A disappointed Jurgen Klopp admits his side "lost faith" in their style of play during the second half of a Europa League final defeat to reigning champions Sevilla on Wednesday night (18 May). The Premier League side led their lethargic Spanish counterparts at the break thanks to a majestic finish from Daniel Sturridge that came via the outside of his left foot, but were caught cold immediately after the restart by prolific striker Kevin Gameiro.
Sevilla captain Coke, a right-back by trade who was deployed in a more advanced role by manager Unai Emery at St Jakob-Park in Basel, then controversially struck twice in just six minutes to seal a record fifth title and a third in as many years. It was a second final defeat of 2016 for Liverpool, who missed the chance to win the Capital One Cup in March after being beaten on penalties by Manchester City.
For Klopp, it was a fifth consecutive final loss as a manager dating back to his time in charge at Borussia Dortmund. The charismatic boss was seen angrily remonstrating with his players in the second half in a typical display of passion and determination, but claims he too must shoulder part of the blame for an underwhelming surrender.
"In this moment I am responsible for this performance too so there is no criticism allowed from my side to anybody," he told BT Sport after collecting a runners-up medal and watching Sevilla hoist the trophy aloft. "I spoke to my players already because tomorrow we will split all over the world, so that's how it is.
"Nobody in the stadium obviously believed [that Liverpool could turn it around]. I had a few moments when I thought we could change it but of course that's not enough."
Liverpool would have secured passage into the group stages of the Champions League had they won the match, but a failure to end this Andalusian reign of dominance coupled with an eight-place finish in the top-flight means they will not participate in any European competition next season. Sevilla, who could lose Emery this summer amid rumoured interest from managerless Everton, now move on to the Vicente Calderon on Sunday (22 May) and will aim to complete a double with victory over La Liga champions Barcelona in the final of the Copa del Rey.