Finishing second a familiar story, laments Liverpool’s Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp congratulated Premier League champions Manchester City on its triumph on Sunday, after his side missed out on the title by one point for the second time in four seasons, but said his team would improve next year.
Liverpool came from behind to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday, while City fell behind — 2-0 to Aston Villa at home — but scored three times in five minutes to clinch back-to-back titles.
Klopp has his own history of finishing second in domestic campaigns, having done so twice with Borussia Dortmund in Germany after winning two Bundesliga titles.
He also led Liverpool to its first Premier League title in 2020, a year after it finished runners-up to City by one point, but said on Sunday that he was proud of his players despite the agonising finish.
“(Finishing second) is the story of my life… You need to get more points than any other teams, but we didn’t do that,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“You can’t do more than give your absolute best and that’s what the boys did again. We chased the best team in the world to the wire, that’s absolutely special. We’ll build a team again and go again.”
Liverpool end the season with the third highest points total in the club’s history, the fourth when adjusting the 42-game 1978-79 season to three points for a win.
It found itself second to City again, although it did have a glut of silverware already from this season, having captured the League Cup and FA Cup.
They could add a seventh European Cup to its collection in the Champions League final against Real Madrid next Saturday.
“I’ve already told them 500 million times. This is the best group I’ve ever had. It’s a joy to come into work every morning. We need a solid basis to react to defeats. We know why we didn’t make it – we needed a bit more consistency in the first half of the season,” the German added.
“There’s space for improvement and we’ll work on that. It’s really cool when you don’t need 10 changes, you just build on what you have. That’s what we’ll do.
“If people on the outside don’t understand how special this club is, I can’t help them. Hopefully now, we’ll get our third trophy of the season.”
Thiago doubtful for Champions League final, says Klopp
Liverpool will probably be without influential midfielder Thiago Alcantara for its Champions League final against Real Madrid after he was injured on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday, manager Jurgen Klopp said.
The Spanish playmaker set up Sadio Mane with a cute backheel in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield. However, he limped off shortly before halftime after appearing to pull a muscle while kicking the ball.
“I think he’ll be out of the final but I don’t know. He’s limping, so it’s maybe not the best sign,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
Liverpool already has doubts over the fitness of defensive midfielder Fabinho, who suffered a muscle problem against Aston Villa on May 10 and missed the club’s FA Cup triumph on penalties over Chelsea the following week.
The Champions League final in Paris on May 28 is a rematch of the 2018 showpiece in Kiev which Real Madrid won 3-1 after Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was injured early on.
At least the Egyptian looked to have shaken off a knock in the win over Wolves by coming on and scoring its second goal to finish as joint-top Premier League scorer this season.