Liverpool finished the season unbeaten at home for the first time in 21 years, and with their record Premier League points total.
It was an emotional day at Anfield as fans bid farewell to a legend with Sami Hyypia making his final appearance for the club.
The Big Finn was named on the bench and with the match itself proving somewhat lacklustre, the crowd were more interested in when Sami would come on and paying their respects to a player has given everything to the club over the last 10 seasons. The pre-match mosaic set the tone on a sunny May afternoon before the match kicked off.
In all fairness, the first half wasn’t much of a spectacle, despite Spurs needing a win to have a chance of clinching a place in Europe next season. Fernando Torres scored the opener with a well directed header off the underside of the bar from a Dirk Kuyt cross on the half hour, his 50th goal for the club in just 86 appearances.
The second half proved more entertaining and the win looked to be sealed up when Kuyt scored his 15th goal of the season following a neat exchange of passes inside the box with Yossi Benayoun.
But a lapse in concentration saw the returning Robbie Keane put through one on one with Pepe Reina and the Spurs captain tucked it away. Having left Anfield just four months ago, Keane chose not to celebrate, which was greeted with a standing ovation from all four sides of the ground. It was a remarkable moment on a day of emotions for Keane and Hyypia – one returning, one departing. Keane’s goal means Reina won’t win the Golden Glove award for the fourth consecutive season.
With Benayoun getting himself on the scoresheet not long after, after being put through with a good ball from Gerrard, Benitez finally bowed to pressure from The Kop – “Sami.. On.. Sami… On… Sami, Sami, Sami, On, On, On… was the chant – and introduced Hyypia for his 464th appearance.
The whole ground urged us forward to get a corner and give Hyypia the chance of a perfect send-off. The corner arrived in the last minute, the Big Finn made a run across the box, met the ball with a downward header but was denied on the line. Not to matter, he’s scored far more important goals – not many centre backs have scored in three European quarter finals!
Full time saw Pepe Reina, clearly the character in the Anfield dressing room, lift Hyypia on his shoulders as the tears flowed for the 35 year old. The lap of honour was all about Hyypia, quite rightly. Kudos to the few Spurs fans who stayed behind to give Hyypia a clap.
Let’s hope next year’s lap takes a lot longer and has an accompanying piece of silverware.
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Kuyt (Riera 66), Gerrard (Hyypia 84), Benayoun, Torres (Ngog 78).
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Lucas, Insua, Degen.
Goals: Torres 31, Hutton 64 og, Benayoun 81.
Tottenham: Gomes, Hutton, Corluka, King, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Zokora, Jenas (Bentley 40), Bale (Bent 78), Defoe (Pavlyuchenko 70), Keane.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Gunter, Campbell, Chimbonda.
Goals: Keane 77.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)