James Milner admits Liverpool were left to rue their poor start to the second half after being beaten 3-1 by Sevilla in the Europa League final.
Liverpool had the better of the first half and led 1-0 at the interval thanks to Daniel Sturridge’s wonderful strike.
However, Sevilla equalised straight from the kick-off after the break through Kevin Gameiro and went on the dominate the rest of the game, with midfielder Coke striking twice to earn the Spanish outfit their third-consecutive Europa League triumph.
“We never started in the second half and it is devastating. We didn’t show near our ability and that is the biggest disappointment,” Milner told BT Sport.
“We were ready, we made sure we said the right things at half-time. We gave a sloppy goal away and never got back into the game.”
The Reds angrily protested the third goal as Coke fired past Simon Mignolet despite the linesman signalling he was offside.
Replays showed referee Jonas Eriksson was correct to allow the goal to stand, as the ball had ricocheted off Nathaniel Clyne and Philippe Coutinho.
“The lineman’s flag went up for the third goal but the referee gave it the other way. It is nothing to do with the referee, it is about us. We didn’t do it on the night that mattered,” he said.
Jurgen Klopp has largely revitalised Liverpool since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October, but the Reds will be without European football next season after losing both the League Cup final as well as in Basel.
“We didn’t think about the Champions League, it was about winning this trophy. We didn’t manage to get over the line. It is a double blow not to be in Europe next season. We go into two finals and lost both, next time we need to finish the job,” Milner added.
“We have showed our character in the competition but today we could not do that.”