Mohamed Salah looks at the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates in Madrid. AFP
An early Mohamed Salah penalty and a late strike by Divock Origi gave Liverpool a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday's all-English Champions League final as their coach Juergen Klopp finally got his hands on Europe's biggest prize.
Egypt striker Salah, who had painful memories of last year's final defeat by Real Madrid after suffering a shoulder injury, got his side off to a flying start in Madrid by lashing home from the penalty spot after a handball from Moussa Sissoko.
Tottenham, playing in their first European Cup final, kept their heads and came to life when semi-final hat-trick hero Lucas Moura came on but, with Harry Kane lacking sharpness after injury, another miraculous European comeback proved beyond them.
Liverpool, who missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City by one point, did not produce their usual whirlwind attacking game but sealed a sixth European Cup triumph with an arrowed finish from substitute Origi in the 87th minute.
"Everyone is happy now," said a delighted Salah. "I am glad to play the second final in a row and play 90 minutes finally. Everyone did his best today, no great individual performances, all the team was unbelievable."
Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold added: "It is hard to put into words. The season we have had, we deserved it more than any other team."
The win was sweet redemption for Salah and especially German coach Klopp, who had lost on his last six appearances in major finals, including Champions League showpieces with Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and Liverpool last year.
His opposite number Mauricio Pochettino took a bold but ultimately misguided gamble in fielding Kane, who had only returned to full training a week ago after almost two months out with a serious ankle injury and struggled to influence play.
Kane was far from the only player who lacked sharpness in a game of few moments of real quality, a possible effect of both sides not playing any competitive games for three weeks.
Spurs put Liverpool under real pressure in the latter stages as Dele Alli headed over and Son Heung-min and Moura forced impressive saves from Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Origi, one of Liverpool’s heroes in their stunning semi-final second-leg turnaround against Barcelona, then killed the game with a ruthless finish into the bottom corner.
Holders Liverpool safely negotiated Tuesday’s trip to Salzburg to take their place in the last 16 of this season’s UEFA Champions League while Chelsea are also through,
Liverpool powered back to the top of the Premier League as Naby Keita’s goal after just 15 seconds inspired a 5-0 rout of Huddersfield on Friday.
Alejandro Pozo delivered the late dagger in 10-man Sevilla’s 2-1 friendly win over Liverpool in Boston on Sunday, a defeat made worse for the European champions when they saw Yasser Larouci stretchered off. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was furious at Joris Gagnon’s outrageous kick at an on-rushing Larouci
Ward and Bjornsson, who played Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane in the critically acclaimed HBO series Game of Thrones, had their weigh-in on Thursday, with Ward standing 6'2" and weighing 98.6kg (217lbs), while Bjornsson stands 6'9" and weighed 156.2kg (344lbs), giving Thor almost a 130lb weight advantage.
Fight Island at Abu Dhabi will be in the thick of mixed martial arts action for a third time as a pair of old rivals are primed to make the trip — with a few thousand fans set to attend fights for the first time in 10 months. The first of three straight fight nights at Etihad Arena
A heavily-depleted India fought back in the final session of play on the opening day to leave the fourth Test against Australia evenly poised on a benign Gabba wicket in Brisbane on Friday. Cameron Green was on 28 and Tim Paine alongside him on 38, as Australia
Sharjah finished off the first half of the season on the top of the standings after edging Ittihad Kalba 1-0 at Sharjah Stadium in matchweek 13 of the Arabian Gulf League on Friday. Most of the first half play remained in the midfield, but the Kings found the back