The Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain, will be on fire when two English sides, Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool clash in the finals of this season’s UEFA Champions League (2019).
This is the second time two English sides will be playing in the finals of the UEFA Champions League. The first was in 2008 when Chelsea took on Manchester United at the Luznhiki Stadium in Moscow, Russia. The Red Devils defeated Chelsea on penalties.
Tottenham Hotspurs will be playing in their first European final while Liverpool are making their ninth Champions League final appearance.
To get to this stage, Tottenham played in Group B, where they played against eventual group winners, Barcelona of Spain, Inter Milan of Italy and PSV Eindhoven of Netherlands. The English side finished second after winning, drawing and losing two matches respectively.
Liverpool played in Group C against Paris Saint Germain of France, Napoli of Italy and Red Star Belgrade of Serbia. The Reds came second with nine points after winning three and losing three of their matches.
The round of 16 saw Tottenham Hotspur took on Borussia Dortmund, whom they beat 3-0 at home and 1-0 away while Liverpool confronted Bayern Munich, and defeated them 3-1 on aggregate.
The quarter-final draws pitched Tottenham Hotspurs against fellow English side Manchester City while Liverpool faced 2004 champions, Porto of Portugal.
Spurs proved bookmakers wrong by eliminating Manchester City on away goals rule. The first leg at the new Tottenham Stadium ended 1-0 in favor of Spurs. A pulsating second leg saw City win 4-3 with aggregate score 4-4.
Liverpool on their part made mincemeat of Porto. After defeating Porto 2-0 at the Anfield they thrashed them 1-4 in Portugal to progress 6-1 on aggregate.
Many soccer pundits felt Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool had come to the end of the road when they were pitched against AFC Ajax of Netherlands and Barcelona of Spain respectively.
Ajax were responsible for the elimination of defending champions, Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus. Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona, had earlier eliminated another English side, Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate.
To heighten the apprehension, Tottenham lost the first leg to Ajax by a lone goal while Barcelona overran Liverpool 3-0.
But, both English sides pulled off victories from the jaws of defeat in the second leg. Tottenham defeated Ajax 2-3 to qualify on away goals rule as the aggregate score stood at 3-3 while Liverpool did not walk alone at Anfield as they blow Barcelona apart 4-0 to qualify on 4-3 aggregate.
Expect a pulsating and emotional laden encounter garnished with dramas that only English football can bring to the big stage.
Though making their first final outing, Tottenham will surely be hoping to conquer Europe. Liverpool are still leaking their wounds of last year’s defeat to Real Madrid and will not want to miss the title this time. The last time they won the UEFA Champions League was in 2005.
Let the better side win.
By Delight Caesar
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