Alberto Moreno bore the brunt of the abuse on Twitter as Liverpool lost out on a ninth European crown and UEFA Champions League football for next season following a second-half capitulation against Sevilla.

 

Sevilla’s masterclass of a second half outdid Liverpool’s heroics in the first 45 minutes to grab the Europa League crown out of the grasp of Jurgen Klopp’s side. The German has now lost two finals with the Reds, having suffered a penalty shoot-out loss against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley earlier this season.

The game started brightly for the Reds as Sturridge put the Merseysiders in the lead with a beautiful strike from the outside of his foot. It spurred a flurry of attacks towards the end of the half as Klopp’s men looked to put the game to bed before half time. The defence did well to thwart further dangerous attacks from Liverpool’s front-men as the two sides went into the break with the score reading 1-0.

Hardly twenty seconds into the second half, the Reds had their lead wiped out by a Kevin Gameiro, who made a good run into the six-yard box to meet Ferreira’s cross. The goal prompted Liverpool fans to turn on Moreno, whose miscued clearance allowed Sevilla to take possession in a dangerous area of the pitch.

Some fans claimed it was a little harsh to make Moreno the scapegoat for the loss as there were others with equally poor performances in the second half.

With the Reds desperate to find a way back to regain their lead against the Spaniards, the Merseysiders were struck a killer double-blow in the space of six minutes by Sevilla’s captain, Coke. The man from Valladolid scored in the 64th and 70th minute to end Liverpool’s prospects of lifting their ninth European crown. There was controversy ensuing Coke’s second and Sevilla’s third as the initial off side call was overturned to award the goal to the Spanish side.

The defending champions managed to hold on and send their fans into delirium as they secured the trophy for a third consecutive time and for a fifth time in total to secure UEFA Champions’ League qualification for next season. Twitter appreciated the spectacular feat and credited Unai Emery for the towering success.

Manager Reactions

Jurgen Klopp

Borussia Dortmund vs FC Liverpool
Klopp bemoaned a lack of concentration from his side after the break, but bore much of the responsibility himself following the disappointing defeat. He promised that his side will return stronger from such an experience in time for next season. The German was quoted as saying, “1-0 [lead] at half time is usually good, [to concede at] the first move of the second half, of course it’s a knock. We didn’t concentrate enough.

“What happened next was the problem. We weren’t compact for a second and did not defend well. We have to carry on and use this experience to be stronger. I’m sure we will be stronger. I’m responsible for this performance. I have spoken to my players because tomorrow we will split all over the world.”

Unai Emery

Borussia Moenchengladbach vs Sevilla FC
Meanwhile, Klopp’s jubilant counterpart Unai Emery praised his side’s belief to forge a comeback and acknowledged the Sevilla fans’ support on an incredible night for his side. The Spaniard and his captain Coke both pointed out the progress the side had made despite numerous departures from the club last summer.

Emery was quoted as saying, “It seemed tough for us, they could have scored second, but this team has heart and soul and gave everything.Every summer 10 players leave and we must build a new team. This must be valued a lot as we have worked so hard.We knew we were not very many [Sevilla] fans. But each one [of us] is worth four [of them].”

Sevilla have a Copa Del Rey final to look forward to next weekend against FC Barcelona and the coach admitted it was not possible to kick-start such a special week better than they have.

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