Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp admits he still thinks about his side’s heart-breaking 3-1 defeat to Sevilla in last season’s Europa League final.
The Reds came into the contest on a high after recording impressive wins over Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund on their way to Basel and a brilliant opening goal by Daniel Sturridge did little to kill their confidence. However, only 18 seconds into the second half Kevin Gamiero fired Sevilla back into the tie and a brace by Coke put
the chance to win a first piece of silverware under Klopp beyond Liverpool.
“Of course I’ve had a lot of thoughts about this,” Klopp said to reporters this week.
“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.
“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.”
The three goals Liverpool conceded in that second half represented a complete capitulation in their battle to secure European glory and Klopp describes this by admitting that “something broke” in that second half, however, the German also insists it was a final “we should not have lost”.
“When you watch it again you see that something broke at that moment. Different players had no weapons any more. 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.
“All of it was not too good but it was, of course, about the intensity that we had had on the way to the final. We’d had to over-perform one or two times, we had to play very special games and we’d had a lot of games.
“We’d tried everything to have fresh legs for the final, but none of this is an excuse because this was not a final that we should have lost but we lost and that’s the truth.”
In truth, there are lessons to be learned from every loss and as Klopp heads into his first full season as Liverpool boss it’ll be that fateful night in Basel that he hopes his men will learn from in order to go one better next season.
“It was a hard night and a hard few days afterwards but it is in the past and like all games in the past if you can use them you should do,” he added.
“You have to take the right thoughts from it and that’s what we’ll try to do but that’s not easy because you can’t bring all of this up in the first meeting and say: ‘Look, I hope you had a wonderful holiday, but I want to tell you the second half in Basel was not so good’. That wouldn’t make sense.
“It’s an experience, one that you don’t need, but we will get on with it.”
The Merseyside club’s preparations for the new season continue with their fourth pre-season match at Huddersfield Town today before the lads to the United States. Liverpool may be without European football next season but Klopp will surely look to use that to his advantage in order to finally bring some silverware to Anfield and hopefully banish last season’s nightmares.