Home / World

Liverpool's path looks bright - Klopp

By Agence France-Presse in Liverpool | China Daily | Updated: 2016-05-07 08:35

New era may be dawning at Anfield after Reds advance to Europa League final

Liverpool's performances in this season's Europa League have illuminated a path for the team's future, manager Juergen Klopp declared after his side sank Villarreal brilliantly to reach the final.

Liverpool will face holder Sevilla in Basel in May 18 after a Bruno Soriano own goal and efforts from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana at Anfield on Thursday secured a resounding 3-0 win and a 3-1 aggregate success.

 Liverpool's path looks bright - Klopp

Liverpool's Robert Firmino and Adam Lallana sandwich Villarreal's Mateo Musacchio during the Europa League semifinal at Anfield on Thursday. Phil Noble / Reuters

Liverpool had made an inauspicious start to its Europa League campaign when Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers last October, but having now eliminated Augsburg, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal, it will play in its first European final since 2007.

"To go to a final you need a little a bit of luck in decisive moments, but most of the time you need outstanding performances," he told his post-match media conference.

"When I came here, the tournament didn't sound too nice for people. Three draws (actually two). It was a difficult group.

"We came through with a nice game in Russia (beating Rubin Kazan 1-0). That was good.

"We felt really comfortable in this tournament. We liked going to different countries and adapting to different circumstances, different temperatures. I like this in football.

"The problem we had was around these games (there were) so many other games, so we couldn't really be focused on this.

"In 2016, the team showed a lot of times what they're capable of and what they could be capable of in the future.

"That's a really good sign. That's more important for me as a manager, but then, when you perform in the right moments, like we did tonight or against Dortmund or against United or Augsburg, you want to have (it) all.

"That's what we try now (in the final). Now we are there and it's a great opportunity and we will take it."

Liverpool's path looks bright - Klopp

Villarreal had procured a stoppage-time lead in last week's first leg through substitute Adrian Lopez's strike, but its advantage lasted less than seven minutes of the return fixture at a raucous Anfield as Bruno turned Roberto Firmino's cross into his own net.

Klopp rebuke

Sturridge, sliding in, had put the Villarreal captain under pressure and he would go on to put Liverpool ahead in the 63rd minute, finishing coolly from Firmino's scuffed volley, before setting up Lallana's third.

Klopp had left Sturridge on the bench for Liverpool's three previous games in the tournament and he praised the injury-prone England international for seizing his opportunity against Villarreal.

"Great game, great game," said the German, who has already seen his side go down on penalties to Manchester City in this season's League Cup final.

"You'll see now, when Daniel Sturridge is fit he's an unbelievable, unbelievable striker. Everybody knows this.

"But even he needs players to play with. I knew about his quality before I came here. Now I know it better. Great player. Good to have him here."

Villarreal coach Marcelino, whose side secured a Champions League playoff place at the weekend, admitted Liverpool had been superior and lauded its "huge" intensity.

But he criticised Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai for his handling of a niggly game, in particular the decision to dismiss centerback Victor Ruiz after yellow cards in either half.

"We tried hard after the opening goal, but it was tough against an opponent who played with a huge amount of intensity," he said.

Sevilla chasing hat-trick after downing Shakhtar

Sevilla remained on course for a third consecutive Europa League title as Kevin Gameiro struck twice to down Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 and progress to a final meeting with Liverpool 5-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The Andalusians have won the competition four times in the past 10 years and can secure their place in next season's Champions League with victory over Juergen Klopp's men in Basel on May 18.

Already holding the cushion of two away goals from the first leg last week, Gameiro gave Sevilla the perfect start when he fired into the far corner after just nine minutes.

Former Arsenal striker Eduardo briefly gave the Ukrainians hope when he leveled with a calm finish a minute before halftime.

However, Sevilla quickly reasserted its stranglehold on the tie with a fine team goal finished off by Gameiro two minutes into the second half for his 28th goal of the season.

Brazilian rightback Mariano handed Sevilla a two-goal advantage it never looked like relinquishing when he smashed home a stunning third just before the hour mark from outside the box.

(China Daily 05/07/2016 page12)

Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349