Klopp’s six straight final defeats and how he reacted…

Date published: Sunday 27th May 2018 10:33

Jurgen Klopp was looking to end his run of five straight defeats in finals when Liverpool took on Real Madrid in Kiev. But like the previous five, it didn’t go well


2013 Champions League final: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Bayern Munich

Starting fast and conceding late is not just a recent theme with Klopp’s teams. For the first half hour, Dortmund dominated Bayern, who had smashed Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals to set up this German invasion of Wembley.

But Manuel Neuer helped Bayern ride the Dortmund storm and the Bundesliga champions eventually found their groove. Arjen Robben, a Champions League final loser twice in the previous three seasons, set up Mario Mandzukic for the opener but Ilkay Gundogan equalised from the spot.

A pulsating final looked set for extra-time until Robben took Franck Ribery’s flick in his stride before rolling in the winning goal. It sealed Bayern’s Treble before Jupp Heynckes handed over the reins to Pep Guardiola.

What Klopp said:

“It was great, the weather was good, everything is okay. Only the result is so sh*t”


2014 DFB Pokal final: Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Bayern Munich (aet)

Guardiola failed to match Heynckes’ Treble but the Bayern boss at least finished his first season with the domestic Double at Klopp and Dortmund’s expense.

This time, in Berlin, Dortmund made it to extra-time, though Robben again made the telling contribution by breaking the deadlock after 107 minutes. With Dortmund pouring forward looking for a leveller, Thomas Muller picked them off in the final minute.

Another season, another cup final defeat to Bayern and, after Mario Gotze the year before, another key player deserted Klopp for Bavaria. Robert Lewandowski’s last game for Dortmund came against his new club.

What Klopp said:

“It’s a painful defeat because it’s a big competition. Both teams pushed each other to the limit. We had a good goal disallowed and that was a shame. We were going well at that stage. But it’s been an exceptional season for us.”


2015 DFB Pokal final: Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Wolfsburg

Dortmund got the better of Bayern in the following season’s semi-final to ensure that Klopp’s final game in charge of the club would be “a super-cool match” – one that would give him the opportunity to end his reign, and a weirdly disappointing season, with silverware.

It was not to be. Despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener, Wolfsburg blew Dortmund away with three goals in 16 minutes before half-time, with man of the match Kevin De Bruyne grabbing their second to help the Wolves to their first ever DFB Pokal triumph.

What Klopp said:

“We did a lot right, but we had no luck at all with our moves. Wolfsburg deserved to win, but it was an unnecessary defeat for us. I’m going to need time to get over this loss. And I’m not going to do it in front of the cameras.”


2016 Capital One Cup final: Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City (City won on penalties)

Klopp’s first chance to win silverware for Liverpool came just four and a half months into his Anfield reign when the Reds faced Manuel Pellegrini’s City at Wembley.

Simon Mignolet let Fernandinho’s shot squirm under him early in the second half before Philippe Coutinho punished City’s Raheem Sterling for missing two sitters by dragging Klopp’s men level with seven minutes remaining. Extra-time came and went and, in the penalty shoot-out, so too did Liverpool’s hopes of a ninth League Cup.

Lucas Leiva, Coutinho and Adam Lallana all saw their spot-kicks saved by Willy Caballero to give Pellegrini a trophy before he handed over to Guardiola.

What Klopp said: 

“We feel down but now we have to stand up. Only silly idiots stay on the floor and wait for the next defeat. We will strike back. We have felt how it is to lose. It is not the best moment but on Monday morning maybe we can change everything. We will go on and we will get better. We have to work really hard, carry on and there is light at the end of the tunnel. This important.”


2016 Europa League final: Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla

Klopp didn’t have to wait long for the next final defeat. It came three months later in Basel where a second-half capitulation allowed Sevilla to take the trophy for a third season in succession.

It was all going swimmingly for Klopp after a first half which saw the Reds lead through Daniel Sturridge’s exquisite finish. But Kevin Gameiro equalised within 17 seconds of the restart before Coke scored twice in six minutes around the mid point of a second period that Sevilla dominated.

It meant that not only did Liverpool miss out on a place in the Champions League, the Reds would sit out European football altogether after finishing eighth in the Premier League.

What Klopp said:

“It was 50-60% of our usual quality and we have to accept that. I am responsible for this performance. I promise everybody we will use it and come back stronger. There is no criticism and I have spoken to my players. What I think about not being in the Champions League is that we have to use the time. It is not about the size of the squad, it is about using the time in training to get better.”


2018 Champions League final: Liverpool 1-3 Real Madrid

Liverpool thrilled on their way to Kiev, but when they got there, what could have gone wrong, did go wrong.

They lost their talisman Mo Salah to a shoulder injury during the first half and Klopp admitted his side never recovered the momentum they had built up prior to Sergio Ramos’ “harsh challenge”.

That blow was heavy enough, but the biggest were self-inflicted. Sandwiching Gareth Bale’s stunning bicycle kick, Loris Karius, the keeper Klopp has invested so much faith in despite him failing to justify it, committed two errors that would embarrass schoolboy stoppers.

What Klopp said:

“Loris Karius knows it, everybody knows it. That is a shame in a game like this, in a season like this. I feel for him, he is a fantastic boy. The second mistake is because of the first one. The bad parts are difficult to get rid of in a game like this. Gareth Bale’s bicycle kick was unbelievable. We did what we could and the boys tried everything but it was not the best script for us.

“Everything was great until tonight. You go to the final to win it, it was proper chance for us and we did not take it.”

Ian Watson


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