Sat. Sep 26th, 2020

Champions League final: Tottenham vs Liverpool – Saturday 1 June

georginio wijnaldum liverpool barcelona anfield goal two champions league 2019English rivals battle it out for European glory in Madrid.

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Tottenham vs Liverpool – 21:00 SAST

English rivals Liverpool and Tottenham meet in Madrid for the UEFA Champions League title on Saturday night.

The Premier League duo have blazed a trail through the knockout stages, both reaching the final in barnstorming fashion.

Liverpool’s staggering comeback win over Barcelona in the semi-finals at Anfield was one of the most magical nights the competition has seen.

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Mohamed Salah, Jurgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk celebrate during the 2018-19 season. Photo: EPA/PETER POWELL

Incredibly, so was Tottenham’s last-ditch victory at Ajax the following evening as England’s leading European lights put on a spectacular, indefatigable show on the continent.

They also complete an English clean sweep at the Wanda Metropolitano with fellow EPL clubs Chelsea and Arsenal going head-to-head in the Europa League final earlier in the week in Baku.

Not bad going for the only major domestic league not to take a mid-season break, not to mention Premier League champions Manchester City being conspicuous by their absence.

Liverpool look to go one better

Finalists a year ago, Liverpool were in serious danger of failing to make it past the pool stage this time around.

Only a final night edging out of Napoli saw them pip the Italian side to the second qualifying spot in Group C, finishing two points shy of a Paris Saint-Germain team they had beaten in their group opener at Anfield.

The knockouts have been a different story, with the Reds turning on the style on the continent.

Bavarian beasts Bayern Munich were stuffed 3-1 in their own back yard in the last 16, after a goalless first leg on Merseyside looked to have left the English side vulnerable.

It was even more straightforward against FC Porto in the quarter-finals, with a 2-0 first leg cakewalk paving the way for a 6-1 aggregate success.

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Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring his side’s third goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match between Liverpool and Barcelona. Photo: Rich Linley – CameraSport via Getty Images

Then came a breathtaking Anfield night as Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum both scored twice to make a mockery of a host of injuries and a 3-0 deficit to see off Catalan giants Barca.

It was the perfect way for Jurgen Klopp and Co to tee up their shot at going one better than last season’s heartbreaking final defeat to Real Madrid.

Tottenham play their first UCL final

Tottenham faced the same peril as their final opponents on the last match night of group stage action.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had looked dead and buried after taking just one point from their first three pool matches.

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Tottenham celebrate a Christian Eriksen goal against Inter Milan in the Champions League.
Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP.

But an improbable 1-1 draw in the Camp Nou against Barcelona helped them squeak past Inter Milan to second spot in Group B.

A three-goal salvo in the second half of their last 16 first leg clash against Borussia Dortmund ensured a comfortable passage to the quarter-final stage.

Then things went off the scale.

An away goals win over EPL champions Manchester City was secured after a thunderous 4-3 second leg defeat at the Etihad Stadium, with Raheem Sterling’s would-be injury time winner ruled out by VAR.

No one seriously believed it could get any more dramatic – but by jove it did.

Semi-final opponents Ajax had already knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus on a stirring run to the last four before taking a 1-0 lead back to Amsterdam from their first leg in London.

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Lucas Moura was the hat-trick hero for Tottenham in their Champions League semi-final win over Ajax in Amsterdam. Photo: VI Images via Getty Images.

They added two more at the Johan Cruyff Arena to put one-and-a-half feet in the final.

But up popped Lucas Moura with an incredible hat-trick – the third coming in the sixth minute of injury time, no less – to cap a comeback to rival that of their final opponents the previous night.

It can’t possibly get any more dramatic in Madrid, can it?

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