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Klopp: Luck was not with us

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp PHOTO/AFP.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp PHOTO/AFP.

BASEL, Switzerland May 19- Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has bemoaned his side’s lack of luck after their loss in the Europa League final, with the German of the opinion that key refereeing decisions went in favour of victors Sevilla.

The Spanish outfit secured their third consecutive Europa League triumph on Wednesday, coming from a goal down to beat the Reds 3-1 in Basel.

Daniel Sturridge put the Merseyside outfit ahead with a fantastic first-half effort, but they were pegged back just 18 seconds into the second period when Kevin Gameiro found the back of the net. Coke then grabbed a brace to claim victory for Sevilla.

The Reds felt they had three cases for penalties in the first half, all for handball, while referee Jonas Eriksson waved away his assistant’s offside flag for Coke’s second goal which proved the final nail in Liverpool’s coffin.

While Klopp did not name Eriksson directly, the German lamented the fact that his side did not have the rub of the green in the final.

“Today there were four decisive, obvious decisions and all were against us. In a final when it’s close you need a little luck and we didn’t have it. If it was 2-0 at half-time it’s different,” he said.

Klopp admitted that his side did not respond well to Gameiro’s goal, losing their way somewhat following the equaliser, a lapse they cannot afford to repeat.

“The first half was okay. Sevilla were playing a lot of long ball to avoid our pressing game. Obviously, the first goal had a big impact on our team. We lost faith in our style of play. We lost our formation. It wasn’t compact anymore. I’ve had this problem one or two times,” he explained.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss added: “It wasn’t just the team that was shocked (by the equaliser) but the crowd was shocked too. We had a wonderful atmosphere until it went 1-1 and then Sevilla took the game.

“We had 44 minutes to strike back so what’s the problem? We have to react better.

“Use the time and use the experience, that’s what we’ve got to do. It’s a long tournament for my players and a short break. We’ll use the break and hopefully they’ll come back fit.

“Of course, the team will be a little bit different next year. We’ll do something with transfers that’s clear. I’m sure we’ll again be in a final and again have decisive moments and we’ll have to do better.

“We have to work on it, it’s not a wonder or something, it’s pure work.”

The result means that Liverpool will not take part in European competition next season, a blow to the English giant. However, Klopp believes that the lack of midweek football could assist his team next season.

“Now we are frustrated but tomorrow or in a week we will see it more clearly and we will use it,” he said. “We are out of international competitions [next season], there’s not a lot of football on Wednesdays and Thursdays and that means a lot of time to train. We will come back stronger for sure.”