Liverpool channel Mourinho style performance for Champions League triumph
Known for their attack, the Reds had less of the ball in victory over Tottenham than any team in the final since the Portuguese’s 2010 Inter side
Liverpool channelled a performance worthy of Jose Mourinho as they managed to win the Champions League over Tottenham with the least possession in a victory since the 2010 Inter side coached by the Portuguese himself.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have become known for their vaunted attack during his tenure behind the trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino and managed 89 goals during the Premier League season.
But it was arguably their defence that made them a force to be reckoned with in both England and Europe, as they conceded a Premier League low 22 goals in 2018-19.
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Behind PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson, Liverpool have proven themselves every bit as solid at the back as they have been going forward.
And at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Champions League final, the Reds managed a performance that would make their old rival Mourinho applaud, to seal their sixth triumph in Europe’s premier club competition.
An early spot-kick by Salah and a late insurance marker from Divock Origi ensured Liverpool came away with a 2-0 victory over Premier League rivals Spurs.
Liverpool won without having much of the ball, as Spurs maintained the lion’s share of possession and peppered Alisson with shots as the match went on.
But behind the Brazilian, who banished thoughts of Loris Karius’ nightmare in last year’s final, and a stout back line, the Reds managed to hold Spurs off for the clean sheet, despite managing just 35.4 per cent of the possession.
No team has won a Champions League final with less since Mourinho’s Inter side defeated Louis van Gaal’s Bayern Munch in 2010, by an identical 2-0 scoreline.
That night saw Mourinho’s side win on a brace from Diego Milito, despite managing just 33% possession in the contest, which also took place in the Spanish capital.
Mourinho famously made no apologies for his success with that style and former Liverpool star Steve McManaman suspected the same will be true of his former club after the result in the final.
McManaman said on BT Sport: “It hasn’t been the greatest game, or advert for English football, because of the climate and circumstances but Liverpool won’t care a jot!”