LIVERPOOL 1-3 SEVILLA
Liverpool came away from the Europa League Final with nothing more than “runners up” medals, I’m sad to say.
Jürgen Klopp put out his strongest possible side, nothing was wrong with the choices he made for the starting lineup. Nobody can say that he should have chosen a stronger squad for the Final or that we lost because of a weak lineup. These weren’t Academy youngsters, we had the best and most experienced players from our squad out there on the pitch.
It was end to end football in the first half and throughout the entire game, pretty much. Both sides had just as much possession as each other, an attack and counter attack style of play was going on as the game progressed. Liverpool would attack, eventually the ball goes out of play – goal kick and then Sevilla got to go on the attack. They shoot and miss. Goal kick, Liverpool get to attack again. On and on that went.
Simon Mignolet was kept quite busy in this game and was making some great saves that stopped Sevilla from scoring at all in the first half. It’s just a shame that the clean sheet couldn’t have been kept for the last 45 minutes also. He did his best, I don’t want to point fingers directly at Mignolet for conceding goals. That’s not fair to him. He doesn’t deserve that after working really hard this season for Liverpool, playing more minutes on the pitch than most (if not all) players in our squad. The defenders in front of him are just as responsible for goals conceded as the goalkeeper, also. Not stopping an attacker before he gets close enough to goal to put the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net is a failure by a defender, it has to be said.
Liverpool’s attacks often ended with Daniel Sturridge being the last person to get the ball and try his luck with a shot. Assists from Nathaniel Clyne and Coutinho and Adam Lallana all found their way to Sturridge in the first half.
The first goal of the game came when around the 35th minute, Coutinho passed the ball over to Daniel Sturridge who was on the edge of the penalty area. Sturridge looked up, made enough space to shoot past a defender or two and accurately placed a left footed shot over the Sevilla goalkeeper and into the far top corner of the net. It was such a beautiful goal and of course, we saw the Sturridge Dance!
Liverpool 1-0 Sevilla.
Liverpool would keep their lead until half time and the atmosphere in both Basel and Liverpool was incredibly happy for Reds at this point. We thought we’d possibly done enough to keep going for a victory.
According to the Sevilla players who spoke after the game, their manager gave an inspiring half time team talk, telling them to “believe in yourselves” which may have contributed to their second half comeback. That and the referee’s decisions, of course.
Liverpool fought hard in this game and were not only fighting against a top class Spanish side but also against the match officials. Throughout the entire game, there was at least 3 potential penalty decisions which were judged by the referee NOT to be handball and he would NOT award the penalties to Liverpool. Take a look for yourselves. It’s rather clear from all the photos, that Sevilla players had blocked the balls with their hands or arm. Even without photos (though there was replays shown on TV) confirming their suspicions, the Reds fans all knew this during the game as it happened.
The referee had been shockingly biased towards Sevilla in the decisions made in the Final. All the match officials had been. Even the linesman would flag for offside when Dejan Lovren had scored a goal and did not flag for offside when Sevilla scored a dubious goal later on. These match officials were seemingly working against us.
That being said, the first goal by Sevilla did not need any favouritism shown by the referee for it to be allowed. They’d come out from their changing rooms, the whistle would be blown to start the second half and in less than half a minute, Mariano would find it all too easy to dodge Alberto Moreno’s rather weak attempt to win the ball from him, running right round the back of Moreno and would then proceed to get the ball across the box to Kevin Gameiro whose left footed shot from very close range went past Simon Mignolet and into the back of the net. Liverpool 1-1 Sevilla.
The second goal was legit, too. It happened around the 64th minute. Not particularly bad defending, rather top class attacking. Though Perhaps Dejan Lovren could have closed down the attacker as he ran towards goal for his shot. Instead, Sevilla found enough space to shoot and score as Coke played a one-two with Vitolo who gave him the ball back for assisting him in his goal.
Liverpool were desperately trying hard to find an equalizer, now. We’d spend the rest of the game attempting to at least draw level, in the hopes that perhaps (1 more goal and) extra time and penalties would be enough for Liverpool to still claim the trophy.
The 3rd Sevilla goal was just devastating and as I mentioned earlier, rather dubious and more than likely offside. As the ball was played, there was at least 1 player (maybe even 2) that were behind Liverpool’s last defender. Once the attacker had received the ball, it was shot past Mignolet and into the net from close range.
It probably shouldn’t have stood and Liverpool may have had a chance to still equalise if they hadn’t been allowed this goal but scoring twice more just wasn’t going to happen for Liverpool. Sevilla had done enough to win by now.
I’m sorry, Reds. I feel most sorry for Jürgen Klopp, who has now reached two Cup Finals (League cup and UEFA Europa League) and failed to win either of them. His reputation was very good before he had even taken the position as our manager. He’s certainly achieved a lot in his time with Liverpool since joining us in October 2015, but I fear his position as our manager grows weaker as he fails to bring the silverware we could have had to us. Brendan Rodgers “almost won the league” with Liverpool, but here in lies the problem – ALMOST winning something, is not good enough. The only thing that is good enough is actually winning it and not having to say you “almost” won it. You need to go all the way and finish the job and secure the trophy to be worthy of being named as a “Liverpool Legend”, hailed with the greatest praise a fan could give you for contributing to the club’s great success. Without the trophy, a manager’s job is at risk. Jürgen Klopp could be replaced by the end of next season at least if he still yet fails to claim a trophy. It won’t happen just yet, the owners will surely give him 1 more season before replacing him but now that Liverpool will have to focus on winning one of (1) Premier League, (2) FA Cup, or (3) League Cup due to not being in any European competition at all, it will be a great failure if we cannot claim a single trophy under Klopp’s management.
I hope you’ve still enjoyed this season, Reds. There’s been ups and downs, along the way. It hasn’t been all bad. We’ve had plenty to celebrate over the many months and I hope you continue to celebrate with us again next season, also. Walk on, with hope in your hearts and You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.