Champions League Final agony in Madrid
Spurs 0-2 Liverpool
Sat 01 June 2019, 22:17|Tottenham Hotspur
And so, after eight-and-a-half epic months, our European adventure ended in heartbreak at the final hurdle in Madrid.
It was one fairytale comeback too far. Liverpool found themselves in front before we could draw breath - a penalty we could do nothing about, given for handball against Moussa Sissoko, fired in by Mo Salah.
We'd famously had our backs to the wall and found a response so many times in the Champions League this season, but alas, there was to be no way back in our first-ever Final in the competition at the Wanda Metropolitano on this sweltering Spanish Saturday night.
It took us until the second half to really start creating chances on a regular basis, Dele's shot blocked by Man of the Match Virgil van Dijk and Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura, Christian Eriksen and the returning Harry Kane all forcing saves from goalkeeper Alisson, but our spirited charge for an equaliser was halted three minutes from time when a corner wasn't fully cleared and substitute Divock Origi angled a shot into the bottom corner to secure a 2-0 win and the silverware for the men from Anfield, who had also competed for the Premier League title until the last day of the domestic season and were beaten finalists last year.
Back from the brink in the group stage, Borussia Dortmund emphatically beaten, Manchester City edged out in dramatic style and a sensational late turnaround against Ajax - the memories of this epic campaign will live with us forever. But the story's final chapter wasn't the one we'd hoped for.
One more time on the continent, it quickly became apparent that we'd have to do it the hard way. Just 25 seconds had expired when Sadio Mane's ball into the box unavoidably hit Sissoko's arm and Liverpool had a penalty for handball. A minute and 23 seconds later, Salah buried it - 1-0 to the Reds almost immediately.
That spark failed to really ignite the first half on a hazy, humid night in the Spanish capital though. Neither side managed to fashion a clear goalscoring chance but perseverence was key as we had more of the ball and tried to play our way into the contest, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson forced into last-ditch interventions to keep us at bay during a nice passage of play on the 20-minute mark. At the other end, Andy Robertson forced Hugo Lloris to flick the ball over the bar with a long shot on 38 minutes while Liverpool forced six corners but couldn't capitalise on any of them as we stayed defensively focused.
A difficult half ended with Christian Eriksen whacking a 25-yard shot over the bar and into the Liverpool fans behind Alisson's goal but we got straight on the front foot after the restart and began to push our opponents back. Jan Vertonghen and Lloris still had to be alert, blocking from Salah and diving bravely at the feet of Mane, but it was Dele who went closest to getting us off the mark when he brilliantly pulled Kieran Trippier's ball down the right out of the air and fired at goal, only for Van Dijk to get in the way of it.
James Milner, off the bench for the Reds, whistled one just past the post but as time ticked down, we put Jurgen Klopp's men under sustained pressure, Allison pulling off an impressive double-save from Son and Lucas as we went closer still, before the Liverpool stopper hurled himself to his left to divert Eriksen's wide free-kick behind. Son steered over at the back post following a corner five minutes later but was off-side anyway, but then came the killer blow. Liverpool's ninth corner of the game bobbled around in the box and eventually fell kindly for Origi, who drilled low across Lloris from the left angle to double his side's lead on 87 minutes. Danny Rose, Son and Kane - playing his first game since limping out of the quarter-final, first leg against City - still found time to test Alisson, but we were out of time, out of comebacks and out of luck.
Origi's goal was key to Liverpool's win. We were on the front foot and really pushing for a leveller, with Alisson having his busiest spell of the game, but when we failed to clear our lines on a Liverpool corner, Origi was in the right place to slot home and end any hopes of a fightback.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, captain of club and country, said after the game: "It's always painful to lose that type of game because you never know when will be the next possibility to win that type of trophy.
"But we cannot forget all the big work that we've done all through the season to be at this stage of the competition. It's already a big step forward for our club, for the team but it's not the way that we wanted to end the season.
"There are no words to describe... we are all gutted, especially after the way the game turned on Liverpool's side."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 0-2 Liverpool
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks (Lucas 65), Sissoko (Dier 74), Eriksen, Dele (Llorente 81), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Vorm, Aurier, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Sanchez, Davies, Wanyama, Lamela.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson (c), Wijnaldum (Milner 62), Salah, Mane (Gomez 90), Firmino (Origi 58). Substitutes (not used): Mignolet, Kelleher, Lovren, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri, Brewster.
Goals: Liverpool - Salah 2 (pen), Origi 87.
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN).
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid.
Weather: Sunny, 30 degrees.