Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reflected on a troubled campaign after his side were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Aston Villa in their final game at Anfield this season.
Roberto Firmino came off the bench and scored an emotional 89th-minute equaliser following Jacob Ramsey’s opener for the visitors after Ollie Watkins missed a penalty during the first half.
Firmino gave an emotional farewell after the game alongside Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the quartet set to leave the club at the end of the season.
“Definitely [feeling emotional],” said Klopp in his post-match press conference (via the club’s official website).
“This day was not an easy day for us – no excuse for anything. It just was not easy because we all love these four boys [Firmino, Keita, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain].
“It was clear somehow we have to prepare a little bit, but first there’s a super-important game, and the first half, not great I would say.
“We played in their cards, they had moments in the game, and they are a good football team. They get a penalty and score their goal.
“We scored a goal which was disallowed and scored a goal that was allowed, and so it’s a draw, and that’s okay.”
Liverpool’s draw against Villa means they risk missing out on Champions League qualification, with the Reds three points adrift of Manchester United and Newcastle United, having played one more game.
Klopp’s side have been widely expected to finish in the Europa League places, but their recent resurgence sparked hopes they could rally to a top-four spot.
“I think the whole season is rather a season where we qualify for Europa League than for Champions League,” Klopp added. “We were for too long not good enough or ourselves.
“I think our people enjoyed it as well – you could see today they are not angry with us, they are looking forward to a new Premier League season and Europa League season. So do I.”
Liverpool travel to St Mary’s next weekend to take on the relegated Southampton in their final Premier League fixture of the season.
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