2018-19 UEFA Champions League final: It’s an all-English affair
The UEFA Champions League final places have been filled. Two English sides face each other in the finals of Europe's premier footballing championship and they have done it in great style. Both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur faced deficits in their semi-final first legs and few gave them any chance to make it through, but they showed great character and fighting spirit in overcoming all odds in effecting two dramatic turnarounds.
Champions League Final Odds
|Champions League Final 2019|
|Tottenham to Win|
|Liverpool to Win|
Liverpool, reeling from a three-goal deficit against Barcelona, staged one of the most stunning comebacks in Champions' League history at Anfield, scoring 4 goals to win on a 4-3 aggregate. Jurgen Klopp's Reds started the second leg without their two key forwards Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino which just bolstered their “underdogs” status going into the game against the Championship favorites Barcelona. Goals for the Reds came from two unlikely individuals, Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum. It would have been highly unlikely for the 24-year old Origi to have started had Salah and Firmino been fit while Wijnaldum came in as a substitute for Robertson after the interval and now both are part of Liverpool folklore.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspurs, who were playing in their first European Cup semi-final in 57 years, won 3-2 on the night after losing the first leg 1-0 at home to Ajax in north London last week. Even Mauricio Pochettino's side were handicapped by the absence of their key striker Harry Kane, but just how Lucas Moura stepped into the act!. A Spurs team already trailing by a goal in the first leg were down by a further two by interval and staring at a 0-3 deficit and certain elimination. But a magical spell from the London side in the second half at Amsterdam saw forward Lucas Moura coming up with the performance of his life.
The 26-year old Brazilian bamboozled the Ajax defence, helping himself to three brilliant goals and putting his team into the UCL finals for the first time in history.
This will be the first time since 2008 that two English sides will be facing each other in a major European tournament, Chelsea and Manchester United being the sides then. While it will be a first for Tottenham, Liverpool are no strangers to European challenges having reached their ninth European Cup/Champions League final.
Only Real Madrid (16 times), Milan (11) and Bayern Munich (10) have reached more.
At the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday night, Spurs became the first team to come from two goals behind to win in a Champions League semi-final match since Manchester United's similar act against Juventus in 1999. So, to Madrid Spurs and Liverpool fans head on June 2nd for what will be a momentous occasion for both European and English football.