Thursday 29 September 2016

Liverpool's Alberto Moreno breaks silence after Europa League loss, but makes no mention of personal blunder

Tom Rooney

Published 19/05/2016 | 16:15

Liverpool's Alberto Moreno (right) and Sevilla's Filho Mariano battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Final at St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland. PRESS ASSOCIATION
Liverpool's Alberto Moreno (right) and Sevilla's Filho Mariano battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Final at St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Alberto Moreno has spoken to the Spanish media following Liverpool’s crushing Europa League final loss to Sevilla, but made no mention of the personal blunder which led to the La Liga side’s equaliser.

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Scarcely has the old adage about football being a game of halves been as poignant as it was during last night’s Europa League decider in Basel.

For the vast majority of the opening period Liverpool were almost totally dominant, as the energy and dynamism of James Milner, Emre Can and Nathaniel Clyne overwhelmed the back-to-back champions.

Daniel Sturridge’s sublime opener was a just reward for the Reds’ dominance, and Jurgen Klopp’s side could feel rightly aggrieved for not being awarded at least two penalties. 

As the sides made their way to the tunnel at the turn, few could have foreseen what was to transpire when they returned.

Within 17 seconds of the restart Sevilla were on level terms. Moreno’s limp clearance fell directly into the path of Mariano, whose quick thinking took him beyond an equally lax tackle from the left back, before feeding Gameiro who beat the despairing Simon Mignolet.

The goal proved the catalyst for a seismic turnaround. The entire Liverpool team, aside from Kolo Toure, remained shell-shocked as Coke’s subsequent brace ensured Sevilla won their third consecutive Europa League crown.

The level of vitriol Moreno was subjected to on Twitter, and by Liverpool greats, was quite astounding.

The 23-year-old acknowledged Liverpool had been collectively overrun by his former club but made no reference to his lack of concentration that needlessly accommodated their first goal.

“We were better in the first half, and had more chances. It's true that they rolled over us in the second half,” he told Spanish reporters (published in Liverpool Echo).

“They came out flying, and scored three times in 20 minutes. They were the better team.They deserved to win the trophy. We must just lift our heads and think of next season."

Moreno admitted that being pitted against his old club was somewhat unsettling and, perhaps, that could be attributed to the howler in question. However, it was not an isolated incident, which is likely why the injured Joe Gomez had supplanted him earlier in the campaign.

"It is very strange. It was a weird sensation as I spent 10 years there, and now in two years I am playing against them, against teammates and fans who you have supported all your life. It is strange," he said.

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