Klopp: Sevilla heartbreak will be 'decisive' for Liverpool
Reds will learn from Europa League final nightmare, vows boss as they face a season without European football
Liverpool 1 Sevilla 3
Liverpool were blown away in Basel by a stunning second-half performance from Sevilla as the Spaniards claimed their third successive Europa League title. Their reward, apart from a shiny silver trophy, is qualification for next season's Champions League while for Liverpool there will be no European football next season as their lowly eighth place in the Premier League means they missed out on qualifying for the Europa League.
Instead the 10,000 Liverpool fans who made the trip to Switzerland will have to spend the summer wondering where it all went wrong after leading at half-time.
Daniel Sturridge's sumptuous strike on 35 minutes put the Reds on course for their first major silverware since winning the League Cup in 2012, but it took just 17 seconds of the second half for the Spaniards to strike back.
Left-back Alberto Moreno was at fault for the goal, allowing Kevin Gameiro to put Mariano Ferreira's cross into the net, and it seems inconceivable that manager Jurgen Klopp won't be signing some defenders in the summer transfer market.
As former Red turned TV pundit Jamie Carragher tweeted: "Jurgen, transfer committee, anyone sign a f****** left-back."
Sevilla now had the scent of victory in their nostrils and Gameiro almost got his ninth goal of the campaign when he ran on to Ever Banega's pass only for Kolo Toure to make a crucial tackle. Gameiro then tested Simon Mignolet with a volley that the Liverpool keeper turned over the bar, but the second goal soon followed after deft work from Vitolo and a fine finish from Coke,
Six minutes later Sevilla made it 3-1 with Coke again the scorer. There was more than a touch of controversy about the goal with the linesman briefly raising his flag for offside before lowering it again. Liverpool protested furiously that Coke was indeed offside but after a consultation with his assistant, the referee let the goal stand.
Liverpool also felt they deserved a first-half penalty when Sevilla's Daniel Carrico handled in the area but Klopp had no complaints that the better side won. "It was 50-60 per cent of our usual quality and we have to accept that," reflected the Reds manager. "I am responsible for this performance. I promise everybody we will use it and come back stronger."
Liverpool also lost out to Manchester City in the final of the League Cup this season but despite the disappointment Klopp promised they'll learn from the double defeats. “We are disappointed and frustrated 100 per cent but tomorrow or later in the week we will see it a little bit more clearly," he said.
"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.”