Madrid: Liverpool won a disappointing Champions League against Tottenham 2-0 with an early goal from Mohammed Salah and a late goal from Divock Origi. The showpiece match didn't live up to the hype that had been generated and in a strangely subdued and slow game, punctuated by sloppy passing and cagey passages of plays, the vast majority of the 22 protagonists were underwhelming in the sweltering heat of the Spanish capital.
Hugo Lloris 6/10: There was little the Frenchman could do about Liverpool’s two goals. He didn’t always handle the ball well but did prevent Andrew Robertson from scoring Liverpool’s second with a fine save in the second half.
Kieran Trippier - 4/10: From the onset, the right-back struggled against the speed of Sadio Mane. He tried to respond with some aggression but was overran. Helpless and inept.
Toby Alderweireld - 6/10: A firm central pairing together with Vertonghen and tried to get the team to play out of the back. Delivered a great long ball for Son.
Jan Vertonghen - 6/10: Secure and alert. Played two trademark diagonals to Rose and Trippier. Decent distribution, but like Alderweireld ultimately could not influence his team’s stasis enough to turn the tide.
Danny Rose - 5/10: More enterprising after the break, but overall didn’t provide enough going forward.
Moussa Sissoko - 5/10: He should have known that UEFA and referees award penalties when opponents shoot at players. He left too much space in behind and was often swamped in midfield. At times he tried to get the attack going. Mediocre at best.
Dele Alli - 4.5/10: In short, awful. One of the players that went missing. Almost invisible. He had a sniff at goal in the 78th minute with a header and a dinked shot. He exited the pitch for Fernando Llorente. He needs to have a deep think this summer.
Christian Eriksen - 6/10: One of a slate of underperforming stars. The Danish midfield metronome yielded little influence in the first half, apart from a gem of the pass into the run of Son. He didn’t feed the players higher up the pitch even when Tottenham streamed forward in numbers. Dropped deeper following the introduction of Lucas Moura. You think Real Madrid might think twice about the Dane.
Harry Winks - 5.5/10: He was taken off in the 66th-minute, but while largely invisible he wasn’t Tottenham’s main problem. He endeavored to do what he could, but largely drowned in the mediocre display of his entire team. Never could impose himself.
Son - 6.5/10: The South Korean was the one Tottenham player who offered some attacking impetus in the first half. Lots of Tottenham’s play was channeled through Son on the left. He often wriggled often in the box, but got little support from his teammates. In the 80th minute, he threatened with a rasping long-distance attempt. He was Tottenham’s most dangerous player.
Harry Kane - 4/10: A huge disappointment. Pochettino went with his talisman from the start, but that choice backfired spectacularly, so much so that Kane barely touched the ball in the first 20 minutes and, well for much of the entire game. Mimicking the movement of his Brazilian counterpart Firmino, he dropped off at times, but with less success. He was well bossed by van Dijk. A faux dive and meek shot in injury time summed up his lackluster night.
Lucas Moura - 6/10: Should he have started? That’s the question that will haunt his coach and him. There seemed little justification to keep him on the bench. The Brazilian couldn’t work his Amsterdam magic and failed to convert a gilt-edged opportunity inside the box.
Eric Dier (74th minute), Fernando Llorente (82nd minute) - Not rated.
Mauricio Pochettino - 5/10: Did Pochettino make a crucial mistake by trusting Harry Kane too much? The England striker is the club’s talisman and it would have always been difficult to leave him out, but Kane did little to justify his presence for 90 minutes. Tottenham enjoyed a wonderful season, but in the final they underwhelmed. Perhaps Pochettino remained inert for too long. The Energia universal theory failed to ignite.
Alisson Becker - 8/10: The Brazilian has been rightly criticized in the past, but on a relatively quiet night, he was steadfast and secure. Tottenham only registered their first shot on target deep into the second half, but he parried Son’s shot and his superb save prevented Eriksen from equalizing from a free kick. Those interventions were not just regulation saves. Reshaping the reputation of Brazilian goalkeepers.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 8/10: He won the battle Son, who was industrious, but ultimately presented too little danger. Cool, calm and composed. A constant influence. Never fazed by the occasion. Riffled a shot across Lloris' goal in the 17th minute. Mopped up Son when the Korean had a chance to break through.
Joel Matip - 7/10: Rock solid. Harsh tackle on Harry Kane, but he put in measured performance.
Virgil van Dijk - 7/10: The Dutch stalwart was named man of the match. That was perhaps unjust. Van Dijk was imperious, but then at the same time Tottenham’s attack was very impotent. He was never troubled by Kane and marshaled his defense well.
Andrew Robertson - 8/10: He excelled together with his counterpart Alexander-Arnold. One of the few players who lived up to the hype the final had generated. Steadily becoming one of Europe’s best left backs. At least in the industry department. Could have been the man of the match, but this final didn’t deserve one.
Fabinho - 5.5/10: A lot of dirty work, but like Wijnaldum, far from his best. He provided mettle to disturb Alli and Eriksen.
Wijnaldum - 5.5/10: Poor performance. The Dutchman failed to assert himself.
James Henderson - 7/10: In his typically understated style, Henderson was the glue who held it all together in the midfield for Liverpool. The captain took on an increasingly important role in the latter stages of the Champions League. He did so again against Tottenham, doing a lot of the hard yakka, running the hard yards and doing the dirty work.
Mo Salah - 6/10: Salah converted Liverpool’s penalty in the first minute. He coolly slotted home the ball past Hugo Lloris. He remained below his level for the rest of the game, but the Egyptian won’t care. He has now entered the pantheon of the gods at Liverpool. The sad memories of Kiev will have been buried.
Sadio Mane - 7.5/1:0 The Senegalese played a superb final. He won the penalty that might have well been decisive. Industrious and energetic, he was a constant menace. Trippier didn’t know how to respond. Mane played across the front three and complicated life for the entire Tottenham defence.
Roberto Firmino - 5.5/10: The number nine was invisible, but his movement caused the Tottenham midfield problems. The Brazilian dropped off, allowing Salah and Mane to hare in behind and force the midfield and centre-backs to make a choice. His work rate didn’t make up for his lack of impact. and Klopp had no hesitation in replacing him before the hour mark.
Divock Origi - 7/10: The Belgian will never forget 1 June 2019. He had been a fringe player at Anfield, but the Champions League has redeemed him. First, he knocked out Barcelona. Then he sealed the European Cup with his neat 87th-minute strike. He did more than just attack. The number 27 tracked back in the cautious 4-5-1 formation Liverpool deployed in the second half.
James Milner - 6/10: Solid. The midfielder was teed up by Mane in the 68th minute, but his attempt rolled inches past the woodwork. He could have decided the final with that strike.
Eric Dier (90th minute) - Not rated.
Klopp - 7/10: Liverpool showed a face that has often been underrated. Steel and solidity helped Liverpool to win. It was all about winning and he admitted as much in the press conference. The method and the manner didn’t matter. He didn’t hesitate to substitute Firmino and Wijnaldum, who had both struggled.
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Updated Date: Jun 02, 2019 11:22:40 IST