Heartbreak In Basel
Emotions haven't quite fully settled yet, I don't think I've fully got rid of all the anger but I am starting to move past it. A summer of top class purchases underneath Jurgen Klopp is enough to get me excited. Last night however cannot be forgotten, the Reds must learn from it and never let it happen again.
|Image via theguardian.com|
Things started pretty well for Liverpool as the travelling fans were in full voice in Basel. It was a relatively slow start but one that was rewarded in the latter stages of the second half with a beautiful goal from Daniel Sturridge. His outside of the boot effort curled perfectly into the back of the net and Jurgen Klopp's side were finally underway. Sevilla had offered little in the first half and whilst Liverpool weren't exactly dominant, there was no fear there, it felt like we had them on the ropes. Especially after almost bagging a second from a Dejan Lovren header only to see it disallowed for offside thanks to an interfering Daniel Sturridge.
Hand balls and penalty decisions also dominated some of the first half (they would continue into the second) but for me Liverpool cannot dwell on these decisions. Yes it is gutting and some of them were clear as day but when you are 1-0 up in a final and have been continuing to threaten goal in the first half you do not roll over like we did in the second.
|Image via theguardian.com|
Sevilla came bursting out the blocks and scored after just 17 seconds, a shock to any team, most definitely in a final, but still, Liverpool did not need to panic, it was 1-1 everything was there to play for. Instead, we utterly capitulated, it was horrible to watch. Sevilla bagged a second on 64 minutes after breaking through the defence far too easily and then found a third just six minutes later.
I wasn't that shocked to see us losing to be honest as I knew Sevilla would put on a good show, they've been here before of course, it was the manner in which we fell. Kolo Toure, Nathaniel Clyne and Daniel Sturridge really are the only players I feel I can praise. Simon Mignolet perhaps slightly after making a couple of important saves. As for the rest of the team? They have no excuse in my opinion.
People sometimes hold back criticism for certain players, I'm guilty of it myself I'm sure and while plenty of criticism (and rightly so) was being aimed at Alberto Moreno, other players were conveniently missed out. I personally feel Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana need to hold their hands up and apologise for Wednesday night's performance. These players aren't just average performers, we've seen them step up in key moments, what they are is extremely inconsistent and they could not be relied upon when Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool needed it most. It may seem harsh but Coutinho, Firmino and Lallana were utterly absent last night and it's just not acceptable for me. I don't think it's wrong to expect more from your key players, Sturridge stepped up when required but where were they?
The final actually made me realise that there are genuinely very few players that I would actually want to keep in a Liverpool shirt for next season. That side is Brendan Rodgers' team, not Klopp's and quite frankly it's a miracle he managed to steer them to two finals in such a short perod of time. I honestly would not be arsed if 90% of our team disappeared over the summer and Klopp did a complete overhaul.
Credit to the lads, it's always difficult in a final with the weight of the entire Liverpool fan base on your shoulders but they themselves will know they should have given more in that second 45 minutes. Unfortunately, for whatever reason they just could not find that next level.
A massive thank you to all my readers this season, it's been a bit up and down here on The Liver Bird as I've struggled to juggle finishing University with blogging so thanks for bearing with me! I can report however that my hard work certainly paid off in one area as I found out late last night that I got a first for my dissertation!
Stay tuned to the blog over the next couple of weeks for a season round up, here's an example from last year and I'll also pop up with some posts over the summer. Enjoy the break folks, roll on next season!!! - Twitter: @LFCKirstyLFC