Gary Neville has made his feelings very clear on the Champions League final being scheduled so long after the end of the Premier League season, suggesting Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur were not their true selves in the showpiece encounter (Sky Sports News).
The Reds of Jurgen Klopp ran out 2-0 winners over Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs at Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Saturday 1 June but the standard of the game itself was criticised in some quarters for lacking the type of quality usually associated with the two sides.
Both teams were last in Premier League action on Sunday 12 May, with Liverpool beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 and Tottenham playing out a 2-2 draw against Everton, and had to wait 20 days before kicking off in the Spanish capital.
Neville, a legend of the game with Manchester United and England, described the scheduling of the Champions League final as "nonsense" and suggested that the high-pressure combination of the occasion plus the teams' match fitness possibly going out of sync may have played their part in the largely lacklustre display.
"You think about how they've played football in these last three or four years," Neville told Sky Sports News. "High energy, pressing up the pitch, getting to the ball. That was a game that it didn't exist. That's got to be physical and a little bit mental because of the size of the occasion.
"The idea of playing a final three or four weeks after the end of the season is just nonsense. Some of these players are playing after having no rest. Some of them have had three or four weeks rest and have been on holiday probably twice already.... I just don't get it."
England were subsequently in action five days after the Champions League final, losing to the Netherlands in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League in Portugal.
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