Jürgen Klopp guides Liverpool to Champions League glory | Sports | German football and major international sports news | DW | 01.06.2019

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Jürgen Klopp guides Liverpool to Champions League glory

Two sides with very different European pedigree faced off in Madrid in the Champions League final, but for the first time since 2012 Jürgen Klopp won a final as Liverpool sealed their ninth European title.

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Liverpool
(Salah pen. 2', Origi 87')

One year on from defeat to Real Madrid in the final, Jürgen Klopp tasted victory as Liverpool overcame Spurs in a scrappy Champions League final on Saturday.

The game burst into life early on when Moussa Sissoko handled the ball in the box after just 25 seconds. Mohamed Salah stepped up and smashed the penalty home to give Liverpool an early lead.

When asked about his team's handling of the game, Klopp said afterwards that it was his players who took control. "The lads spoke about it themselves. I love that," Klopp said.

The longer the half went on though, neither side appeared to be really taking control as more mistakes were made. In the second half, Spurs found their feet a bit more and started to test Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. But the whole Liverpool defense stood firm, with Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk continually being in the right place at the right time.

Alisson almost single-handedly kept Spurs at bay late on, stopping shots from Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen in the dying moments.

"He makes the hard things look easy. I'm not sure he gets enough credit," Klopp said.

With Spurs desperate and suddenly looking very much like scoring, substitute Divock Origi ended the contest by firing into the far corner after Tottenham failed to clear a corner.

"Today we didn't have any bad luck, not that much fortune, but no bad luck was enough to win today," Klopp told Sky afterwards. 

For Liverpool, it was redemption for last year's disappointing loss to Real Madrid. For Klopp it was the trophy his work has long warranted.

As it happened:


— Jürgen Klopp is now being thrown up in the air by the Liverpool players. After that he's waving to the fans and there is an enormous smile on his face. That is one happy man.

— "An amazing moment. I'm delighted," Matip tells Sky afterwards. "We were all good together," Matip continued when asked about his improvement in the team. A very humble response from perhaps the man of the match.

— And here comes the trophy. Everyone gets their moment with the trophy after Henderson lifts it first. Then there's a very loud rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone". The Spurs end has all but emptied. Eventually Klopp gets a chance to lift it. Then the team makes their way towards the fans. I think there could be some special moments ahead.

— Spurs take to the stage, keeping their medals in their hands rather than keeping them around their necks. They quickly depart as Liverpool turn up. Jürgen Klopp is on the stage to lift a Champions League trophy...

— "It's special... You can see how quickly things can change in football. That's why we play. That's why we love it," Divock Origi tells Sky afterwards. What a story this season has been for him.

— Lucas Moura is in tears. Harry Kane is just left staring into the distance. This is the other side of a final. That there are teams that lose. A tough night for Tottenham, but what an adventure it has been for them.

— "Incredible. A childhood dream has come true," Alisson tells Sky afterwards. Liverpool's players almost can't believe it. The stage is being built. Celebrations are closing in. The entire bench erupted when the final whistle went. James Milner gestured to the crowd to show this was the sixth European title.

— Jürgen Klopp has done it! His streak of final defeats is over! Klopp has finally shown that he can build a team, reconnect with a community - and win the big one.

2019 Champions League Final: Win (2-0 vs. Tottenham)
2018 Champions League Final: Loss (3-1 vs. Real Madrid)
2016 Europa League Final: Loss (3-1 vs. Sevilla)
2016 League Cup Final: Loss (3-1 on pens. vs. Manchester City)
2015 German Cup Final: Loss (3-1 vs. Wolfsburg)
2014 German Cup Final: Loss (2-0 aet vs. Bayern Munich)
2013 Champions League Final: Loss (2-1 vs. Bayern Munich)
2012 German Cup Final: Win (5-2 vs. Bayern Munich)

FULL TIME Liverpool have won the Champions League!

Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Liverpool
(Salah pen. 2', Origi 87')

90+4' Chants of "You'll Never Walk Alone" ring out around Madrid. Just 60 seconds left.

90+3' Spurs throwing everything forward. Winning corner after corner, but Liverpool just keep clearing or Alisson keeps saving and holding on to everything. 

90+1' SUB! Tottenham's heads drop a bit, but everything can happen in five minutes. It's not over yet. Klopp brings on Joe Gomez for Mane to tighten things up at the back.

87' GOAL! 2-0 Liverpool (Origi) Incredible. Of all the men to do it. A player who was fighting for league survival with Wolfsburg not long ago has just arrowed an effort into the far corner after Spurs failed to clear the corner. Quite remarkable scenes. It's a great finish, one made by Van Dijk who caused all sorts of disruption in the box. What a moment.

85' SAVE! Eriksen has a free kick chance right on the edge of the box, on the left-hand side after Rose is felled. Think Toni Kroos vs. Sweden in Russia. He hits it like the German too but Alisson is there to palm it away with a huge save. From the corner, Son heads over from yards out but is offside. Liverpool holding on a bit here.

82' Liverpool have a corner after a mistake by Lloris. Milner can't beat the first man. Spurs bring on Llorente (Alli comes off). Eight minutes left.

81' SAVES! Son fires from range but Alisson beats it away. Then Moura has an effort inside the box but Alisson is there again. Liverpool look a bit vulnerable all of a sudden.

79' CHANCE! Trippier's cross is good for Alli but he heads over under the attention of Matip. Liverpool are sitting deeper, waiting to pounce, forcing Tottenham to answer the question: can they score?

76' BLOCK! Son surges past Van Dijk in astounding fashion but the Dutchman speeds back in impressive fashion to get in the way again. Brilliant from both players. When will we see Llorente? Tottenham feel like they're closing in on a real chance. Klopp is pointing all over the place from the sidelines.

73' CHANCE! Now the game is alive again! Spurs break and it ends with Alli. He tries to curl it into the far corner. It looks like it'll be a beauty, but in the end Alisson just plucks it out the sky. Sissoko can't continue so Dier comes on.

71' CHANCES! Mane goes on a run - what a player he has been this season, and tonight - and ends up on the edge of the box. He plays it into Salah, who touches it off for Milner. He takes and touch and fires it just past the post. Oh so close there. Down the other end, Spurs send in three consecutive closes but can't do more than create half chances. Then Liverpool break and Mane nearly slots in from a Salah cross but it's cleared. End-to-end a bit now!

66' SUB! Pochettino brings on the only man he can in this situation: Lucas Moura (Winks the man making way). Has he got more heroics in him?

63' Spurs come again but the attack ends in another errant pass. Klopp makes another change, bringing off Wijnaldum for James Milner. The Dutchman hasn't excelled in midfield and again the change looks a smart one. Your move Pochettino. The game is somewhat back and forth. I believe we are entering that so called key 15 minutes, although in games like this, ahem, every minute matters.

59' SUB! Klopp recognises that Firmino is not really in the game - and hasn't been all night - and so brings him off for Divock Origi. What a story. The man who was playing (and not that well) for Wolfsburg not so long ago is now playing a Champions League final that he helped Liverpool reach. Football eh?

58' BLOCK! A huge block denies Dele Alli, who suddenly bursts into the box with the ball. Massive. I think it was Robertson (again). Rose doesn't get a free kick when he should but Son wins a corner soon afterwards. Spurs are attacking the end with their own fans. Will that help? Trippier's first corner is cleared. Rose takes the second and it's headed over. A bit of Tottenham pressure here.

54' Spurs open Liverpoool up but Robertson comes across to make a great challenge. Then at the other end Alexander-Arnold whips in a cross that nearly causes all sorts of danger. One from Robertson a minute later does, but Lloris gets there just before Mane.

50' Kane gets into space and crosses low across the box. There are teammates of his there but the ball escapes them all. The first real notable action from Kane. Both sides don't appear to have shaken off the errors of the first half. Liverpool's passing success is at 68 percent. Ouch.

46' Spurs get us restarted. The last game of the domestic season is underway!


And that is that. Well, this game burst into life and since then has turned more and more into a tactical battle in which both teams look gripped by the tension of what is at stake. Other than the penalty after 25 seconds, both sides have had half chances at best and have snatched at them all. Neither side finished the half looking particularly good. I think substitutes will play a key role in this one.

45+1' Spurs create their best chance of the half, perhaps, but Eriksen, the one player you want to get the ball on the edge of the area, blazes well over when the chance opens up for him. The game has faded a bit as both sides look to avoid making errors more than anything else.

42' Slowly but surely this half is becoming quite error ridden. Both sides are misplacing passes that normally find their target. Those errors though are being hidden by the tension that continues to grip this game. Liverpool have not made enough of their set-pieces. Tottenham have not made enough of their counterattacks. Looks like a game that could be changed by subs.

38' I can't say enough how well Joel Matip is playing. He sends a swerving, confident pass out the back that splits the two Spurs players closing him down. Brave. It works though. Robertson is on his way and he accepts the invitation to shoot. Lloris tips over. Then there's a pause as Vertonghen is treated for what looks a sore elbow.

34' Matip makes a huge interception to stop Son being put through by Sissoko. The former Bundesliga defender is there again moments later. Now it's Liverpool who are standing firm and Spurs who are probing. It's system vs. system right now and no one wants to budge.

30' Harry Kane has had just six touches of the ball so far. Van Dijk seems to have dealt with him so far. The England number 9 has not been factor - yet. Liverpool waste a deep free kick. I wonder whether the heat is playing a factor. Granted, the sun has all but disappeared. Nevertheless, it is 81 degrees Fahrenheit (31 C) at the moment and that will sap a fair bit of energy.

27' A bit of light sparring here. Liverpool probing, Spurs standing firm and trying to find a way through. I didn't think it was possible but the tension has gone up a notch a bit. Really close this game. Still can't believe the game started with a penalty after 25 seconds.

22' Alexander-Arnold makes a strong tackle to deny Son from making the most of a counterattack. Solid. A few minutes later, he whips in a corner but Lloris does well to punch clear. Then Salah gets the better of Vertonghen but blazes over. Liverpool's edge is bigger all of a sudden. Spurs back to being rattled a bit.

17' Trent Alexander-Arnold gets a little space on the right and has a go. Why not? It's his second Champions League and he's already 20. A crazy stat. From the resulting goal kick, the game is interrupted by female streaker. Fortunately we are back to the football very quickly. The game remains tense and tight, but that early goal has given Liverpool a small edge of confidence.

13' Not much made of how good Joel Matip has been for Liverpool this season. He was quite the different player at Schalke. Two big challenges are followed by a third but he's a little later. Lucky to escape yellow there. Such fine margins change games. Liverpool deal with the free kick easily.

10' Where has the time gone? The first 10 minutes have absolutely raced by. Son dances his way into the box, it falls to Sissoko but he blazes over from range. Cries of "Come on you Spurs" ring around the Tottenham end. That helps. Spurs are slowly finding their feet here.

6' How do you recover from that? Blimey. Spurs do their best to do that. They get a corner, but Liverpool clear it. Mauricio Pochettino needs his side to calm down. Liverpool's fans are bouncing. Their team can sense blood. Spurs are a bit rattled.

2' GOAL! 1-0 Liverpool (Salah) After a quick check with the VAR, the penalty is given and Salah smashes it home. What a start. It might be a bit soft, but Liverpool fans won't care. They are ahead and right at the start!

1' PENALTY to Liverpool! What a start. Mane clips the ball into the box and it clips the shoulder and then gently, briefly brushes Moussa Sissoko's arm. Wow.

1' Off. We. Go. Liverpool get the 2019 Champions League final started.

— Before we get started, a minute's silence for Jose Antonio Reyes. Just awful news. Instead of silence, the stadium fills with applause. Fitting.

— Ah. The prospect of sport has arrived. The teams are out the tunnel. The focus on the looks of Alisson, Kane, Lloris is intense. Son is all smiles. Actual violinists play the memorable Champions League music as the players stand on the field. That's fine. I'm happy with that musical contribution. Right. The carpet is being rolled away! It's nearly time to finally play some football.

— Modern football finals wouldn't be complete (they might actually) without a musical act. Imagine Dragons are performing before the game kicks off. One of their songs is about being a believer. It's fair to say that most of the fans in the stadium tonight believe tonight is their night. Not sure they needed the music to be reminded of that. Oh, and there's a massive blue carpet with lots of people banging of drums. Looks like a poor man's version of the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics back in 2008.

— It's almost time. Will Liverpool lift their ninth European title (five Champions Leagues/European Cups, three UEFA Cups) or will Tottenham lift their first ever Champions League (the club has two UEFA Cups)?

— DW's Matt Pearson is in Madrid for us tonight. This news from him on the ground isn't encouraging though, and a continuation of what we mentioned earlier.

— "Last year we sort of made the final in an unexpected way. This season is different. It feels different. We weren't not favorites against Bayern, and although we weren't favorites against Barcelona we never overperformed," Jürgen Klopp said to Sky Sports before the game tonight.

"We are good with the ball, we are good without it. It is still a normal football game."

Klopp still smiling, as ever. Very calm.

— Crazy stat for you: 8 of Liverpool's team tonight started in last season's final against Real Madrid. Only Karius, Lovren and Milner started last year and won't be in the XI this year. That's a lot of experience, and a lot of motivation to make right what went wrong last time around.

— TEAMS! Liverpool go as expected, with Roberto Firmino fit to start. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain makes the bench. Spurs though, have made a big move. Harry Kane is back and does start, which means that Lucas Moura, the hero of the semifinal, drops to the bench. Harry Winks starts in midfield. A huge moment for both teams. We are just over an hour away.

Tottenham XI: Lloris – Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose – Winks, Sissoko – Son, Eriksen, Alli – Kane

Liverpool XI: Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson – Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum – Salah, Firmino, Mane

— For those who can't make it, there are a few televisions in Tottenham's new stadium to watch the game on. Just a few.

— Kickoff is two hours away but fans are already taking their seats. The excitement is building.

— This is not the way you'd want your evening in Madrid to start if you were a Liverpool fan. There has been lots of talk about fake tickets being sold this week, and some of the stories have been pretty bad.

— Perhaps not the best day to be wearing Liverpool kit, looking like Jürgen Klopp and walking around the center of Madrid.

— Not to be outdone, Tottenham fans are also making quite a lot of noise in Madrid. Do you think they're happy to be there? I think so.

— Klopp has been asked again and again about his record in finals. It doesn't make for great reading, but he remains as humorous and defiant as ever in the face of adversity.

— The day began with some somber news. Former Arsenal and Sevilla player Jose Antonio Reyes died in a car crash this morning. The news has hit the football community hard, as many former teammates remember one of the greatest Spanish players ever. He is the only player to have won five Europa League/UEFA Cup trophies. UEFA announced tonight there will be a moment's silence in his memory. A really tough piece of news to read at the start of the season's grand finale. 

— Good afternoon! Today's the day! Liverpool or Spurs. It's time to find out who will be the champions of Europe in 2019. It is warm in Madrid today. Very warm. There are thousands of fans scattered across the city, enjoying themselves before the game. These Liverpool fans are in a great mood. 

— One of several big questions for Pochettino is whether Harry Kane can play a part after missing the last month of the season with an ankle injury. The answer remains unclear, with the Spurs boss saying the England striker's fitness would be assessed after the club's final training session on Friday night. He also praised his opponents.

"Liverpool are a great team. I think with Manchester City, the best team in England, competing head to head in the Premier League and of course have had an unbelievable Champions League. Full credit to Jurgen Klopp, fantastic manager." 

— Jürgen Klopp's final press conference ahead of the game is just wrapping up. He confirmed that Roberto Firmino will be fit to lead the line if selected, presumably replacing semifinal hero Divock Origi, and riffed a little on his miserable record in finals.

"If I was the reason for losing six finals in a row then everyone should worry," he said. "If not, we have a chance. Last year there were three strange goals, apart from that it was a good game."

The German boss also said he expects his compatriots to get behind his team: "I would be disappointed if German people were supporting Tottenham! It's my responsibility to make a party possible this time."

Mauricio Pochettino will face the media later on Friday night.

— All the talk around Tottenham Hotspur is who will play in attack. Harry Kane should be fit and will likely start, but perhaps Spurs have another plan up their sleeve? This guy looks pretty good.

— Klopp has coached some great talents of the years, but if we had to break it down to his best European finals XI we think it would look a little like this. Do you agree?

— The same is true of Tottenham fans, who seem to have the support of the staff at Stansted Airport in London. This departures board has a somewhat unique look to it. 

— Liverpool fans have already made their presence felt in Madrid. It hasn't been easy for many to get there, with some fans opting to take the ferry, and some driving the whole way all in the face of rising flight prices/no more flights available.

— Still not enough? No problem. Take a trip back in time with the 51-year-old coach, who has come from humble beginnings to the top of the football tree. What a story.

— "I've never been to a final with a better team than this. It's a sensational situation," Klopp said at the press conference two days ago. Dortmund fans might find that a bit hard to take, but one look at this Liverpool team and I think it's easy to understand where Klopp is coming from. While this Liverpool team hasn't been prolific, they have been effective. Liverpool have scored 22 goals in Europe this season - the third most - and conceded 12. Tottenham, on the other hand, have shipped 17 but scored 20. Advantage Liverpool, just about.

— Jürgen Klopp. The man always has something to say, and he says it the most extraordinary way. DW sat down with him earlier in the month to talk about his career, life in Great Britain and why he really is "The Normal One". Klopp talks about life being the best preparation and how he has always been interested in people, particularly looking after youngsters. His voice is so engaging. It's hard not to listen to him. Sit back and enjoy the interview below.

Watch video 22:59

Jürgen Klopp: Seriously the 'Normal One'?

— Jürgen Klopp's record in finals is worth reviewing. Surely it has to end soon?

2018 Champions League Final: Loss (3-1 vs. Real Madrid)
2016 Europa League Final: Loss (3-1 vs. Sevilla)
2016 League Cup Final: Loss (3-1 on pens. vs. Manchester City)
2015 German Cup Final: Loss (3-1 vs. Wolfsburg)
2014 German Cup Final: Loss (2-0 aet vs. Bayern Munich)
2013 Champions League Final: Loss (2-1 vs. Bayern Munich)
2012 German Cup Final: Win (5-2 vs. Bayern Munich)

— Good afternoon! The final game of the European club season is just one day away and what a game it looks to be. Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool overcame Barcelona in the most dramatic fashion in the semifinal. Tottenham did the same against Ajax in an equally breathingtaking contest. It has been an amazing season, with so much drama, and now it's time for the final chapter.