On this day 2016 – Liverpool lose to Sevilla in Europa League final

By Sports Desk May 18, 2023

Liverpool lost to Sevilla in the Europa League final on this day in 2016 as Jurgen Klopp’s hopes of a first trophy on Merseyside were ended.

Daniel Sturridge fired Liverpool ahead on 35 minutes in Basle but the Spanish outfit rallied after the break to win 3-1 and secure a third successive triumph in the competition.

Kevin Gameiro began the fightback just 17 seconds into the second half before a double from Coke completed the turnaround for Unai Emery’s team.

Liverpool had strong claims for a penalty turned down in the first period after Daniel Carrico appeared to handle as Roberto Firmino attempted to take the ball past him.

They went in front when Sturridge flicked a fine shot beyond David Soria with the outside of his left boot.

Sevilla found a way back into the game from the restart after a ball into the box was cleared only as far as Mariano Ferreira and he squared for Gameiro to tap in.

Liverpool never regained the momentum and Coke punished them when he steered in from the edge of the area on 64 minutes.

Coke grabbed his side’s third just six minutes later, driving in from close range after the ball came to him via a deflection. Liverpool appealed for offside but to no avail.

The result meant the Reds not only missed out on a return to the Champions League but failed to qualify for European football at all from Klopp’s first campaign in charge.

Liverpool finished eighth in the Premier League that season, below Southampton and West Ham, and 21 points behind champions Leicester.

Yet, having also reached the Carabao Cup final, there had been clear signs of progress under the German, who had succeeded Brendan Rodgers the previous October.

They went on to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League the following year.

They then reached the final of Europe’s top competition in 2018 and won it in 2019 before claiming a first Premier League title the following season.

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    Xabi Alonso's Bundesliga champions had not suffered defeat since the final game of last season against Bochum, but succumbed to their next loss in the decisive moment against Atalanta in Dublin.

    Ademola Lookman stole the headlines with a remarkable hat-trick, powering Gian Piero Gasperini's team to their first title in 61 years, when Atalanta won the Coppa Italia.

    A 3-0 defeat ensured Leverkusen will have to settle for, at most, a domestic double as they look to bounce back on Saturday in the DFB-Pokal final.

    Yet Xhaka insisted Alonso's side never had the undefeated streak in their minds as soon as kick-off arrived at the Aviva Stadium.

    "Honestly, we're not interested in the unbeaten record," the former Arsenal midfielder said to RTL. "We didn't care about that from the start.

    "It's about the game and unfortunately we lost a final today. That's football.

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    Leverkusen's unbeaten streak spanned nine months and 51 games this season, starting their 2023-24 campaign with a first-round DFB-Pokal thrashing of lowly Teutonia Ottensen in mid-August.

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    The Nigeria winger is just the sixth player to manage a treble in a major UEFA final and the first since Jupp Heynckes’ for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Twente in 1975.

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