Sunday 21 January 2018

Klopp still haunted by Europa final collapse

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images Newsdesk Newsdesk

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is still haunted by the memory of his team's second-half disintegration in May's Europa League final.

The pain of losing another final has made Klopp "suffer" over the summer, but made him more determined to bring success to Anfield at the earliest opportunity.

Liverpool lost two major finals last season, and the manner of the 3-1 defeat to Sevilla ended an exhilarating European campaign on a sour note.

"Of course, I've had a lot of thoughts about this. It still feels bad," Klopp admitted.

"You have the moments when you still suffer a little bit. 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."

Liverpool led 1-0 at half-time in Basel but were outplayed in the second half. A season of promise that could have ended in Champions League qualification has instead led to one in which Klopp recently admitted several transfer targets were beyond him because his club are not in Europe.

Klopp said of the game in Basel: "I've thought a lot about half-time but there wasn't anything too special that I could highlight. Then what happened, happened.

"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."

Liverpool hope to confirm the signing of Estonian Ragnar Klavan in the next 24 hours. Klavan spent yesterday on Merseyside undergoing a medical.

Read more: Jurgen Klopp warns Christian Benteke, Mario Balotelli that it 'makes no sense' to stay at Reds

Irish Independent

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