So, after all these years the mighty Reds have become the champions of Europe, victory number 6 in Europe, all in all a remarkable story and in my opinion a victory that was designed and instigated by the charismatic talisman that is Jurgen Clopp, a man who had transformed himself from loyal German to beloved Scouser. He famously said that the reason that he knew that he was a Scouser is because he owned a purple wheelie bin. As given to residents of Liverpool by the local Council, apparently.
He is a man who built a team into a family, he blended excellent players into a truly formidable team who almost but not quite won the Premier league. Beaten by a magnificent Manchester City team with a gifted Manager who like Jurgen had built a team with a fortress mentality, who had real class. The race for the Premiership went right down to the wire, with my own team Brighton giving the Scousers momentary hope when they scored against Manchester City. The lead lasted only a minute and then the rout began with a winning 4-1 win for City and for the second year running they were Premiership champions.
Liverpool accumulated more than 90 points and in any other year the championship would have been theirs, but not this year. However, the disappointment of coming second, was soon demolished as they achieved the seemingly impossible and beat the mighty Real Madrid with the magician that is Lionel Messi, turning a 3-0 beating in Madrid, around miraculously into a 4-0 victory. Equally amazing was the turn around of the mighty Spurs, who did the impossible against Ajax, who had beaten them 2-0 in the first round but then plucked the winner in the 95th minute.
So, the stage was set for an all English final in Madrid, both teams showed each other great respect but the night was to belong to Liverpool who turned over a 2 -0 victory. Spurs seemed a bit tired after the semi final which clearly took its toll, but Liverpool seemed more hungry and were overall dominant. Huge credit to Spurs for doing so well and again a truly gifted Manager with the Poch, loved as much by the Spurs faithful as Jurgen is with the Kop faithful,
It was rumoured that three quarters of a million people lined the streets of Liverpool to watch the victory parade as an open top bus allowed the patient faithful the chance after a 29 year wait, since the last European cup victory, a whole new generation who had never known the sweet taste of European dominance in a season that saw 4 English clubs in 2 finals. A testimony to the quality of football within the Premiership in my view, as an avid football fan all my life, who never misses Match of the Day, and take great care not to know the scores before I watch the games, I was not surprised that the week in, week out, the class shone through, in the domestic league as it did on the European stage.
As a fan of football and indeed the humble bus, it was great to watch the joy of celebration for both the players and the thousands of fans, including in fairness some Everton supporters who were celebrating the success of the great City of Liverpool itself. Delighted to report that the bus and driver did themselves proud, and no problems occurred, unlike the team at Norwich whose promotion success allowed them an open top bus victory parade, or it would have done had the bus not broken down, requiring the players to get off and push it. So, as the sun sets on a great victory, it is time to look forward to what next season will bring. Either way English clubs will do very well to emulate this seasons amazing success, cant wait!