Liverpool yesterday erased the disappointment of last season’s Champions League final loss by claiming the trophy for the sixth time with victory over Tottenham in Madrid.It was Mohamed Salah, such a disconsolate figure when he was injured early in that loss to Real Madrid, who set Liverpool on their way with a penalty after two minutes when Moussa Sissoko was contentiously punished for handball.In a final that rarely touched the heights of the blockbuster semi-finals that made this an all-Premier League showpiece, Spurs had chances but were denied by Liverpool keeper Alisson, who saved well from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen. And their failure to capitalise was ruthlessly punished when substitute Divock Origi ensured manager Jurgen Klopp won his first trophy as Liverpool manager by driving low and powerfully past Hugo Lloris with three minutes left.Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino took the gamble of selecting England captain and main striker Harry Kane despite his not having played since April because of an ankle injury, replacing semi-final hat-trick hero Lucas Moura, but he had no impact.Liverpool lifted the trophy that was taken from their grasp in Ukraine last season and now stand behind only Real Madrid and AC Milan as serial winners of this tournament.One of the enduring images of Liverpool’s loss to Real Madrid in Kiev was a tearful Salah being led off midway through the first half as realisation dawned he could not continue with the shoulder injury sustained in a tangle with Sergio Ramos.It was a moment that changed the mood inside the stadium and left Liverpool unable to turn the tide once it went against them – so this was an occasion laced with meaning for the world-class Egyptian.And his moment came almost instantly when he took responsibility from the penalty spot and powered the ball past Lloris.How fitting it was that the player who has contributed so much to Liverpool’s renaissance should make such a significant contribution.Another major difference from last year’s disappointment was the giant presence of Alisson in goal as opposed to the hapless Lloris Karius, who gifted goals to Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in Kiev.Here, the £67m Brazilian was a rock with his safe handling and vital interventions when Liverpool came under stress in the second half.Alisson, along with Virgil van Dijk, has given Liverpool the extra dimension that pushed them so close to a first league title in 29 years and has now made them European champions once more.Liverpool manager Klopp knew one sub-plot to this Champions League final, played out in the searing heat of Madrid, would be his grim record of losing six successive finals.He had lost three with Liverpool, including in this competition last season, and while no-one can seriously doubt the German’s outstanding work it was his legendary Anfield predecessor Bill Shankly who coined the phrase: “First is first and second is nowhere.”Klopp can now cast off that mantle and instead be known as the manager who restored Liverpool to the pinnacle of European competition.Ironically, after a season of sustained brilliance and a single defeat brought the scant reward of second place to Manchester City in the Premier League, this landmark triumph was achieved with one of Liverpool’s least sparkling performances for some time.That will not matter, however, because Liverpool earned this glory with wins such as those over Bayern Munich in the quarter-final and the astonishing 4-0 turnaround against Barcelona at Anfield in the semi-final.Klopp was already a much-loved figure – now his name will be written into club folklore.For Pochettino, the temptation to play Kane was simply too much to resist – and it was easy to understand why.Pochettino knew his world-class striker was a player who had hurt Liverpool in the past and could hurt them again – so he left out Moura, the scorer of that dramatic hat-trick in the semi-final second leg in Ajax that took Spurs to the final.Kane had not played since sustaining another ankle injury in the quarter-final first leg against Manchester City on April 9 and it showed as he failed to exert any influence on the game, Moura introduced belatedly but unable to produce a second miracle.Spurs and Pochettino were left heartbroken and perhaps with a sense of missed opportunity, because Liverpool were nowhere near their best and occasionally looked vulnerable.Pochettino, however, deserves huge credit for taking Spurs to their first Champions League final without strengthening his squad this season.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Where: Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country Tuesday Sports: March Madness at the Valencia Car Wash What: The UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans will be going to the NCAA basketball playoffs Thursday. It has been 40 years since both schools were invited to the March Madness playoffs. To celebrate this historic event, the Valencia Car Wash will give a free carwash to any fan who wears UCLA or USC colors or team names on Tuesday or Wednesday. The Valencia Carwash plans to join the March Madness for the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans. Wear the school colors, and get a car wash – free. When: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Where: 24233 Creekside Road., Valencia Health: Blood Drive What: Blood drive at the Santa Clarita medical offices. Call (818) 719-2397 for information, reservations not required. Walk-ins welcome. When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Kaiser Permanente Santa Clarita Medical Offices, 27107 Tourney Road, Valencia Thursday Day Activities: Native Beginnings Story Time What: Come and get “tricked” as we listen to stories about our favorite tricksters. For information, call (661) 251-2720. When: 3:30 p.m. Where: Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road, Canyon Country Meetings: All Valley Le Tip meets What: The local All Valley LeTip Business Referral Group is a group of local professionals that is dedicated to helping its members grow their businesses. Our current members included lawyers, doctors, insurance professionals, accountants, financial professionals, carpet cleaning service, gift basket service, dentist, etc. Our group meets every Thursday morning for breakfast at Marie Callendars on The Old Road. Meetings conclude by around 8:20 a.m. so you still have your entire business day ahead of you. We are one of the fastest growing business networking groups in Santa Clarita. For information, visit www.AllValleyLeTip.com or call Lisa Eichman at (661) 297-3333 or Robert Mansour at (800) 799-7449. When: 7:00 a.m. Where: Marie Callendars Restaurant, 24201 The Old Road, Valencia Saturday General: Color of My Heart What: Mothers and daughters are invited to create a very special memory together. Hosted by the Betty Ferguson Foundation, attendees will share lunch, paint a ceramic cup and saucer and enjoy a workshop. Space is limited. Sign up early by calling the Betty Ferguson Foundation at (661) 702-8712 by March 12. Cost $25 per person. The Betty Ferguson Foundation was established in December 1998 in response to a growing need for an organization to support and promote the personal and professional growth of women and teen girls. For additional information log visit www.bettyfergusonfoundation.org. When: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Where: Paint a Dream, 24272 Valencia Blvd., Valencia Charity: Unitarian Universalist Church Community Fundraiser What: Unitarian Universalists of Santa Clarita Valley will host a yard sale to raise money for various Santa Clarita Valley charities. Shoppers that day should look for the big signs on McBean Parkway around Avenida Navarre and Arroyo Park Drive. Unitarian Universalists draw upon the teachings of many of the world’s faiths to help individuals build their own theology. They hold services each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., in Newhall. For directions and further information, visit www.UUofSCV.org or call (661) 254-7866. When: 7 a.m.-12 p.m. Where: Alta Drive, Valencia, behind Granary Square Music: Opera Talks at Valencia Library What: The Opera League of Los Angeles will present Opera Talks, highlighting some of the performances of the current season as well as providing information on the art of the opera. Call (661) 259-8942. When: 2 p.m. Where: Valencia Library, 23743 W. Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Sunday, March 18 Charity: SCV Jewish Women’s Seder What: Learn about the contributions of women in Judaism, especially the role of women in the story of Passover. Join us for a fabulous meal, a spiritual, musical service and the chance to connect with some amazing women! Special musical guest Cindy Paley joins us this year. Cost: $36 per person, includes catered meal, service and special Miriam’s cup to take home. Reservations are required; your payment is your reservation. Sponsored by Congregation Beth Shalom, Temple Beth Ami, Hadassah Kochava group and Hadassah Kolot Nashim group.This annual event is open to all women ages 13 and older (and you don’t have to be Jewish to attend). For more information, contact [email protected], or call (661) 297-2960. When: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Where: Newhall Seventh Day Adventist Church, 24436 Valley St., Newhall 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Today General: `Come and See’ Open House What: The Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Clarita is pleased to host “Come and See,” the congregation’s very first Open House event. Services run from 10:30-11:30 a.m. with refreshments and “get to know us” tabletop displays and information from 11:30 to 1 p.m. All activities will be at the SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St. in Newhall. Child care is available, along with religious exploration for children of all ages, from toddlers to middle-schoolers. Members have been encouraged to invite guests to see what Unitarian Universalism is all about and the church extends this invitation to the community. All visitors are welcome for the full program at 10:30 or they may simply come and see what the church has to offer at 11:30. When: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Newhall Monday Clubs: Book Club to Host Mystery Author What: The Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library Book Club will enjoy a discussion with mystery author Debra Webb, who will be present to answer questions and discuss her book, “Dying to Play.” This is a free program and all community members are invited to attend. Call (661) 251-2720. When: 6:30 p.m.