Klopp: Liverpool have 'increased desire' to win Champions League after title heartbreak

Reds narrowly miss out on final day after Manchester City fight back from two goals down to beat Aston Villa and retain the trophy

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said narrowly missing out on the Premier League title has "increased the desire" to win the Champions League final.

Needing to beat Wolves on the final day while hoping Aston Villa prevent a Manchester City victory, the Reds did their job by claiming a come-from-behind 3-1 win at Anfield, while Villa led 2-0 with 14 minutes remaining at the Etihad. However, three goals in five minutes saw City clinch a remarkable victory to retain the title, one point ahead of Liverpool.

Despite the final day disappointment, Liverpool still enjoyed a successful domestic campaign having won both the League Cup and FA Cup, and can complete a treble with a win over Real Madrid in Paris on Saturday.

"This season is absolutely incredible and will not end today, it ends next week obviously," Klopp said. "And there we will try absolutely everything.

"We have now five days to prepare the final, that's what we will do. And of course, losing the league today increased the desire to put it right next week, it increased the desire."

Klopp also congratulated City and manager Pep Guardiola on winning their fourth Premier League title in five years.

"I am proud but I'm disappointed, of course, as well," Klopp said. "There are maybe worse scenarios, if you would have been a point up and don't make it, that might feel even worse.

"Congratulations to Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, all staff, all players, whole club, for being champions. We were close but in the end not close enough. That's how it is."

Liverpool v Wolves player ratings

There is one major concern for Klopp and Liverpool ahead of the Champions League final after midfielder Thiago Alcantara picked up an injury against Wolves. After an underwhelming debut season last year, Thiago has become a key player for Liverpool and his availability will make a big difference against Spanish champions Real Madrid.

"He doesn't look good, he was limping," Klopp said. "I have no idea if it will be enough [to recover for the Champions League final]. The rest should be all right."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson also urged his teammates to quickly bounce back from the final day heartbreak and turn their attention to the Champions League final. The last time Liverpool faced Real Madrid in the European Cup final, in 2018, the Spanish side claimed a 3-1 win.

"The lads have given everything until the last day but it is not over yet, we still have a game next week," Henderson said. "Congratulations to City but focus on a huge match against a very good side. We have to be at our very best if we want to come away with the trophy."

Updated: May 23, 2022, 5:33 AM
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