Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are still suffering from Europa League final defeat
Ahead of the beginning of the Premier League season, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has come up with an admission that is not very startling. He confessed to still being haunted by his club's loss against Sevilla is the last Europa League final.
After hopes of a major title and any chance of a Champions League spot were dashed, Klopp remained quite positive about the upcoming season. In the post match conference after the game, he had said that without the distraction of any other major tournament this season, full attention can be focussed on doing well in the Premier League. His optimism comforted many fans and players alike but the manager has since come clean about how much the outcome of the game affected him.
“It was long ago but it still feels bad. After the game, I was not in the mood to think too much about the first half but later I did and it was obvious that we’d played a good game in the first half and we could have been in a clearer lead,” Klopp said in an interview to the local daily, the Liverpool Echo.
The Europa League final turned out to be the complete antithesis of the fantastic night at Istanbul. Although the Reds earned an early lead in the first half, the second half spelt an absolute nightmare for them as Sevilla came back from behind to win the game 3-1 at Basel. It must, however, be mentioned that Liverpool were partly unlucky at not being awarded at least two clear penalties but that does not take away the fact that they put up an abysmal show after half time.
Klopp believes that the team was good enough to win and he recently called the final a “game we should not have lost”. According to the Echo, he has had enough time to reflect on the game and he is still unable to pinpoint exactly what went wrong in the second half of the game.
He had a thing or two to say about the referee's decisions too. “We could have had a penalty for handball, all this stuff that you see afterwards. It’s not interesting because it’s over but as a human being it’s quite difficult to accept all this stuff. Of course, you have moments when you still suffer a little bit,” he added.
According to Klopp the equaliser that came within 18 seconds into the second half was the moment when “something broke” for Liverpool. “When you watch it again you see that something broke at that moment. Different players had no weapons anymore. They had no power and no confidence. You saw that. We went too deep in a lot of positions and we were not close enough to the challenges.” he admitted.
Liverpool start their 2016/17 season against Arsenal at the Emirates and Klopp will hope for a better showing this time in the league from the Reds.