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Klopp: Liverpool Players Lost Faith In Second Half

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In the wake of their deflating Europa League loss, Jürgen Klopp weighs in with his opinion on the what went wrong in the second half.

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After an horrendous second half of football from the Liverpool players, it comes as no surprise that Jürgen Klopp was asked to explain what happened that led to the team relinquishing their lead and collapsing in the ensuing 45 minutes.

"Obviously, the first goal had a big influence on our game. In this moment we lost faith in our style of play," he explained. "We changed from passing simple and quick to slow and complicated. We lost our formation, it's not compact anymore. It has been a problem once or twice before. After the Chelsea game I admitted the problem there, but it's not a good moment (in the season) to put the finger in and change it."

"We lost faith. I saw it. We tried to change it. But you could see it wasn't only the team, the crowd were shocked as well. Everything changed in this moment. We had a wonderful atmosphere until the 1-1. Then Sevilla took the game, we didn't defend well.

"Our first half was okay, we deserved the 1-0. It's not too good to concede immediately after half-time, but we had 44 minutes minimum to strike back, so the reaction was the problem.

"We all have to learn to react better in situations like this."

"We had a wonderful atmosphere until it went to 1-1, but then Sevilla took the game and we defended not good. For the first goal, usually it’s not good to concede a goal immediately after half-time but you have 44 minutes minimum to strike back, so what’s the problem?

"The reaction was the problem. We all have to learn to react better in situations like this. This game, especially in my situation as the manager of the team, all you have to do is self-criticism. Nothing else. It’s all about us, it’s all about me. It’s my job to help the players react better in different situations, so I can improve a lot.

Along with his players' performances, Klopp also had a legitimate grievance to make over the subpar refereeing, and in particular, the three handballs inside of Sevilla's box that the referee failed to call.

The other big talking point about the game were two controversial goal calls: the first to disallow Dejan Lovren's goal just before halftime, and the second, to allow Coke's goal in the second half, despite the linesman initially raising the offside flag. About this double stroke of bad luck for Liverpool, Klopp said:

"Everybody told me about the two handballs in the first half. Today there were four decisions, very obvious ones, that were all against us," he continued. "In a final, when it's clearly a close game, you need a bit of luck, and we didn't have any. If it was twice handball... I don't know. Everybody told me it was like this. 2-0 at half-time is different at half-time, that's all."

"I've been around the block. This is not a situation I have seen many times, for the ref to overrule the assistant.

"But I've lost a couple of finals and never have have I had any bad decision made in my favour. I'd hope for that to change. It didn't change today. We had two decisions against us when there was handball and a goal that was disallowed and one that is allowed that is against us.

"Having said that, the first thing you need to do when you lose is look at the man in the mirror and criticise yourself. We had no influence on these decisions, but we had influence on our game and we are disappointed and frustrated, one-hundred percent.

"But tomorrow or in a week or whatever, we will see it a little bit more clear and we will use this game. That's what we have to do.

"You saw on the way to the final we had a few moments where we maybe over-performed – we were unbelievable, great and the boys showed what they are capable of, but then to have this consistency you need a little bit more time. They are still young and this was their first big final – unfortunately their second [losing] final of the season, but it was a big final and we will use this experience together. Then someday everybody will say Basel was a very decisive moment for the wonderful future of Liverpool FC.

With any luck, this game will be a learning experience for Klopp's Liverpool side. Either way, they have the whole summer to stew on this disappointment as they plan for next season.