Liverpool win on the pitch, but both clubs can be proud of fans off it
PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:49 04 June 2019
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Madrid residents would have feared the prospect of two English clubs visiting, but supporters from Tottenham and Liverpool acted with class throughout
After drama aplenty in the semi-finals of the Champions League, it perhaps should have come as no surprise to those watching on Saturday that the final in Madrid could not live up to expectation.
Liverpool didn't care at full time with Mo Salah and Divock Origi goals enough to hand them a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur and a sixth European Cup crown.
It was a step too far for Spurs in the end at Wanda Metropolitano, with Mauricio Pochettino unable to achieve more history by being the first manager of the club to win the Champions League.
Tottenham had their moments and chances. Heung-min Son got into some fantastic positions, but lacked the quality required when it counted - and when he did show it, Alisson denied him.
Dele Alli saw an effort blocked and headed over another decent opportunity while the hero from Ajax, Lucas Moura, snatched at one great opening from 12-yards.
Christian Eriksen saw Alisson save his free kick late on and by the time the Brazilian was next called upon, Origi had ensured the trophy would return to Liverpool with a smart finish.
It felt harsh on Spurs, especially after conceding a penalty inside 60 seconds, but to win a cup final you must be clinical and they were not against their English rivals.
Alisson needed to save efforts in stoppage time from Son and then Kane - his first shot on target - to hold onto his clean sheet and seal a famous win.
Tottenham would have felt a mixture of disappointment and frustration at full time with some regrets; how would the game have been without the early penalty?
Yet a big question after was what would have happened had the Lilywhites taken one of their chances to level the scores?
Would the Reds have responded or would Pochettino's men have provided the happiest of endings for their fans in this tournament?
These are all what ifs now and although they may last a while, plenty of pride should be taken from this run and particularly the way the weekend played out.
You could have forgiven Madrid residents for fearing the worst with two English clubs involved in the final at Wanda Metropolitano.
Headlines were waiting to be written with supporters from this country acting like hooligans and generally being yobs in the past while overseas.
But the talk, quite rightly, is on how good this Liverpool team is, what next for them and what will happen for Spurs and Pochettino?
As it should, the focus remains on football after this all-English final and while the quality of the clash in Madrid wasn't as good as it could have been, the talk could have been about fans clashing.
Supporters from England - rightly or wrongly - have a reputation for causing trouble and yet hardly anything of this kind has been mentioned.
During the 90 minutes there was your typical jesting and banter between fans - the Spurs faithful booed renditions of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and Tottenham were whistled by Liverpool's following when in possession, but this is all part of backing your team.
There is nothing wrong with this, but what was witnessed in the days leading up to the final, directly before and even after was two supporter groups getting on.
Both fans went through a stage during the semi-finals where they didn't think they would make it this far; Liverpool when 3-0 down after the first leg and Spurs when three goals behind on aggregate with 45 minutes to go in Ajax.
Perhaps this created a sense of savouring the moment in Madrid and not letting anything ruin the occasion and it meant memories were made before kick-off.
The clip showing Liverpool and Tottenham fans singing their own versions of 'Allez, Allez, Allez' and hugging each other throughout was a glimpse into the future.
What followed were supporters of the two clubs mixing, enjoying the last game of the season and making the most of being abroad with fellow Brits.
It never turned ugly before, during and certainly not after the final with Liverpool fans, and as a club, very gracious in victory.
It is easier to do so when you've won, but not everyone does it, yet Jurgen Klopp immediately greeted Pochettino at full time and Jordan Henderson consoled Kane.
However a genuinely touching moment of solidarity between the fans arrived before kick-off when a minute's silence in memory of Jose Antonio Reyes, who died aged 35 earlier in the day, turned into applause.
Tottenham and Liverpool fans showed real class in this instance and it summed up the weekend in Madrid for everyone involved.
It felt like a bond was forged between Spurs and the red side of Merseyside in Madrid and this should be the blueprint - fans treating each other with respect - for future European finals involving Premier League clubs with all eyes on the UEFA Super Cup now.
After, the two sets of supporters boarded flights together and some were still on their way back to England on Monday, but the talk remained about football and it shows fans of this country are perhaps not that bad after all.
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