Image Credit: El Ronzo
Tottenham and Liverpool go head-to-head in Madrid for the title of European Champions on Saturday night, see what Spurs fan and Sport Editor Patrick Hook-Willers and Liverpool fan and *Nouse *writer think about the big game...
Patrick Hook-Willers - Tottenham Fan
I’ve supported Tottenham for as long as I can remember. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that a game like this would ever come around for us, but yet here we are. Hours away from the biggest game in my club’s history.
My life as a Spurs fan has been characterised by being the ‘nearly men’, always getting just within touching distance of finals, but falling just before we get there. This season though, everything feels different.
After three games in the group stage, we had one point, everyone wrote us off and laughed us out of contention. Then we scored late winners against PSV and Inter, setting up a crucial game in Barcelona. We trailed early on, same old story, but we dragged it back and crept through to the knockouts.
Then we faced Dortmund, who were top of the Bundesliga at the time, and again we were written off. We won 4-0.
Manchester City were up next with everyone expecting a walkover yet again. Instead we defeated them at home and showed an unusual dogged resistance to keep in touch with them. Divine intervention helped us out of course, that moment of sheer agony to the purest ecstasy when Sterling’s ‘winner’ was ruled out showing that for once, the big decisions actually can go our way…
Nothing really needs to be said about the Ajax game. 3-0 down on aggregate at half-time, Spurs were again written off. And yet, the unlikeliest of comebacks was completed with the last kick of the game – against all the odds.
For the final, Spurs have been written off AGAIN. “Spurs haven’t got a chance”, “Liverpool are going to spank Spurs” and “number six is on its way” are just some of the quotes I heard the day after we made it through, the typical arrogance that embodies Liverpool Football Club. The incredible journey we have had has given me some of the best memories of my life, that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I really believe there is one last glorious chapter to be written.
Things like this NEVER happen to Tottenham. To have so many moments where we’ve been down and out, where we’ve picked ourselves up, had luck on our side and made it through makes me feel there is an element of destiny about this. My heart says that our name is on the trophy. There is nothing I want more.
Rhys Carey - Liverpool Fan
Here we go again. When kick-off comes around on Saturday it will be a year and six days since the heartache I felt when Liverpool were last in a Champions League final. I remember, in the aftermath of that final, jokingly saying that we’ll win it this year and now here we are. We’ve had a great season where we’ve witnessed one of Liverpool’s best ever teams develop and challenge for that elusive Premier League title, while defeating the best that Europe has had to offer on the way to Madrid and Saturday’s final.
There is a mood amongst the fans that Liverpool “deserve” to win Saturday’s final as this team has the quality to be one of Liverpool’s greatest and now needs the silverware to prove it. Obviously, Klopp won’t let the players think they “deserve” the trophy, that would be disastrous, but Liverpool are favourites. A tag that this Liverpool team haven’t had to carry in any games of magnitude before. Do I think that my heroes will crumble under this? No, but I do think that Spurs will enjoy having the “underdogs” tag more than Liverpool will the “favourites”. Something that might be the difference in this final. After all, favourites don’t always win finals, particularly finals where the two teams are closely matched.
Don’t get me wrong, Liverpool are the better team than Spurs. Just look at the 16-point difference in the league and the fact that Liverpool have already beaten Spurs twice this season. However, that will all be forgotten if Spurs are able to win in Madrid. While Liverpool had a superior league campaign to Spurs, over the course of 90 minutes the two sides were closely matched with Liverpool prevailing 2-1 in both of this season’s league matches.
However, the teams went into those matches as equals meaning that neither could claim a psychological edge, unlike this final.
I’m not even going to try and predict how Saturday is going to play out because my brain says that it will be a close match, which could see either side edging the tie and will have me on the edge of my seat in both hope and dread throughout. But my heart says that Liverpool will win comfortably, with the team making the step-up to legends, avoiding a repeat of the heartache myself and all Liverpool fans felt a year and six days prior to Saturday.