Saturday 1st June, not a date a few weeks back I thought would be important to Liverpool but after the Reds overturned a 3-0 deficit against the mighty Barcelona, June 1st became vitally important.
As a Liverpool fan from Wolverhampton whenever the lads get to a final I always try to travel up to Liverpool so I can soak up the second best atmosphere. Obviously, Madrid would be the dream but that’s practically impossible for somebody like me so Liverpool, a city I love so dearly is ALWAYS the next best option.
Last year for the final I booked a hotel after the final whistle of the semi-final first leg but this year we couldn’t do that so we had to draft in the fella to be designated driver. I always knew there was a positive to him being a Wolves fan haha. But seriously, massive thanks to the fella!
So it was set, me, the fella, me brother and my mate Reece would all travel up for the final again. Last year we watched at Camp and Furnace but again this year I was a bit slow on the uptake and tried for two weeks to find a ticketed screening somewhere, eventually I got us tickets at Mulholland Diner which to be honest isn’t your most obvious place to watch the match but I knew that anywhere you watched in Liverpool would be awesome.
Travelling up I opted for honey JD and coke in a water bottle to settle the nerves. It’s weird since we drew Spurs in the final I immediately felt more nervous, more nervous than I think I would have been if it were Ajax. I think it was just the element of English and well-known opposition, we’d finished so far ahead of Spurs in the league, this would be a disaster if victory went to the London club.
Arriving in Liverpool about 1pm after blasting out Si Senor on repeat for the dying moments of the journey, I was super excited now but we still had hours until kick off.
We started at The Richmond Hotel, the rain had finally died off so we stood in the street enjoying a cider. Reece gave another Liverpool fan a leg up so he could stick his ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ flag in the sign of a closed down shop. It was a good atmosphere and you could feel the tension building.
To ease the nerves yet again I then had to go for a food stop. Those who follow me on Twitter will have seen the jacket potato saga unfold. On the fridge in our new flat we have a meal planner and the week of the Barcelona second leg I’d written “jacket potatoes” for tea that night and next to it “Champions League, need a miracle!”. Of course, that miracle went on to happen and I had convinced myself it was because of the jacket potatoes.
I knew on Saturday I would have to have one so we made a pit stop and I tucked into mine about 3 in the afternoon.
Next we popped over towards the docks and had one at the pumphouse, I like the beer garden here so it was nice to have another bevvie and enjoy the view. Eventually, we started heading towards Mulholland as we were allowed to enter from 6pm and I wanted to make sure we watched the build up etc. On the way we went to see the madness of Concert Square, there must have been thousands crammed in singing and chanting, just a brilliant sight. A bit further down the road, some lads were playing football in the street until one of them kicked it onto a shop roof… a chorus of boos followed.
While trying to get to Mulholland we decided to go around Concert Square just to make it a bit easier and I’m glad we did because that’s when we stumbled on Slater Street. I’ve been to Liverpool a hell of a lot over the years but for some reason I’d never been in this area, we stopped for some drinks on Slater Street at a bar that had a table right on its frontage, as the afternoon went on Slater Street got more and more full.
It was bloody brilliant here, the chants began of Si Senor, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Virgil van Dijk. Flares were let off and the Don’t Buy The Sun flag made an appearance. It was such a great atmosphere and I was chuffed we’d stumbled upon it.
Then it was pretty much time to go to Mulholland. It was definitely a bit of a strange place to watch the football but there was a good atmosphere and we also got a free drink ticket which was a nice touch. I managed to get a good spot right in front of the big screen with a good portion of side space for drinks haha.
Earlier in the day, I’d purchased a Jurgen Klopp mask and I’m so glad I did because it went down a treat in the streets and in the pubs.
Kick off drew closer and closer and all I kept thinking was Liverpool thoroughly deserve to win this cup, after the season we’d had I just couldn’t face losing to Spurs.
The big news team-wise was that Firmino started for us and Kane made the start for Spurs and before you know it, it was time for kick off.
I’d barely had chance to settle the nerves before Sadio Mane had won us a penalty with a handball from Sissoko. To be honest I thought this was quite a harsh decision but did I care? Not one bit.
I’d opted for my purple Liverpool shirt this year on purpose because it’s the one I have with Salah on the back. Watching him go off in tears last year was heartbreaking and I wanted this final to be a special one for him, hopefully with a goal. As he stepped up for the penalty I knew he wouldn’t miss and Mulholland went mental at the fact Liverpool were already 1-0 up after just two minutes.
The early goal was massive for the Reds and most would have thought this would be a boost for Klopp’s side to quickly find the net again but quite the opposite happened. Liverpool struggled to maintain possession against Spurs and the London side looked the more effective in the first half, the score remained 1-0 but I felt extremely nervous for almost the entirety of that match.
Substitutions for Liverpool meant Firmino was replaced with Origi and Wijnaldum replaced with Milner (Gomez also appeared very late on).
I have to confess that right at the start of this season I genuinely forgot that Divock Origi was still a Liverpool player. He’d failed previously to really make a mark on the side but this season he’s been an absolute revelation, the goal against Everton alone was enough to add him to the folklore but his inspired performance against Newcastle which could have proved vital and his two goals in the inspirational win against Barcelona have cemented the fact that Origi is a force to be reckoned with.
When he entered play on Saturday you just had the feeling he would have a say in this final and at 87 minutes he found the back of the net. A low and powerful shot was too much for Hugo Lloris and the goal had all but ended Spurs’ dreams.
The final whistle blew and I screamed my head off in Mulholland, it just felt like a justification of this team and the manager’s efforts during 2018/2019. I fear that a loss in this final could have been extremely damaging but the sheer delight on everyone’s faces when Jordan Henderson lifted that trophy a few minutes later shows to me a team that is utterly unified. Why would you leave this side now? And why would you not want to come and be a part of this story?
A sixth European Cup for the club means Jurgen joins an elite list and whatever happens, he will be remembered forever. Simply superb.
Due to having a designated driver we had to head back home from Liverpool on the night but the walk from Mulholland to Lime Street Car Park was just brilliant. I wore my Klopp mask most of the way, holding up six digits and dishing out high fives. Singing ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ as hundreds of fans filtered out into the street.
I’m gutted I can’t be there for the parade but I’m about to watch on TV. Just a world class day for me yesterday and may we have more of those to come!
I bloody love you Liverpool!!! #6Times
Read More: In Madrid, We Won It Six Times
Source: The Liver Bird