Liverpool were on course to secure Champions League football – on offer to the winners of the competition this year – when Daniel Sturridge’s magnificent strike with the outside of his left foot gave them the interval lead.
But the Reds conceded three goals in the space of 24 second-half minutes – Kevin Gameiro netting 17 seconds after the interval, before Coke struck twice.
“There is no criticism and I have spoken to my players,” added Klopp.
“What I think about not being in the Champions League is that we have to use the time.
“It is not about the size of the squad, it is about using the time in training to get better.”
‘Experience was key’
Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson was frustrated by the Reds’ second-half collapse.
“Experience was key after conceding,” said the 1984 European Cup winner, who was part of BBC Radio 5 live’s team in Basel.
“Where was the central defender or captain saying ‘circle the wagons for 20 minutes – we do not concede and we get ourselves back into game’? That is something Liverpool just didn’t do.
“They had one stonewall penalty in the first half but when you go in 1-0 up at half-time in a cup final, what is the first thing anyone says in the dressing room?
“You make sure you don’t concede in the first 10 or 20 minutes. What did Liverpool do? They conceded in the first 17 seconds.”
‘I’ve lost count of Moreno’s mistakes’
Left-back Alberto Moreno was at fault for Sevilla’s first goal, and Lawrenson was also critical of the 23-year-old’s performance.
“Yet again Moreno, who used to play for Sevilla, has made a massive mistake,” he said.
“I’ve lost count of how many mistakes this guy has made.
“It’s all very good pouring forward but the clue is in the title – left-back. Try defending occasionally. Moreno has made mistakes all season – basic errors.
“Where was he for Villarreal’s goal the other week? He was trying to score a goal at the other end.”
Lawrenson said former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked in October, had to share the blame for not strengthening the left-back area during his tenure.
He added: “Liverpool didn’t have, by the end of August, another player who could play left-back unless they moved Nathaniel Clyne from the right.
“Jose Enrique was never going to play. I’m sorry, Brendan Rodgers gets the blame for me.”
‘Sturridge going nowhere – except on holiday’
Lawrenson expects a summer of change at Anfield, but expects Sturridge and Brazilian duo Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho to stay.
“I’d imagine Liverpool have spoken to agents and will have an indication of whether players are coming,” he said.
“If you are in a room with Klopp then I’d think it was hard to say no to him. This summer’s transfer window is going to be the biggest ever in the Premier League in terms of money spent.
“Firmino, Coutinho and Sturridge are not going anywhere this summer – other than on holiday.
“Klopp knew within two weeks of taking over he needed to bring in players.
“Why didn’t he address it in January? He probably did but could not get the right personnel in.”
A tribute to Jimmy Hill, who passed away in December 2015 having made a remarkable impact on football and football culture. His career was unique, taking in virtually every role in the sport, from the pitch to the dugout, the boardroom to the television studio.
After retiring from playing, Hill became manager of Coventry City where he pioneered new ways of developing the club’s image and its relationship with fans. He was similarly forward-thinking when he moved into influential roles in broadcasting and went on to become an iconic and long-running presenter of Match of the Day.
But perhaps Hill’s greatest legacy was his successful campaign to abolish the maximum wage, revolutionising the careers and prospects of footballers in the early 1960s and paving the way for the multimillionaire global stars of today.
The programme features contributions from former footballers, managers, broadcasters and Hill’s family.
This is a live BBC One stream starting at 22:45 BST.
Liverpool suffered a dramatic second-half collapse as Sevilla claimed the Europa League for the third season in succession with a superb comeback.
Jurgen Klopp’s side looked on course to secure the prize of Champions League football – on offer to the winners of the competition – when Daniel Sturridge’s magnificent strike with the outside of his left foot gave them the interval lead.
The good work was wrecked in the first 17 seconds of the second half when Kevin Gameiro turned in Mariano Ferreira’s cross to put Sevilla level.
Liverpool, who were denied a clear first-half penalty when Sevilla’s Daniel Carrico clearly handled as Roberto Firmino tried to weave past him, never recovered.
Coke’s fine 64th-minute finish confirmed Sevilla’s superiority and he added a contentious third from close range, which was initially disallowed but was then given as Liverpool slumped to their second final defeat this season after losing to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup.
Klopp has revived Liverpool for much of this season – indeed some of their fans were still hoping for the sort of comeback that saw them score three goals in the last 20 minutes to beat Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final – but this defeat is a major setback to his summer strategy.
Liverpool had so much riding on this game. The lure of Champions League football, set alongside the chance to play for Klopp and at Anfield, would have completed an attractive package to set before any potential signings.
Now they cannot offer any sort of European football as they ended well beaten here in another night of disappointment for Klopp, who has now lost five successive finals with Dortmund and Liverpool.
Liverpool will still attract players of high class, but a crucial plank in their transfer strategy has been removed by this defeat.
Liverpool’s weakness exposed
Klopp’s spirit of renewal papered over some of the cracks in the Liverpool squad he inherited but they were brutally exposed by Sevilla’s second half masterclass.
Liverpool were fragile mentally after the equaliser and it was quite simply too easy to get behind their defensive unit, with Alberto Moreno’s shocking performance demonstrating once again he is a weakness that must be addressed.
Klopp’s problems were compounded by the failure of his creative players to put their stamp on the game. Philippe Coutinho barely had the ball while Firmino was subdued and substituted.
Sturridge shows his class
In one moment on 35 minutes, Sturridge showed the class that demonstrates how much he means to Liverpool and he may yet mean to England at Euro 2016.
Taking the ball on the angle of the penalty area, he produced a moment of instinctive genius, curling a left-foot finish past Sevilla keeper David Soria into the corner.
Sturridge is arguably England’s most gifted striker but has been overtaken by Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy while he has suffered injuries.
If he stays fit, England manager Roy Hodgson will have a serious dilemma at Euro 2016. Will Sturridge yet put captain Wayne Rooney under pressure for his place in France?
Liverpool’s rough luck
The better side won this Europa League final. Once they got on terms, Sevilla were simply in a different class, but how different it might have been had that penalty been given when Carrico handled under pressure from Firmino, along with one or two other acceptable claims.
Liverpool could point to those but ultimately they ended a beaten and bedraggled side, a Europa League that promised so much ended in anti-climax and disappointment.
The stats you need to know
Sevilla have won five of the past 11 Uefa Cup/Europa League campaigns.
Daniel Sturridge has scored six times in his past nine starts for Liverpool in all competitions.
Kevin Gameiro has scored seven goals in his past six Europa League games.
Coke scored his first two Europa League goals after 24 games without one.
English teams have lost three of their past four Uefa Cup/Europa League finals (Middlesbrough in 2006, Fulham in 2010 and Liverpool in 2016. Chelsea won in 2013).
Daniel Carrico and Vitolo have been in the starting line-up in each of Sevilla’s past three Europa League finals (2014, 2015 and 2016).
What they said
Liverpool captain James Milner: “We never started in the second half and it is devastating. We didn’t show anywhere near our ability and that is the biggest disappointment.
“We were ready, we made sure we said the right things at half-time. We gave a sloppy goal away and never got back into the game.
“The lineman’s flag went up for the third goal but the referee gave it the other way. It is nothing to do with the referee, it is about us. We didn’t do it on the night that mattered.
“We didn’t think about the Champions League, it was about winning this trophy. We didn’t manage to get over the line. It is a double blow not to be in Europe next season. We got into two finals and lost both, next time we need to finish the job.“
Sevilla defender Daniel Carrico: “It is three seasons in a row now and it is our competition. We have won and our star Antonio Puerta is up there, he is helping us.
“Liverpool played a good first half but the manager told us we need to change the game, we needed to believe and we did what he said. Scoring easily in the second half helped us and Liverpool did not have any chances.
“Next season we will be in the Champions League and it is another challenge for us. We will see what happens next season but it is now time to celebrate.”
Match ends, Liverpool 1, Sevilla 3.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, Sevilla 3.
Attempt blocked. Vicente Iborra (Sevilla) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Escudero.
Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).
Vitolo (Sevilla) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Tweeting explosions, biting memes and vines looping the exquisite farce of the Premier League soap opera – the twists, turns, highs and lows of the 2015-16 season were captured brilliantly on social media.
By bringing together some of the best content we remember the moments that made us ‘ROFL’ or ‘SMH’ or both.
(That’s ‘roll on the floor laughing’ or ‘shake my head’ for anyone over 30).
So enjoy, relive and share.
It would be a folly to start anywhere else but Leicester City.
The naysayers declared there was more chance of finding Elvis alive than the Foxes winning the title. In fact the odds for both occurrences were the same – a generous 5,000-1.
The bookies forked out an estimated £20m on Leicester’s achievement, now if “The King” reappears that would definitely have them all shook up.
One Leicester fan who should keep his hip swinging to a minimum at the start of next season is Gary Lineker.
This is what the Match of the Day presenter tweeted in December:
And this is a mock up of what it could look like (a bit generous perhaps):
Week after week Leicester and their players were among the top trending topics, culminating in the explosion that occurred on 2 May moments after Tottenham’s dreams were obliterated.
By this point the ‘Vardy Party’, which will undoubtedly become a club night in the city, was well and truly under way at the striker’s home.
England player Jamie Vardy, or was it his lookalike, partied like it was 1999 (RIP Prince) with as many of the squad he could cram into his… eight-bedroom £1m mansion.
It was perhaps fitting that captain and tattoo parlour aficionado Wes Morgan, having performed heroics throughout the campaign, provided one of the moments of the social season when he was dragged along the kitchen-come-dancefloor.
There weren’t too many other clubs who deserve a slap on the back, but a special mention should go West Ham, Bournemouth and Watford.
The Hammers’ beanie-wearing manager Slaven Bilic inspired his side to some memorable wins – coming back from 2-0 down to beat Everton, the FA Cup extra-time victory over Liverpool, to name two. A top seven finish is a great way to say #FarewellBoleyn.
His chief playmaker in the success was Dimitri Payet – a summer signing that turned free-kicks into an art form, literally.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe, who we discovered has a penchant for breakfast time news conferences, and Hornets counterpart Quique Sanchez Flores, fresh from apparently filming The Night Manager, ruined many a pre-season Premier League prediction. Including this one:
Where do we start?
Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and, of course, Everton all underwhelmed.
Chelsea’s implosion was perhaps the most spectacular. They were a strong tip to retain their title, but by the end of December they were 16th and an outside bet to go down.
The ultimate ignominy was having to again sack the club’s Special One, Jose Mourinho, resulting from several contributing factors. Or perhaps the ultimate jibe was West Ham’s co-owner’s tweet after his side defeated the beleaguered Blues back in October.
The red half of Manchester spent an astonishing £36m (rising up to an even more astonishing £58m) for a teenage forward many of us only became familiar with on the day he signed.
Louis van Gaal’s side were beset by injuries during a curious campaign which finished with the side missing out on a Champions League spot but with a place in the FA Cup final. Van Gaal out? Read below.
As for Arsenal, move aside ‘Brexit’ the big ‘in or out’ debate trotted out was whether Arsene Wenger should remain manager of the Gunners or not.
Aside from the fact the Frenchman led the side to second place and a 20th (TWENTIETH) successive Champions League qualification, he continues to be pilloried more by his own supporters than those who don’t follow the club.
The committed leader of “Wengxit” was in full campaign mode when in April the Gunners boss suggested that his side played in a “difficult climate” at home.
And Everton? All those very good international players and a manager who endeared himself to many with his football philosophy and dancing to Jason Derulo – where did it all go wrong?
Will they? Won’t they? How dare they!
There is a lot to be said for managing a so-called lesser club whose seasonal expectations do not amount to more than mid-table safety.
The pressure gauge was ticking low for the likes of Eddie Howe, Mark Hughes and, to a lesser extent, Alan Pardew, but for others speculation of their futures was rife.
City’s Pellegrini seemed to be the last person to know he was going to be replaced by Pep Guardiola, although he does have a great poker face.
And as touched on above, Van Gaal’s future has been questioned – often directly at the man himself – ever since it was reported that United chiefs had spoken to Mourinho about taking over next season. The Dutchman is contracted at Old Trafford until the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
Fans have had a love-hate relationship with him.
They’ve been baffled:
Whether the Premier League is treated to another season of the Dutchman’s idiosyncrasies remains to be seen.
There were 10 ‘partings of company’ this season – up five from the previous season, but down two from the 2013-14 campaign.
The first of those took place one Super Sunday at the beginning of October when both Sunderland’s Dick Advocaat and Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers were booted from the boot rooms.
The live announcement of Rodgers’ sacking on Sky Sports prompted the normally unruffled Thierry Henry to ruffle the trousers of fellow pundit Jamie Carragher, which in turn became one of the most shared football clips of the season.
Tim Sherwood was next to depart later that month after leading Aston Villa to rock bottom, where they remained. Remi Garde, another young gaffer but minus the rogueish Home Counties charm, also went the same way in March.
In what was a disappointing season for gilet-wearing managers, Garry Monk cleared his desk in December after leading Swansea to only one win in 11 league games.
The chairman Huw Jenkins said: “The decision has been made very reluctantly and with a heavy heart.” So perhaps you should have kept him?
The big one came a week before Christmas when Mourinho, who had been on the brink for a while, was sacked by Chelsea for a second time.
His side had almost done an ‘anti-Leicester’ by winning the title then performing dismally the following season. It seems to be either Manchester United or… Indonesia (?!) for the Portuguese boss.
Next on our list is Steve McClaren who held his brolly firmly to protect himself against the hail of criticism during his nine months at Newcastle. He spent north of £80m on transfers and departed with the club in 19th – best to leave that off the CV.
Both City’s Pellegrini and Sanchez Flores said their goodbyes on the final day.
The fate of the Spaniard who led the Hornets to the FA Cup semi-final and 13th place in the Premier League – was decided last week after both parties failed to agree whether the season was a success or not. The league will be a poorer place without his rustic appearance.
Not since X Factor series 1 has there been this much excitement about up and coming British talent.
Dele Alli took to the Premier League like a bottle to a Manchester United coach, with 10 goals in his debut top-flight season including that incredible strike against Crystal Palace in January.
The 20-year-old was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year, and was shortlisted alongside team-mate Harry Kane, 22, who had another stellar campaign – that’s now 59 goals in two seasons.
Kane ditched his vanilla demeanour to post a photo of hunting lions in April to suggest that Tottenham were closing the gap on leaders Leicester.
Foxes counterpart and England colleague Vardy responded during some respite from the ‘Vardy Party’:
At Manchester United, even the hardcore fans were asking “Who?” when first defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and then more notably striker Marcus Rashford were introduced to the fold.
Rashford was a last minute addition to the starting line-up for their crucial second-leg match against Midtjylland in the Europa League. He scored twice to help United to a 5-1 victory and then grabbed two more against Arsenal on his Premier League debut, on his way to seven goals in 16 appearances.
With the addition of an England call-up, how is he supposed to concentrate on his A-levels?
France forward Martial, 20, who in September cost £58m more than Rashford, began his Old Trafford career in spectacular fashion with four goals in five games during what has been an impressive debut campaign. He was rewarded for his exploits with the Facebook Football young player of the year award. Like.
Perhaps Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho might feel slightly hard done by the fact he was not in the running for any major awards having netted 13 times this season, often after coming on as a substitute.
Honourable mentions to Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier, Stoke keeper Jack Butland, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and forwards Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
The battle for survival
With the exception of Aston Villa, who appeared hell bent on finishing bottom, all the relegation issues were not decided until the final week of the season.
The fight for the remaining two places – aka the Race for the Championship – was settled last Wednesday when Sunderland secured their Premier League status with a 3-0 win over Everton and in turn sent both Norwich and Newcastle to the gallows.
The Magpies replaced McClaren with Rafael Benitez, but to no avail. Former midfielder Joey Barton targeted owner Mike Ashley, who in his nine years at the helm has overseen two relegations. Do you get a Blue Peter badge for that?
The Canaries’ recent league status record reads like this: Championship, Premier League, Premier League, Premier League, Championship, Premier League and now Championship.
The satirical Suffolk Gazette could not resist having a pop at Norfolk’s beloved TV cook and Norwich’s majority shareholder:
The final word belongs to Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce, who was brought to the club in October with the Black Cats 19th and winless in their opening eight games.
A few months later and he has managed to maintain his record of never taking a club down.
With all the major issues decided, it seemed like the Premier League season would ease into a Yaya Toure jog on the final day.
How wrong we were.
By this stage, large sections of Old Trafford had already been evacuated. Speculation followed as to what the suspect package was and who could have been the perpetrator(s).
The Greater Manchester Police stated it was an “incredibly lifelike” device, before it was later revealed to be a dummy device accidentally left behind after a security exercise. As you do.
Away from those explosive events, we witnessed one of the most remarkable results of the season at St James’ Park where relegated Newcastle defeated Tottenham 5-1.
Manager Rafael Benitez, still pondering whether a wet Tuesday night in Rotherham is enough for him to commit to the Magpies, roused both the fans and players as Spurs capitulated.
What was more galling for Spurs was that by caving in they also lost second spot to north London rivals Arsenal. Gunners fans celebrated ‘St Totteringham Day’ on social media – the point in the season where Spurs can no longer finish above Arsenal.
The league campaign eventually came to a conclusion on Tuesday, 18 May when Manchester United played their delayed game against Bournemouth.