PARIS: Liverpool deserved more from their losing Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday after dominating the match but they will be back to challenge again for Europe’s elite club trophy, coach Juergen Klopp said.
Real claimed a record-extending 14th European Cup with their 1-0 win over Liverpool after Vinicius Junior scored just before the hour with the Spanish champions’ only attempt on target.
It was Real’s fourth Champions League title in seven years as they improved their impressive record in the competition with their eighth victory in as many finals.
“We had more shots on target but the most decisive stat is on Madrid’s side,“ Klopp told a news conference. “They scored a goal and we didn’t. That’s the easiest explanation in the world of football. Hard and harsh.
“When the goalkeeper (Thibaut Corutois) is man of the match then something has gone wrong for the other team.
“We could have played better football and they could have but they didn’t. The stats are 50-50 but, apart from the goal, they did not have a shot on target.”
Courtois made a string of superb saves that protected Real’s lead from the 59th minute, with Liverpool having 23 goal attempts to Real’s three.
“We saw we did a lot of good things but it was not enough,“ Klopp, who has guided Liverpool to three Champions League finals and one victory in 2019.
The Merseyside club, who a few weeks ago were aiming for a quadruple, end the season having won both domestic cups but missing out on the Premier League and Champions League.
“Madrid had one shot on target and it was a goal,“ said the German coach. “We played a good game but when you lose 1-0 it was not good enough. I told the boys in the changing room I feel the pride already.
“These boys played an outstanding season and the two competitions we couldn’t win we didn’t win for the smallest possible margin.”
Liverpool missed out on the Premier League after finishing a point behind champions Manchester City.
“The boys will realise how special it was what they did (this season),“ he added.
“It’s obviously a different kind of success, not the success you want to have, but I have the strong feeling we come again.
“The boys are really competitive, we have an outstanding group together, we will again have an outstanding group together and then we go again.
“Obviously we have to try a bit more often than others, but no problem. Where is it next year? Istanbul. Book the hotel!” — Reuters