Jürgen Klopp: It was so close - now we have to keep going
Jürgen Klopp declared pride in his Liverpool team and insisted they will go again after narrowly missing out on the Premier League title on Sunday.
The Reds battled from a goal behind to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at Anfield on the final day, but ended the season a point shy of Manchester City, who took the title with a 3-2 turnaround against Aston Villa.
Klopp congratulated City for their success post-match while explaining it is ‘about us to keep going’ and insisting the disappointment will sharpen his players’ desire to lift the Champions League in Paris next weekend.
Read a summary of the manager’s post-match press conference below…
On being proud of his team’s efforts…
Yeah, I am, of course I am. The boys played an incredible season, the whole journey of 2021-22 so far is absolutely exceptional. I think the game today showed again so much about these boys. We concede an early goal, which gave us a knock, I have to say. Didn’t play football really, not like we usually play. Have to take off Thiago early, which is not helpful. Then you still find a way – it’s absolutely outstanding. 92 points obviously is crazy with all the games we played.
So, yes, I am proud but I’m disappointed of course as well. There are maybe worse scenarios; if you would have been a point up and don’t make it, that might feel even worse. But apart from that, it’s not cool. But it’s not completely unexpected obviously, it was clear before the game that a lot of things had to happen. I don’t want to forget it, I said it in all interviews and will say it here as well of course: congratulations to Man City, Pep Guardiola, all staff, all players, whole club, for being champions. We were close but in the end not close enough. That’s how it is.
On the changing emotions of the day, with Villa taking a 2-0 lead at City at one point…
I can imagine it was much worse for the people who were at home and [watching on] the telly, wherever over the world, all the Liverpool fans when Aston Villa are 2-0 up and you think, ‘OK, wow, that could really be.’ I was not really aware of it, in my mind it was 1-0 and even they could have scored an equaliser, I didn’t know that. I heard now all the story only after the game.
There was one moment when it was first 3-2, I heard 3-2 and then it was for a second, I don’t know who started it, I thought they equalised again. It was a good moment but it was only a second and then everybody went, ‘No, nothing happened.’ With all the things I would have preferred actually they [City] were 5-0 up after 10 minutes and then you play the game and it’s fine. It makes it of course more difficult.
The season was so close, so tight, moments, decisions, these kinds of things, when you are one point only apart. What I learned about life is if you stay on track, if you keep going, you get the reward. Not today, the maximum reward. But we will get it. It’s about us to keep going and that’s what we will do.
On having previous experience of having to rally his team for the Champions League final…
Yeah, these competitions have nothing to do with each other. This season is absolutely incredible and will not end today, it ends next week obviously. And there we will try absolutely everything. This season is incredible, absolutely incredible. You saw it today and the early goal didn’t help. In the end, who cares? When you score the goal and you win the game, that’s it. We have now five days to prepare the final, that’s what we will do. We face an incredibly experienced team but that’s OK, that’s really OK. And of course, losing the league today increased the desire to put it right next week, it increased the desire.