Klopp maintains that the Europa League is ‘absolutely fine’ as Liverpool lose points to Aston Villa

The final home game of the season ended in a 1-1 draw for Liverpool, effectively ending their chances of finishing in the top four.

Ollie Watkins’ opportunity to give Aston Villa the lead in the first 20 minutes was lost when he was brought down by Ibrahima Kounate after slipping past the Liverpool defense. Watkins stepped up to take the ensuing penalty, but the in-form forward blundered and missed the target.

However, the Villains did take the lead just before the half-hour mark thanks to fantastic deliveries from Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey, who finished well from a tight angle.

Nine minutes into the second half, Liverpool thought they had pulled themselves even, but Cody Gakpo’s close-range shot was ruled offside in the buildup, giving the opposition a lead they had been unable to recover from in the first half.

The visitors were organized at the back as they attempted to hold onto their lead, but the Reds were better in the second half and at least put Unai Emery’s team to the test.

Klopp maintains that the Europa League is 'absolutely fine' as Liverpool lose points to Aston Villa

Roberto Firmino, who was playing in his final game at Anfield, pushed Mohamed Salah’s outside-of-the-boot cross into the net to give Liverpool an equalizer in the 90th minute, keeping their slim Champions League hopes alive.

110 goals have now been scored by Roberto Firmino for Liverpool. The only active player with more is Mohamed Salah (186).

After the game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who was compelled to watch from the stands, expressed satisfaction with his team’s character but acknowledged that no one performed particularly well.
There were ten minutes of added time, but the Reds were unable to find a winner.

“No matter where you sit, it’s frustrating. In general, we chased the Champions League and gave it a real fight. They accrued more points. We wished we could have kept it interesting for another week, but we were unable to,” he told BBC Sport.

“It was difficult to identify one player among the boys when I asked who was really, really good today after the game. The character, however, was admirable. In the second half, Aston Villa was in trouble and had no idea how to handle it.”

When asked about his thoughts regarding his team’s goal that was disallowed, he responded, “I spoke with the referee, and he said it is a subjective decision. He claimed that it wasn’t intentional, but I disagreed.”

The German refused to point the finger at Aston Villa’s time-wasting as the cause of the outcome, but he did say it was becoming a bigger problem overall.

Wow, he remarked, “The time wasting was.” “We noticed that the ball boys for Roma’s match against Leverkusen had left the country while those for Sevilla had remained.

“Ten minutes [of additional time] was fine, but there should have been five more within the 10. Everyone is using it. We’ve observed in far too many games this season that it has nothing to do with the current outcome and is just a general football topic.”

James Milner and Roberto Firmino played their final games at Anfield for the club, and Klopp said the two will be missed: “Both contributions of Milly and Bobby was crazy. We observed what we will miss. It is like that. It is a story that we both wrote, and now both we and they must write a new story.

“Without Milly, we must exercise more leadership.
Robert is Robert. I’ll miss them all dearly. We should all feel much worse that they are leaving than happy, in our opinion.”

Even though Klopp said he is “absolutely fine” with playing in the Europa League next season, Manchester United and Newcastle only need one point from their final two games to lock up their spots in the Champions League.

“The Europa League will be our competition, we promise. I’m not that spoiled,” he said.

“That we are already qualified for the Europa League is incredible with all these teams around us. That’s really difficult and we did it, that is good. For so long we couldn’t even hear the sound of the Champions League, that’s how far away we were. The Europe League is absolutely fine. Let’s see what we can do.”


Igbo Kennedy

Igbo Kennedy

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