Liverpool’s goal in Benfica B friendly was similar to the build-up for penalty vs Spurs

Liverpool fans will forever remember watching their side earn a sixth European title in Madrid. 

As for the rest of the watching world, the finer details of the 2019 Champions League final will be forgotten about pretty swiftly. 

The Reds’ 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur lacked spark from both teams. 

There was also comparatively little drama, given what we’d been treated to in the semi-finals, as Jurgen Klopp’s men surged into the lead within the opening two minutes. 

With just 15 seconds on the clock, the ball was picked up near the halfway line and played out to Sadio Mane, who was surging down the wing. 

Kieran Trippier could not keep up and as Moussa Sissoko tried to cover for him, his outstretched arm was struck – and before Tottenham knew what had happened, the referee had blown for a handball in the box. 

Mo Salah slotted past Hugo Lloris from the spot and from then on, the north Londoners faced an uphill struggle to get back into it. 

While the penalty wasn’t without controversy – and there’s an argument to be had about whether it deflected off Sissoko’s chest – the move behind it certainly wasn’t engineered by accident. 

A side-by-side video has shown the build-up to Mane’s run was not dissimilar to the opening goal Liverpool scored in a friendly against Benfica B on May 25 – a week before the final. 

The club had deliberately picked the Portuguese side because they felt their style was akin to the way Spurs play. 

Once again, the goal came inside the opening two minutes and once again, it started near the halfway line – though on the other side of the pitch – and it was played out to Mane, who did the business down the left. 

Liverpool are a very well-oiled machine indeed. 

Risking first-team players in a friendly days before a European final could have backfired spectacularly – as it did with Chelsea and Ruben Loftus-Cheek – but on this occasion, it meant they knew exactly how they would try and get in behind the full-backs. 

Yet it was Divock Origi who finally, with just three minutes left and with the coolest of finishes, banished the heartache of Kiev 2018. 

A player who just months ago was being linked with a loan switch to Huddersfield – nobody could possibly have written that into the script.