Klopp hails Reds after ‘crazy’ semi-final win

Jurgen Klopp hailed his Liverpool side after they survived a semi-final roller coaster against Roma to seal a Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Klopp’s side edged the Italians 7-6 on aggregate after a 4-2 win in Rome in the highest-scoring Champions League semi-final in history on Wednesday.

Leading 5-2 from the first leg, Liverpool assumed control in the first half thanks to goals from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, but three Roma goals after the break, including two from Radja Nainggolan saw the Reds endure a nervy last few minutes.

Although ecstatic with the win, Klopp admitted that there was perhaps just a little bit too much drama.

“It was just crazy. I forgot the score! It was 7-6 right? Unbelievable!” Klopp said afterwards.

“The game was wild. They took all the risks and we punished it with the counter-attack but then we gave away a goal.

“We were a little too patient. We are usually much better, you know this.

“It was the first semi-final for most of the boys, so it’s normal to have to keep nerves in.

“It was a little bit exciting, more exciting than I actually wanted.”

Still, Klopp insisted Liverpool were worthy of their place in the final.

“We are deserved finalists 100 percent. You don’t come without luck. We needed it only one time tonight. Real Madrid needed luck yesterday too. That’s how it is,” he said.

“The boys deserve it, the character they showed, the football they showed.”

Asked about his managerial record in finals, Klopp, who has lost five finals out of six including two with Liverpool, said that although it would be tough his players would be ready.

including a 2013 Champions League loss against Bayern Munich when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund.

After moving to Liverpool, he was beaten in the 2016 Europa League final by Sevilla, just weeks after losing the League Cup final to Manchester City.

His only cup final success as a manager was in the 2012 German Cup with Dortmund.

But the 50-year-old said beating holders Real in Kiev would be the perfect way to end his personal drought.

“We should start winning but I know that. Everyone will remind me now from now on that I have lost the last five finals, but we will try and go there again,” he added.

“We were in the League Cup final (against Manchester City in 2016) and we didn’t win it. People don’t tell me in the street since then ‘thank you for bringing us to the final’.”

“We were in the Europa League final (Sevilla, 2016). I didn’t see any trophies after these games.

“They don’t hang silver medals at Melwood. That’s the pity, that’s the game.

“So there’s still a job to do but that’s how it is. Going to a final is really nice – I did it a few times – but winning it is even nicer. We will be ready.”

Comments