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Champions League Betting: How Tottenham and Liverpool defied the odds to meet in Madrid

12:30 PM WAT 31/05/2019
Tottenham Liverpool Champions League 2018-19
Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp have both led their sides to unlikely comebacks this season, leading to 125/1 and 50/1 winners in the semi-finals

Few would have expected Saturday’s Champions League final to be between Tottenham and Liverpool.

The Reds opened at 10/1 (11.0) to win the tournament with bet365, making them joint-sixth in the outright market, whilst Spurs were ninth at 20/1 (21.0). Jurgen Klopp’s men were then pushed out to 11/1 (12.0) after being drawn in a tough group despite finishing runners up in the previous campaign.

Indeed, Liverpool would face Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade but started in the best possible manner with a 3-2 win over the French club which saw them cut to just 7/1 (8.0) in the outright betting.

Mauricio Pochettino’s outfit, meanwhile, could not have had a worse start. A trip to Inter saw them concede two late goals to lose 2-1, prompting the bookmaker to push Spurs out to 40/1 (41.0) to lift the trophy.

Both sides lost their second group game, with Liverpool going down 1-0 at Napoli whilst Tottenham were beaten 4-2 by Barcelona at home, before a 2-2 draw at PSV moved the Londoners to 80/1 (81.0).

It looked as if Spurs’ Champions League dream was over as they sat third in Group B, five points behind Inter, but two wins and a dramatic draw at Camp Nou saw them sneak into second place.

Liverpool, too, had a fight on their hands after a stunning 2-0 loss at Red Star Belgrade was followed up by a 2-1 defeat in Paris. However, they were able to oust Napoli 1-0 at home on the final matchday to also finish second in their group.

The last 16 draw didn’t do either side any favours, with Spurs still out at 25/1 (26.0) prior to their two-legged tie against Borussia Dortmund whilst the Reds were 10/1 (11.0) after being paired with Bayern Munich.

bet365 initially found little to choose in either fixture, with Spurs 19/20 (1.95) to qualify compared to Dortmund’s 4/5 (1.80), and Liverpool 21/20 (2.05) against 7/10 (1.70) Bayern.

The North London outfit needn’t have worried, though, as a 3-0 win at Wembley effectively ended the tie as a contest and moved Spurs into 16/1 (17.0), which became 14/1 (15.0) after they finished the job with a 1-0 victory in Germany.

Klopp’s men were forced to work hard to progress after a 0-0 draw at Anfield left the second leg firmly in the balance. They were 12/1 (13.0) to win the tournament at that point but a 3-1 victory in Munich, thanks to Sadio Mane's brace, saw them cut to 9/2 (5.50) fourth-favourites.

That 9/2 (5.50) quote was then clipped to 4/1 (5.0) after the quarter-final draw dictated Porto were to provide the opposition. Liverpool were 7/50 (1.14) to qualify and duly obliged with a 6-1 aggregate victory.

It was a different story for Spurs, who drifted to 25/1 (26.0) thanks to being drawn against Premier League rivals, and Champions League favourites, Manchester City. It was a 5/2 (3.50) shot that Spurs made the semi-finals.

Son Heung-min was the hero in the first leg as Pochettino’s men took a 1-0 lead back to the Etihad Stadium, defying pre-match odds of 14/5 (3.80), although bet365 still made them 6/5 (2.20) underdogs to qualify.

Five goals were scored inside the first 21 minutes in Manchester as the hosts took a 3-2 lead before Sergio Aguero and Fernando Llorente trading blows, with the latter proving to be enough for Spurs who progressed on away goals.

That 4-3 home win was priced at 66/1 (67.0) with bet365 but there was an even bigger win in their semi-final against Ajax, who had already stunned Real Madrid and Juventus in the tournament.

The Eredivise outfit were slight 4/5 (1.80) favourites to qualify and that figure was cut to 33/100 (1.33) when they won the first leg in north London 1-0, pushing Spurs out to 5/2 (3.50) to reach the final in Madrid.

After 35 minutes in Amsterdam, it looked to be all over. Ajax were 2-0 up and Tottenham were all the way out at 22/1 (23.0) to qualify, but a stunning Lucas Moura hat-trick paid out at 125/1 (126.0) and put Spurs into the final with a 96th minute winner.

Liverpool needed a semi-final comeback of their own. They were 11/10 (2.10) to reach back-to-back Champions League finals by ousting Barcelona in the semi-finals, with the Catalans 33/50 (1.66).

A 3-0 victory for Ernesto Valverde’s men at Camp Nou meant the Reds were 18/1 (19.0) to qualify, a price that looked especially short considering Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were ruled out.

However, an incredible 50/1 (51.0) 4-0 victory, bookended by goals from Divock Origi, sent Anfield into raptures as Lionel Messi and Co. had no answer, setting up an all-Premier League final for the first time in 11 years.

Odds correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.

Check out the latest Champions League final odds at bet365