Liverpool fans party into the night after historic Champions League victory
Liverpool fans partied long into the early hours of Sunday as their historic Champions League win was marked by noisy celebrations in the Spanish capital.
Tens of thousands of fans – the majority without tickets – packed into Madrid’s plazas to run through their extensive repertoire of terrace chants and toast the Reds’ sixth Champions League title with cans of lager.
The carnival atmosphere played out until shortly after 3.30am when Spanish police finally closed down Plaza Mayor and Puerto del Sol – two of the main focal points for Liverpool fans in the days leading up to the showpiece event.
Concerns over potential strains between fans and police, the lack of tickets for travelling supporters and the absence of any giant screens to watch the game were put to one side as those decked in red contributed to jubilant scenes in the city centre.
Defeated Tottenham fans largely returned to their own camps within Madrid following the 2-0 defeat, though those who ventured into neutral areas were seen congratulating their victorious counterparts.
Liverpool supporter Ray Hill, 50, said: “We’ve just been enjoying the build-up, the atmosphere, the camaraderie with Tottenham fans – it’s been first class.
“I pay tribute to the Spurs fans cos we’ve had loads coming up to us and wishing us all the best. Brilliant.”
Tensions had threatened to boil over outside the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium as fans clashed with security guards in baking heat.
Even as the match kicked off at dusk, temperatures remained around 30C.
Earlier, a young woman was tackled to the floor and dragged back towards security by police after she fled a holding pen when officials found her in possession of a counterfeit ticket.
Scores of others were turned away amid claims some fans had paid thousands on the black market for tickets which turned out to be fakes.
Mohamed Salah’s penalty in the second minute gave the Reds an early lead, before Belgian Divock Origi guaranteed Liverpool victory with an 87th-minute strike.
As the final whistle blew, six miles away in the centre of Madrid jubilant fans embraced, threw beers into the air and began reprising the chants from the Anfield terraces.
Fans of both sides went to extraordinary lengths to reach the Spanish capital.
Liverpool fan Joseph Hall, 26, from Leeds, said: “We drove 650km from Barcelona to get here (Madrid) and we watched it outside a bloody kebab shop.
“We underestimated how many people would be here.
“But it’s all worth it – it’s the best day ever. Party time.”
Many of those who tried and failed to get into the match followed the game on mobile phones outside the stadium.
Danish national Jimmy Andersen, a Liverpool supporter due to the Reds’ association with countryman Jan Molby, described the win as “the longest orgasm ever”.
He said: “I was in Malaga and was supposed to be on a flight home tonight, but when we beat Barcelona I thought: ‘No way man, I’m not missing this.’
“So my friends came over, too.
“This experience, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Christmas? Go home!
“This is the longest orgasm ever.”
Back in Liverpool, red smoke filled the air from flares and the mother of all street parties began as thousands of fans left pub TV screens to dance and sing in the streets.
A parade with the victorious Reds squad has been planned in Liverpool for Sunday.
On Matthew Street, strewn with beer glasses and bottles, Ged Evans, 34, from Wrexham, said: “This is the greatest night of my life, short of my kids being born.
“If you can’t be in Madrid then there’s nowhere else on Earth to be tonight than in Liverpool.”
Bare-chested Matty Smith, 23, a student from Liverpool, said: “This is like Christmas for Kopites.
“We’re going to party until dawn, then go on the parade.”