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England returns to dominate Europe, at least for this year, and to put their two representatives in the decisive match of the maximum tournament. What to expect?
In recent years, the English teams are among the best reinforced in Europe and their league, despite the absence of continental titles, is considered by many the number 1 in Europe and the world. This year, they finally take the leap in quality taking over the two UEFA finals, the Champions League and the Europa League, based on an enviable physical preparation and also a lot of mental strength. In LatinAmerican Post, we offer the details of what will be this curious end of UCL, totally English, but in Madrid.
It was an unforgettable Champions, full of surprises and that saw each favorite fall one after another. First was Real Madrid, then Juventus, Manchester City and finally Barça. Thus, we reached an unprecedented final, by the presence of Tottenham Hotspur, and the second among English in this century after the one starred in 2008 by Manchester United and Chelsea in Moscow.
And to think that they classified suffering ...
Liverpool and Tottenham will meet in the Metropolitan Wanda as a final point after a long journey. During it, they did not only reached miraculous comebacks in the semifinals, but also exceeded by details their group phases, so they could perfectly have returned home several months ago, speaking only of this competition, said Pagina Siete.
In Group B, Tottenham entered the round of 16 by the back door, as it was the worst second of all, with just 8 points and minus one in the average goal. An unlikely draw at home for Inter Milan, which was better positioned to qualify, before the modest PSV Eindhoven and the luck of facing a Barcelona (with several substitutes to be classified and with the first place insured) served the 'Spurs' to tie with the Catalans in the Camp Nou and advance by scoring more goals than the Italians.
What a stroke of luck. Then it did beat Borussia Dortmund in the second round, but with merits to Manchester City in the quarterfinals and Ajax in Amsterdam in the semifinals. "All my players are heroes, but Lucas is a superhero. It is an incredible triplet. He deserves it," coach Mauricio Pochettino, who is visibly moved by the great achievement, told Pagina Siete.
In turn, Liverpool had a similar history in the first stage of the tournament, in extremis and qualifying for scoring more goals. The 'Reds' suffered a lot in the so-called Group of Death, the C, along with PSG and Napoli. They won all three of their home games, but lost all three as visitors, including the one that almost eliminated them against Serbia's Red Star 2-0. However, having beaten them 4-0 in the first leg allowed them to qualify for having scored more than Napoli, which also scored 9 points and which also only lost one game of the six.
Of course, from the second round, the team was transformed and, with solvency, they eliminated Bayern Munich, a devalued favorite, then Porto and what we saw a few days ago against Barcelona. The physical power (far superior to all rivals) and mental strength, shown mainly in the semifinals, gave both teams the ticket to the final in Madrid, but between the two there is a slight favoritism for Jürgen Klopp's team.
Who is the favorite?
They are two rivals who know each other very well, because they play in the same league, which brings us a very close final. Both teams feel comfortable proposing with the ball, but they also know how to counterattack. However, everything indicates that that favoritism that Liverpool will have will force him to impose conditions and Tottenham to be more reactive. Both will have their figures for the final: Mohamed Salah, on the one hand; and Harry Kane, on the other.
For El Tiempo, the 'Reds' have in their favor the experience of having been European champion on five occasions and having played the final of 2018 against Real Madrid. Having eliminated one of the big favorites like Barcelona, also represents a plus in confidence. However, in the same motivational order, losing the Premier League to Manchester City by a single point of difference and having lost only one game in the entire campaign can represent a handicap.
Regarding Tottenham, it has less pressure in the final, because it is the first time it will play in its history. That is usually an advantage. Son's good moment and Lucas Moura's inspiration are also details that can tip the balance in favor of the 'Spurs', who will also come confidently by the way they advanced to the final. Their inexperience in this type of matches is what makes the balance tilt a bit on the opposite side.
Antecedents favor the 'Reds'
UEFA's page recalls the only previous European showdown between the two, in which Liverpool advanced to the 1972-73 UEFA Cup final, with a 2-2 aggregate, and upholding the away goals (1-0) ) and (1-2).
He also adds that Tottenham and Liverpool have been measured 170 times in history, with 79 wins of the 'Reds' and 48 of the 'Spurs', plus 43 draws. In the last 14 games, Anfield won 9, tied 4 and only lost 1.
El Comercio finishes on the subject remembering the two matches between both this season in the Premier League, whose score was 2-1 both in the first leg and in the return. In September, at Wembley, Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino scored for the 'Reds' while Erik Lamela deducted. Then they met in March at Anfield and, there, Firmino scored again before Moura established a draw and the game was decided by an own goal by Toby Alderweireld.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "Champions League: el Tottenham persigue su primera copa en este campeonato "