Klopp takes blame for Europa loss

2016-05-19 07:30
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

Basel - Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp took the blame for his team letting first-half dominance over Sevilla slip away in the Europa League final.

Eighteen seconds into the second half, everything changed when Sevilla scored its first goal in what became a stunning comeback to win 3-1 on Wednesday.

"It is all about us, it is all about me," Klopp acknowledged. "It is my job to help the players react in different situations better. I can improve a lot."

The momentum swung after Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro was left unmarked in front of an empty goal and connected on right back Mariano Ferreira's low cross.

Liverpool likely should have been leading by more than Daniel Sturridge's 35th-minute goal that sparked a strong finish to the first half.

The belief of Liverpool's players - fueled by earlier Europa League performances eroics against Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal - quickly faded upon losing their lead.

"In this moment we lost faith in our style of play," Klopp said. "We lost our formation. It was not compact anymore."

The Liverpool fans, far outnumbering Sevilla's in a 35 000 crowd at St. Jakob Park, also seemed to lose their collective voice.

"It was a wonderful atmosphere until this 1-1. Maybe the crowd was shocked about the situation," Klopp suggested. "It's not a shock. I saw it, I tried to change it. Sevilla took the game.

"We have 44 minutes to strike back so where is the problem? The reaction was the problem."

Many observers, including former club great Jamie Carragher on Twitter, suggested one problem was left-back Alberto Moreno. The former Sevilla defender's sloppy play twice in quick succession led to Gameiro's equalizer, and his positioning was poor for Coke's decisive second strike in the 70th which effectively sealed the outcome.

While making himself the focus of blame, Klopp said it was "clear" there would be changes and transfers in his first off season with a club he joined just seven months ago.

Liverpool had little luck with the Swedish match officials in a series of possible handball and offside decisions, including on the third goal.

"Tonight it was not lucky, that is true," Klopp said, adding "I don't think life was unfair to me."

Klopp faced down his streak of five losing cup finals, including the 2013 Champions League final with his former club Dortmund and two this season with Liverpool.

Pledging to return to more finals in future, the charismatic German chided reporters that they would remind him then of his losing run.

"I will be prepared for this moment," Klopp said. "We will use this experience."


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