Sevilla have won the Europa League title for a third time in a row by beating Liverpool 3-1 in the final.
Liverpool looked set to win the final and claim a place in next season’s Champions League after Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring for the Reds with a superb strike using the outside of his foot just before half time. However, Sevilla managed to make a dramatic second half comeback to ensure they retained the Europa League title, thanks to an early second half goal from Kevin Gameiro, and a brace by captain Coke in the 64th and 70th minutes.
Jurgen Klopp, who has now lost his last five cup finals, had his say on the game.
“Obviously the first goal had a big influence on our game,” said the Liverpool manager. “At this moment we lost faith in our style of play, we changed from passing quick and simple to complicated and lost our formation. It was not compact any more. I’ve had this problem one or two times with this situation. The first half was ok, we deserved the 1-0, Sevilla played a lot of long balls to avoid our pressing game. We were not as good as we can be but everyone told me there were two handballs in the first half. There were some obvious decisions which went against us. In a final when it is close you need a bit of luck even when we hadn’t had any.
“We are disappointed and frustrated 100% but tomorrow or later in the week we will see it a little bit more clearly and we will use this experience, that is what we have to do. It is clear we are not in a European tournament next year so we don’t have football on Wednesday or Thursday, so we will have time to train and we will, for sure, come back stronger.
“We had a few moments where we have performed but then to have this consistency you need a bit more time. They are still young, the players’ first big final, but unfortunately it is the second time this season. We will use this experience together and then some day everyone will say Basel was a very decisive moment in the future of Liverpool.”
Sevilla coach Unai Emery also talked about his team’s third successive title win.
When asked about the Spanish teams’ dominance in the European Championships, Emery said: “Maybe we are not the ones who should say it. Maybe others should analyze what we do. I have my own theory. We really compete and we have been able to win against teams that were better than us.”
He added: “We have the Copa del Rey on Sunday against Barcelona and we have to prepare thoroughly for the challenge. We will celebrate this tonight but we will be careful.”