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Klopp: My players cracked under the pressure in Basel

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Despair for Klopp and Liverpool at Anfield
Despair for Klopp and Liverpool at Anfield

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp suggested his players cracked under the pressure as they crashed to a 3-1 defeat against Sevilla in the Europa League final in Basel.

Despite establishing a first half lead through Daniel Sturridge's sparkling goal, Klopp’s side collapsed amid a woeful second half display that allowed Sevilla to carry off the Europa League crown for a third successive season, with the Liverpool manager accepting his side had under-performed.

“I was not happy with the start of the match and even though we scored a great goal to take the lead, but the first moment of the second half we did not concentrate,” said Klopp.

“Then we lost in a second everything; faith in our style of play, we were not compact, we didn’t defend well, we were nervous.

"We saw the pressure and they have to handle this, but the goals were too easy for them. It’s not enough in a Final.

“The players need to have better qualities. I have been here seven months and we have been surprised when we have good moments, but then you see the bad moments and you realise we have a lot of work to do.

“We are not as good up to now as we hoped. That is the information from tonight. We have to learn from this and get better.

“I am responsible for this performance. I have told this to my players. We have to learn from this. It was not enough. We will come back.”

Meanwhile, crestfallen Liverpool midfielder James Milner admitted his side had under-performed as they slumped to a 3-1 Europa League final defeat against Sevilla in Basel.

After establishing a 1-0 lead after a sparkling first half display, Liverpool crumbled after the break as Sevilla secured a third successive Europa League crown, with Milner offering up few excuses.

“We never started in the second half and it is devastating,” he stated. “We didn't show near our ability and that is the biggest disappointment.

“We were ready, we made sure we said the right things at half-time. We gave a sloppy goal away and never got back into the game.

“A few decisions went against is, but this is not about the referee. It is nothing to do with the referee, it is about us. We didn't do it on the night that mattered.

 “It wasn’t about getting in the Champions League. It was all about winning this trophy and it will take us a long time to get over this.

“We have been to two finals this season and we were not good enough to get over the line in either. We have to learn from this and make sure we are better placed next time.”