It’s been almost two months but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp still things about that May night in Basel where Liverpool’s second half collapse costs the Reds the chance of European silverware and a place in this years Champions League competition.
Daniel Sturridge’s first half goal looked to have put Liverpool in firm command but the feeble way in which they allowed their hard work to unravel left Klopp mystified and forced him to spend some time soul-searching.
‘I’ve had a lot of thoughts about this,’ said Klopp, who takes his side to Huddersfield on Wednesday for their final pre-season friendly before embarking on a tour of the United States. ‘It was long ago but it still feels bad.
‘After the game I was not in the mood to think too much about the first half but later I did and it was obvious that we’d played a good game in the first half and we could have been in a more clear lead.
‘We could have had a penalty for handball, all this stuff that you see afterwards, it’s not interesting because it’s over but as a human being it’s quite difficult to accept all this stuff.
‘Of course you have the moments when you still suffer a little bit. The second half, 18 seconds in was too soon. I’ve thought a lot about half-time but there wasn’t too special that I could highlight, that we were not too sure about the game or something like this.’
Klopp, who expects to complete the signing of Ragnar Klavan by Thursday, added:
‘We knew it was only half-time and there was still a lot of work to be done but then what happened happened.
‘When you watch it again you see that something broke at that moment. Different players had no weapons any more; they had no power and no confidence. You saw that.
‘We went too deep in a lot of positions and we were not close enough to the challenges. All of it was not too good but it was, of course, about the intensity that we had had on the way to the final, we’d had to over-perform one or two times, we had to play very special games and we’d had a lot of games.
‘We’d tried everything to have fresh legs for the final, but none of this is an excuse because this was not a final that we should have lost but we lost and that’s the truth.
‘It was a hard night and a hard few days afterwards but it is in the past and like all games in the past if you can use them you should do.’
Klopp struggled to get his tactics and philosophy implemented that season as Liverpool seemed to be playing three games a week for months. But now with a full preseason and no European football, it will be interesting to watch how far Klopp can take this Liverpool side.