Liverpool has erased the disappointment of last season’s Champions League final loss by claiming the trophy for the sixth time with victory over Tottenham in Madrid.
It was Mohamed Salah, such a disconsolate figure when he was injured early in that loss to Real Madrid, who set Liverpool on their way with a penalty after two minutes when Moussa Sissoko was contentiously punished for handball.
In a final that rarely touched the heights of the blockbuster semi-finals that made this an all-Premier League showpiece, Spurs had chances but were denied by Liverpool keeper Alisson, who saved well from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen.
Liverpool lifted the trophy that was taken from their grasp in Ukraine last season and now stand behind only Real Madrid and AC Milan as serial winners of this tournament, the final whistle sparking huge celebrations among players, management and the red wave of supporters in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano
Stadium.Mohamed Salah (15) is Liverpool’s second highest Champions League scorer behind Steven Gerrard (21)
One of the enduring images of Liverpool’s loss to Real Madrid in Kiev was a tearful Salah being led off midway through the first half as realization dawned he could not continue with the shoulder injury sustained in a tangle with Sergio Ramos.
It was a moment that changed the mood inside the stadium and left Liverpool unable to turn the tide once it went against them – so this was an occasion laced with meaning for the world-class Egyptian.
And his moment came almost instantly when he took responsibility from the penalty spot and powered the ball past Lloris.
How fitting it was that the player who has contributed so much to Liverpool’s renaissance should make such a significant contribution.
Another major difference from last year’s disappointment was the giant presence of Alisson in goal as opposed to the hapless Lloris Karius, who gifted goals to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in Kiev.
Here, the £67m Brazilian was a rock with his safe handling and vital interventions when Liverpool came under stress in the second half.
Alisson, along with Virgil van Dijk, has given Liverpool the extra dimension that pushed them so close to a first league title in 29 years and has now made them European champions once more.