Klopp lost for words after Europa win

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he was lost for words after his side’s performance against Villarreal saw them reach their first European final for nine years.

After losing the first leg of their Europa League semi-final 1-0, the Reds produced a dominant display at Anfield to win 3-1 on aggregate.

“I do not have the right words for this performance,” said the German.

“We were very emotional, very smart – and scored some wonderful goals.”

An early Bruno Soriano own goal set Liverpool on their way, before second-half strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana completed victory over their Spanish opponents, who finished the match with 10 men after Victor Ruiz was sent off.

They will play holders Sevilla at St Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland on 18 May.

Victory in the final will secure a first trophy at the club for Klopp, who was appointed in October, as well as a place in the group stage of next season’s Champions League.

‘100,000 Liverpool fans for the final’


Fans gathered outside the ground to cheer the team’s arrival

Liverpool, Champions League winners in 2005, were backed by impressive support from the moment the team bus arrived at the stadium.

Hundreds of fans had packed Anfield Road to welcome their players and continued their vociferous support throughout the game.

Klopp now wants “100,000 fans” to make the trip to Switzerland for the final, even though FC Basel’s stadium can only hold 38,000.

“We’ll take 50,000, maybe 100,000, but not in the stadium. It’s a nice city,” the 48-year-old told BT Sport.

Klopp hails ‘unbelievable’ Sturridge

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Daniel Sturridge scored one goal and was involved in the others

Klopp had not named a recognised striker in his starting line-up for the first leg, with Daniel Sturridge left on the bench.

However, he restored the England international to the first XI and was rewarded with an impressive performance.

Sturridge got Liverpool’s second after being the closest Reds player to Soriano when he put through his own net – and he was also involved in Lallana’s goal.

Klopp said the 26-year-old had a “great game”, adding: “When Daniel Sturridge is fit he is an unbelievable striker, but even he needs players to play with and I know about his quality, I knew before I came here. Great player.”

Special times ahead for Liverpool?


Liverpool famously beat AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final after they were losing 3-0 at half-time in Istanbul

For Liverpool fans, it was another memorable European performance at Anfield after their side had come back from 3-1 down to knock Borussia Dortmund out in the previous round.

It also means Klopp is into his second final with the club since taking charge just seven months ago. They lost on penalties to Manchester City in the League Cup final in February.

“Over the last few months we’ve really seen something special,” said former Liverpool striker Michael Owen on BT Sport.

“There’s such high energy levels, the pressing we all knew Jurgen Klopp was going to bring over. But he’s just improving players – the likes of Adam Lallana, (Simon) Mignolet and (Dejan) Lovren as well.

“There’s special times ahead. It’s almost like they are unbeatable here (Anfield). It’s becoming a fortress.”

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