham’s route has been no less dramatic with late goals aplenty on the way to a first European final since 1984.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men needed late winners against PSV and Inter as well as a late equaliser against FC Barcelona to progress through the group stages.
After getting past Borussia Dortmund, Spurs knocked out Manchester City on away goals following a dramatic seven-goal thriller at the Etihad.
Having won the first leg 1-0, Spurs looked on the brink of elimination at 4-2 down against Pep Guardiola’s men.
But Fernando’s Llorente’s goal ensured progression to the final four where Ajax laid in wait.
After losing the first leg 1-0, Spurs found themselves 2-0 down in Amsterdam before sparking a miraculous turnaround.
Three second half goals, all scored by Lucas Moura, helped Spurs to a 3-2 win, triggering wild celebrations from the Spurs players and fans.
Spurs will be boosted by the return of top scorer Harry Kane, who has 24 goals in all competitions including five in the Champions League.
From the semi-finals, Liverpool also have key players returning with both Salah and Firmino in the squad for Saturday’s [June 1] showpiece.