Liverpool managed a late equalizer against visitors Chelsea on the way to a 1-1 draw in their final home game of the season. While this game may be an afterthought to many people as Liverpool prepares for the Europa League final against Sevilla next week, the team has yet to guarantee European qualification for next season. Anyone who believes that the Europa League would be a distraction from the league needs only to look at the fantastic Europa League campaign that Liverpool has put together this season to understand the importance of maintaining a place playing European football.
Victory in Wednesday night's game against Chelsea would have seen Liverpool overtake Southampton to reach seventh in the league. Instead, their single point gained has kept them one point behind Southampton with one game yet to play.
Many people considered Wednesday's match a rehearsal for the final in Basel, with Klopp playing a line up we're likely to see again next week. About the team's performance, Klopp was typically blunt:
"I said to my players after the game it was the most important game of the season because we could learn most from it," he said. "We showed in the first 15 minutes what we are capable of. We were great, wonderful football without scoring. But there was not enough faith in our own quality so we lost patience and when you lose patience in football it's always difficult. Without patience, we lost formation. We had a lot of moments around the box when we shot when we should have passed.
"I love this stadium and atmosphere but everybody last patience tonight, the crowd too. It's quite difficult to say 'be patient' when everybody is shouting 'run'. We all don't trust our quality. That's what we have to learn. We can learn that in the future and we will. If you don't think you need to score in each situation because you have players who can create chances and score goals, you can celebrate other situations."
Despite his denouncement of Liverpool's lack of patience, Klopp did have some positive words about Simon Mignolet and the defense, who kept the game in hand with some important second half saves, as well as the goal scorer, Christian Benteke.
"They could have scored the second but Simon Mignolet did brilliant, and Kolo (Toure), Dejan (Lovren) had one or two situations where they saved our lives," he continued. "We still had an opportunity to score then we had two or three good moments and used one to get a draw. At the end, I think in the last 10 minutes it wasn't too lucky but of course we could have lost today, that's clear."
"In the second half we tried to do better but you saw that the first half was quite intense as we ran a lot but with not good timing in defending. We had the most one-on-one situations than in the last five or six months. It makes no sense. We didn't defend really compact and not together and invested a lot and it makes you tired.
"When you get hit as a boxer you get more tired. That was the problem of the game. What we have learned this season is that as long as it's 1-0 it's the best result to draw. We had most offensive formation we could have in the last 15 minutes.
"Each striker was on the pitch and each offensive midfielder. It was a wonderful cross from Ojo and Christian was where he has to be. It was wonderful that we didn't lose and could come back in the game. We have to build up on these very positive signs what the boys have given us in the last few months. But there's still a way to go."
The Reds march ever onward, with the last league match against West Brom on Sunday still to come before the Europa League final.