Liverpool will be undone in Champions League final by Sissoko

Date published: Thursday 9th May 2019 1:31

Moussa Sissoko Tottenham Ajax

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Spurs wouldn’t have got Ajax result if Kane was fit
Unpopular opinion time. Spurs would not have got that result if Harry Kane was fit. Even if he was properly fit, not that, come back from injury too soon half-fit that he does year on year after his obligatory ankle injury.

This is for a couple of reasons; firstly if he was in the team one (or both) of Llorente and Moura wouldn’t have been, as Moura scored all the goals and Llorente was able to execute Poch’s plan of abandoning his principles and going route one, by winning everything in the air, excellent hold-up play and allowing others to feed off him. Both were essential to the victory.

Secondly when spurs are struggling their game plan seems to be ‘get the ball to Kane’ and he (great finisher though he is) definitely wouldn’t have had the footwork to finish Moura’s second goal and probably (half fit as he invariably is) wouldn’t have beaten De Ligt to the ball for the third.

The emergence/growth of Son and Moura during Kane’s recent injury lay offs make Spurs more enjoyable to watch and a more balanced team, not relying on one (undoubtedly gifted) finisher.

That said Kane or no Kane can’t wait for 1st June.
Matt (LFC) Germany (P.S Kane looked pretty mobile celebrating last night so I’m sure he’ll play.)

 

Moussa Sissoko will be the difference
Unbelievable game last night. I was in shock torn between admiration and rivalry, settling somewhere in the middle.

One of the big thing I took away from the game was the importance of drive  determination and power. Enter Sissoko. The amount of times he broke through midfield to create panic and space from a tight press was a joy to behold. Alli and Moura were the finishers but Sissoko was immense. The difference he would make at Arsenal is enormous. Any team would be better for him, City and Pool included.

Because of that, I think Spurs will actually win. It pains me to say it but I think Liverpool‘s press will be undone by one of the most mocked transfers of the last few years.

Hopefully we can find our own drive and determination for 180 more minutes…
Rob A (we wont…) AFC

 

Rivalry with Tottenham
As a life-long Liverpool fan, I really enjoyed Spurs’ win last night and congratulate them – I am sure that all Spurs fans are on cloud nine this morning, constantly smiling, and I hope that it lasts a long while.  Liverpool fans ‘get it’, as do football fans in general. I have no animosity to Spurs as there is no real rivalry.  Some may have animosity, but Spurs are not ‘relevant’ to Liverpool.  I am not trolling them – they may have finished above us a lot recently, but they did not win the title.  Finishing above us is not something that worries us – our own not winning the title is what causes us issues.  United winning the title causes us issues.  Everton… well, it’s been a while!

I look forward to the CL final and, while I hope that Liverpool win, I won’t be distraught if Spurs win – what will upset me is our loss, and that simply would not be the same emotion if United beat us in the final.  Good luck to all, both have climbed mountains to get there and I am sure either manager will cry if they lift the title.  I think Liverpool will win, though, as last year will still sting.
Nick in Woking

 

Congratulations to Spurs on a magnificent rally to be in the final last night.

It was a true delight to witness for the neutral as was the night before for a Red!

When pushed for an answer on who we’d have in the final, I was saying Spurs of course. (Better the enemy you know and all that…)

Football is truly an incredible power, as I feel the term sport is inadequate when considering the offering of remarkably emotion stirring occurrences we’ve all had to take in, in the last fortnight or so.

It is also a power that can drive the most sensible among us to make their first point of call after an incredible come back victory, an immediate comparison to the one that had gone the night before and claim the “our was better than yours” trophy. Why?

Both these teams, there managers as well as there fans have been bordering on desperate for the opportunity to silence the “but what have you won?” brigade, so its lost on me how who’s comeback to qualify for the said opportunity was better can be of any relevance, when considering who’s performance in the final will be.

Both comeback performances will live long in the memory of all those who love this beautiful game and will be heralded as the magnificent achievements they have merited.

Who’s was better though, I hope is a train of thought that will die off just as soon as this tournament is decided.

Apologies if this sounds a little neg, but it was just baffling seeing how many of the Whites in the mailbox (welcome to it BTW) shared this sentiment.

Looking forward to a magnificent spectacle on the 1st of June and hoping the redmen can turn it into yet another “Football Party” in Madrid.
Rudi (Grateful to have something to look forward to beyond Sunday) LFC

 

People keep bringing up the fact Liverpool and Spurs hate each other, but is this actually a thing?

I’ve been a Liverpool fan since 1996 and I’ve never one hated, or had a reason to hate Spurs. It’s the same with all the other Liverpool fans I know. We generally like Spurs, and why not?

I’d have preferred Ajax, for personal reasons. I still remember the second shirt I ever got was an Umbro Ajax Champions League home one. I’ve always been fascinated by Dutch players.

Anyway, well done Spurs in an amazing comeback and here’s hoping to a great final in June.
Pete, Hereford

 

That’s why football is amazing
I’m a Newcastle fan and I remember when it was us bringing the drama to the world back in the 90s and early 2000s.

But as a neutral the past couple of nights have drilled home to me why this game is so amazing as it creates the sort of moment that is impossible to achieve in any other part of your life.

The low-scoring, explosive nature of the game creates the chance that things can happen. Shocks can happen, last minute goals can happen and so often it happens in seconds. That release of joy or anguish can be there one minute and gone the next.

Nothing else compares. Other sports are too high scoring (basketball, rugby, cricket etc) or the win happens gradually (darts, tennis, cricket again..). In your life, falling in love, getting married, getting a new job, promotion or pay rise happens slowly, not as a one off moment.

Nothing else can replicate it and that’s why football is the best and people who don’t like it have worse lives as a result. I was buzzing for days after we beat Man City earlier this year, and I jumped off my sofa the past two nights, so I can imagine how Liverpool and Spurs fans feel!
James, London

 

Dear UEFA,

Can we please make the 2019 Champions League Final a two-legged tie.

Thanks,
Football Fan

 

Has anyone ever shouted at their TV? Of course you have! It’s a football thing. They can’t hear you but you don’t care. You’re not even ashamed to do it in front of your mates, right. Football does that to you…

Yet for the 1st time in my life on Tuesday night, I stood alone in my living room clapping before the TV. I didn’t care. Football deserved a round of applause.

So of course, Football, loving the adulation responds by providing an encore, and I am stood there like a tool again last night. I hope this doesn’t become a thing for me!
Nic, MCFC (Dare I miss tonight’s matches now? I don’t want Football to think me ungrateful. ) 

 

Which comeback was greater?
Great mailbox this morning. I can truly understand the elation of the Spurs fans. However, I need to challenge SSE, Wimbledon who stated that Spurs had knocked out more impressive opposition.

Surely needing to score 4 goals against Barcelona who have won the Champions League a number of times in recent years, with a certain guy called Messi in the team and a team with serial trophy winners and the favourites for the tournament this year trumps beating and admittedly good Ajax team who despite some good results this year, needed to play qualifiers to even make the main draw this season ???

Yes it was a great win, but lets not exaggerate the facts by implying that this Ajax team are better than Barcelona.
Shiraz, Johannesburg

 

Ok, I’ll bite. Which comeback was better?

Hands down, Liverpool.

Playing the Spanish league winners with the best player in the world. Without two main strikers. With half of the best fullback pairing missing for half of the match.

Liverpool had 90 minutes in which they couldn’t afford a single slip. Not one. Spurs had the luxury of letting in two goals and still being able to go through.

Is this even a debate? Spurs did great, but come on…
Eoghan

 

The debate about whose comeback was better is a bit depressing if wholly inevitable. Both games were astonishing and the achievements of both English teams up there with the best European results I can remember (and I include Istanbul and the daylight robbery in Barcelona in ‘99 in that). However, for what it is worth, here’s my take.

At 2-0 down, what was required of Spurs was technically slightly easier than what Liverpool had to achieve at the start of their game. Spurs had to score 3 times but knew that, if they did, that would win it for them. For Liverpool, scoring 3 would only take them to extra time and possibly pens. Also, Spurs could attack knowing that they would “only” have to score one additional goal if they let one in the other end whereas conceding would add 2 goals to the tally required of Liverpool.

However, Spurs were away from home without the benefit of a febrile, partisan atmosphere, and also had significantly less time to do it in. On balance, I am going to call it evens.

Ultimately, the main difference between the two was probably the reaction of the managers, with Klopp’s pumped up, wide-eyed sweariness contrasting with the raw emotion of Poch’s “I’ve been on the gin and I don’t know who I am anymore” meltdown. Which you think is better is probably a question of personal tase and/or club allegiance. Personally I love them both but, as a Liverpool fan, there is one right answer (In Jürgen We Trust).

I really hope the final can live up to the hype and look forward to seeing how the managers deal with it. Quick question for Spurs’ fans – do you bring back Kane and risk diminishing Moura and Son or go into the biggest game of your club’s history with your captain and leading goal scorer on the bench? Could be quite a big call that one.

Anyway, well done Spurs and bring on 1 June.
JamesJamieJim

 

Who cares?
We have just had 2 of the most amazing comebacks in Champions League history and the first thing some people want to do is compare them and decide which one is better.

Who cares which one was better? Can’t we just enjoy each of them for what they were?

It was 2 of the most amazing nights of football I think I have ever seen. Just incredible from Liverpool & Tottenham. Congrats to both of them and especially their quite wonderful managers.

I can’t wait for the final.
Richard (Football is f**king ridiculous. And I love it!) LFC

 

All these responses talking about the best comeback of the week…Genuinely who cares.  I didn’t spend post game last night worrying about whether Spurs comeback topped ours.  Spurs could’ve been down 6-0 at halftime and come back to win 7-6 and I’d still cherish our match more.

Lads, the achievement of your club does not need to be instantly measured and compared to what somebody else did.  The Champions League Final tastes no less sweet wherever our match compares with another match.
Mark LFC (Biggest Brighton Fan in all of the former Colonies)

 

The trophyless final?
I’m now very confused.  They can’t BOTH end the season trophyless / glorious failures.  And they can’t BOTH stage a ridiculous improbable comeback in the final.  What’s going to give?!  I can’t wait to find out though!
Rob, London

 

Battle of the ‘Bottlers’
Liverpool fan here. Aah. What a week of champions league it has been. On days such as these, how can you not be in love with football.

First on the Liverpool – Barcelona Match. Still can’t grinning like a deranged cat on the TAA corner kick. The look on Pique and Ter Stegen’s face when they realized the ball was going in is priceless. Monday night, you have the swallow the bitterpill of Liverpool having their best season in the Premier League era and nothing to show for it. Tuesday, you are screaming in the middle of night crying like a baby. Life is f@ck#ng amazing!!!! YNWA!!!!!!!!! Barcelona gone. Ajax gone. Can Brighton do us a favour on sunday. One can sure hope so.

Win the champions league. Retain the team in the summer. Bolster it with some smart signings in central defense, left back and a forward (if needed) and who knows how far we go.

Tottenham!!Poch!!. What a team. What a coach. Outside of LFC, Tottenham’s the club i admire the most. To go champions league final with zero summer signings, constantly losing players to injury is simply astonishing. Dear Mr. Daniel Levy, you have with you one of the best managers in football today. One who can give you good 10-15 years of his prime coaching career. One who rejected Real Madrid for you. Back him. Support him. Else, your shiny stadium can become your shiny monument to failure. Balls in your court man

So. 1st June. Wanda Metropolitano. Two teams consistently accused of being ‘bottlers’ by fans who clubs have achieved far less on far better resources.
Let the Battle of the ‘Bottlers’ commence…….
Sam LFC, YNWA

 

Later to the party than a Moura hat trick
I didn’t have the mental energy to compose an email after last night’s game, having spent most of the day recovering from watching the other ‘miracle’ the night before.

So, late to the party, I just wanted to say congrats to Spurs on an astonishing run to get to the CL final for the first time. It really is an unbelievable achievement when you look at everything they’ve been up against over the past couple of years.

While I’ll be screaming my lungs out June 1st for a Liverpool win, and indeed this may turn the Liverpool-Spurs Twitter-rivalry into an actual rivalry, honestly it’s just a shame that only one of these managers can take home Auld Big Ears.

I don’t really care too much whose comeback was better – I would imagine that depends on what colour shirt you’re wearing – but obviously as a Liverpool fan I will be replaying our game in my mind for years to come. I had tears in my eyes on Tuesday night, and a massive smile on my face on Wednesday night.

Football, eh? It’s gonna be some final.
ShaneO

 

Spurs you absolute mad men
First time writing in, but I had to. After two nights of incredible European football, and after an amount of laughing and clapping and the odd surprising tear after that game in the Netherlands, it seemed like the only logical option.

Liverpool and Tottenham have offered the public two nights two unique seismic comebacks. Both teams struggling with injuries and form to a degree went into these games on the back foot. While I always had confidence that Liverpool would perform at home as is their wont on “big European nights” which are vert much a real thing, I never thought Spurs would do what they did. To go in at halftime away from home 2-0 down, needing to score three unanswered goals to go through, that seemed like insane romance. Even the most biased of fans wouldn’t entertain that thought.

But the combination of Ajax not killing the game off which they had chances for and Spurs finding another gear was uncharitable, this wasn’t necessarily supposed to happen. After what was a rotten first half by all Spurs-leaning accounts, it seemed like Ajax were due to book tickets for Madrid. And then the lads stepped up. Lucas, Son, Erikson, all had wonderful games and Lloris made some very important contributions to keep things calm when the pendulum swung the other way. They plugged and plugged away, running at Ajax after the initial two goals with Sissoko putting in one of the best 6/10 performances you’ll see.

I’m in still in shock. I don’t know if I had a point. I’m just glad that two managers who are excellent at their jobs, have crafted great teams and will now battle it out in the Champions League final.

Poch being scorpy before the game in declaring he’d be leaving if they won the whole thing proper, seems like a far away memory compared to when the final whistle was blown. The tears betrayed any bitterness he had ordered to have had for the upper echelons in the club. It is clear that he loves football, he loves this project he has created and built at Spurs,and he undoubtedly loves the possibility of making Spurs – the ACTUAL Tottenham Hotspurs – European champions. Bring on June 1st and a wonderful final.
Paul, THFC, Ireland

 

Just out of interest, has any team made it to the Champions League final having won less games outright than Spurs have this season?(Let’s just pretend the away goal rule is obsolete for a moment.)

Out of their three knockout rounds, they have only beaten Dortmund, before drawing 4-4 with City and then miraculously drawing 3-3 last night with Ajax.

Then, add in the fact that they won just 2 out of 6 games in the group stage. It really is quite a remarkable situation to be in. Does anyone know if a team has ever gotten there with a worse record?
Mark (still recovering after Liverpool’s win)

 

GOAT
Forget Ronaldo v Messi, it’s Origi v Moura.
Naz, Gooner

 

Firstly, what a wonderful 3 nights of football it has been for the neutral, from Kompany to Moura and everything inbetween. Leaves me with a sneaky feeling that Liverpool will have this ridiculously brilliant season and still end up being pipped to the 2 big prizes.

I want to rant on the constant he’s the GOAT, he’ll never be the GOAT talk that seems to happen whenever Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo play a game in Europe. Maybe I am looking back with rose tinted glasses, but in the 90s watching football, people seemed to just enjoy watching the greats, Van Basten, Laudrup, Hagi, Weah, Ronaldo, Baggio etc. Yes people would debate which player was the greatest, but unless you supported a rival club, I don’t remember fans, professional pundits and journalists feeling the need to call a player a fraud, overrated, bottler etc whenever they did not have a perfect game.

This week on the mailbox, and with some high profile trolls online, we’ve had talk of how Maradona or Cristiano Ronaldo would have found a way to score that one goal against Liverpool, where Messi failed, because they are/were better, hungrier players with a winning mentality. The opposite has also been said in the past. It is logically absurd and involves an incredibly selective memory. If any player was so good, had such an powerful winning mentality that they always find the goal/s needed to get the result for the team, why have they not won every major European Cup, World Cup they have entered? Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Maradona have all had big games where they win it through individual brilliance; they have also had games where they have not performed and been saved by team mates  (yet still got the praise/glory), or simply not performed, missed big chances, missed penalties and lost games. Because Moura found a way to score the goals needed last night, would anyone take him ahead of Messi in their teams?

Have people forgotten its a team game, with meticulous plans set out by managers. At the elite level, the team with the better plan, tactics, organisation understanding between players, workrate, momentum, as Liverpool were this week, will often be the one that wins. The great individuals shine when the team is balanced and set up to bring out their talents.

I wonder if this knee jerk, week by week, impossible high standard of perfection that we now judge players by is due to games like FIFA, youtube videos of career highlights, that we can watch so many games now, yet make judgements on performances through stats or shorter highlights rather than watching for 90minutes?

That an individual in a team being outplayed does not manage to dribble past 10 players, or shoot from 40 yards, to score does not make them a fraud. No player ever has, or likely ever will be so good that they could turn up at any team, with any manager and make them winners by will of their winning mentality and talent alone.

Can we not just enjoy games, players for what they actually are, rather than judging them against impossible standards or imaginary narratives?
Thanks,
Glory hunting Wolves fan, London

 

Lay off the Newcy Broon, pet..
So… what would a Toon fan have said in May 2016 after they’d been relegated, if you told them that 3 years later Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko would be facing off against each other in the Champions League final?

Football is weird sometimes…
James Maltby (notice no one is talking about Woking’s comeback in the National League South Playoff Semi-Final on Sunday, from 2 goals down in 15 mins left to 3-2! Set the tone for the whole week… Roll on this weekend!) 

 

The Grass Roots of the problem
Upon reading Daniel Storey’s article on the calamity of Football League owners there is much I agree with, as a Birmingham City fan we have seen our fair share over the years, to the point where you actually long for the days when Sullivan and Gold owned the club.

But my main concern would be that I cannot see how the current league structure and the level of professionalism of these clubs can be maintained, unless there is an endless stream of owners willing to lose money to support clubs. The vast majority of the National League and a number of clubs below that, who obviously sit outside the Football League are full professional clubs, so 15-20 players, a manager, 2 or 3 coaches (minimum) a physio, secretary, treasurer etc. who are all full-time employees. Taking a club like Dover as an example, they averaged a gate of 2200 this season, adults tickets are £18 and £9 for under 18s, so it’s likely the total gate receipts per home game would be around £30k (maybe less as under 11s are free), they also have to arrange away game travel costs to Barrow-in-Furness, Gateshead and Hartlepool amongst others. How do they survive? Especially if (based on Football manager) they have some players earning in excess of £1000 a week plus goal and appearance bonuses.

Is there justification for there to be 120+ professional football clubs in this country (including a few Welsh ones in the number), how does this compare with the structures in French, Italian, Spanish and German football?
Tony, Coventry, BCFC

 

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