It was a comeback too far for Liverpool this time, after Sevilla outran and outthought them in the Europa League final, leading to the Premier League side suffering their second cup final defeat this season. Leading 1-0 at halftime, after a dominating performance, Liverpool bowed down to the pressure of an early second half equaliser, leading to Sevilla completing an unprecedented hat-trick of Europa League titles.
It all started well for Liverpool, after Daniel Sturridge scored a goal worthy of winning the Europa League final, a wonderful curler with the outside of his left foot, but, after the Reds failed to take a couple of chances in the first half to extend their lead, and two handballs were not given, Sevilla took control in the business end of the final, winning the match 3-1, with a brace from Coke and one from Kevin Gameiro.
Klopp believes the equaliser from Gameiro, in the first minute of the second half, after a mistake from former Sevilla man Alberto Moreno swung the game the La Liga side's way. "It was obvious the first goal of Sevilla had a big influence on our own game," Klopp, without a win in his last five cup finals, told the club's official website. "In this moment we lost faith in our style of play.
"We changed from passing simply and quickly to complicated. We lost our formation, so it was not compact anymore. We've had this situation one or two times before. That was a good moment to put the finger in and change it.
"The first half was OK and we deserved the 1-0. Sevilla played a lot of long balls to avoid our pressing game. We did OK but not as good as we can."
At the end of the day, luck just did not quite camp in Liverpool's end, with two handballs, both of which could have easily led to a penalty, ignored by the referee, while the Reds, this time quite correctly, had a goal disallowed as well, when Sturridge interfered with play from an offside position. The referee also, again rightly, overruled an offside decision of the assistant referee, which allowed Sevilla to take the 3-1 lead, which killed the game off.
"Everybody has told me about two handballs in the first half," Klopp added. "There were four decisive decisions I would say, maybe a few more, but very obvious decisions that went against us. In a final, when it's clear it is close, you need a little bit of luck. We didn't.
"We have no influence on this, but where we have influence on is our game and so now we are disappointed and frustrated, 100%."
Liverpool, who also lost to Manchester City in the final of the Capital One Cup earlier this season, will now have no European football to play next season – they would have qualified for the Champions League, had they won the Europa League title – and Klopp believes that could be a blessing in disguise, as he will have more time with his players, with the German choosing to concentrate on the silver lining, rather than feel sorry for themselves.
"Now it's clear we are not in a European competition next year, it means no football on a Thursday and it means we have time to train," Klopp said. "We will use it and we will come back stronger, that's for sure.
"You saw on the way to the final we had a few moments where we, maybe, over-performed. 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."