Liverpool fizzle out after Coke leads second-half blitz

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© Dan Ford
Liverpool fans in Basel celebrate their opening goal, but their joy was to be short-lived.

SEVILLA won the Europa League for the third year running on Wednesday May 18, following what turned out to be a comprehensive defeat of Jurgen Klopp’s young Liverpool side.

The Reds’ boss has now lost five consecutive cup finals, with this latest disappointment coming after the Reds suffered a dramatic second-half collapse following Daniel Sturridge’s brilliant opener had given them a deserved lead in Basel.

The Liverpool striker hit a magnificent effort with the outside of his left boot to give his team a half-time lead, and the Scousers were also denied a clear penalty when Sevilla’s Daniel Carrico clearly handled the ball as the otherwise anonymous Roberto Firmino flicked it past him.

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All of Liverpool’s good work was undone within 17 seconds of the restart, however, with Frenchman Kevin Gameiro drawing Los Rojiblancos level after he latched onto Mariano Ferreira’s cross following some shambolic defending from left back Alberto Moreno, who endured a horrific evening.

The increasingly nervous Reds never recovered and were blown away by two goals from Sevilla captain Coke, with his second correctly allowed to stand despite him standing in an offside position, as it deflected off two Liverpool players before landing at his feet.

For their part, the Andalucian outfit were ruthless and decisive as they showed why manager Unai Emery has never lost a tie in this competition, and they become the first side to win three consecutive European trophies since Bayern Munich in the 1970s.

Liverpool will not feature in European competition next season as a result of this defeat to a team who have not won an away match in La Liga all season.

“I know there are bigger problems in life,” said Klopp. “But right now, it doesn’t feel like it.”

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