DANNY MURPHY: There is no need for Jurgen Klopp to go and rip this team up after 1-0 Champions League final loss… Liverpool should look to freshen up midfield but European conquerers Real Madrid show Reds they don’t have to overreact
- Liverpool were unlucky to lose the final as Thibaut Courtois played a blinder
- Jurgen Klopp’s players will be devastated after the loss but should sleep soundly
- The Liverpool boss does not need to rip up his team this summer despite defeat
- Instead, Klopp needs to focus on strengthening his ageing midfield and go again
Liverpool were unlucky to lose. Thibaut Courtois had one of those days as a goalkeeper where he never looked like being beaten. You sensed it when he tipped Sadio Mane’s shot onto the post, and it was confirmed with that brilliant late stop from Mo Salah.
Jurgen Klopp’s players will be devastated by the result but they should sleep soundly because overall they were the better team.
Real Madrid had to play pragmatic to beat them and that’s what they did. Casemiro was outstanding, another example of not being over the hill once you turn 30, and Valverde and Carvajal were excellent down their right, snuffing out the threat of Andy Robertson.
You sensed it wasn’t going to be Liverpool’s night when Thibaut Courtois tipped Sadio Mane’s shot onto the post
Jurgen Klopp’s players will be devastated by the result but they should sleep soundly
Great teams find a way to win. Real looked in awe of Liverpool in the first half but it was a shrewd way to stop Klopp’s side from killing off them early with high energy.
They played the percentages and worked out the game could be won on small moments. So when Trent Alexander-Arnold switched off for an instant, Vinicus scored and suddenly Liverpool were having to chase a game – against a world-class goalkeeper.
I don’t think Liverpool fans would grumble at Klopp’s selection, 99% of them would have agreed with him at kick off. Thiago might have given a couple of passes away – it happens in these really big matches – but physically he looked alright after his injury.
Defeat will naturally bring its own inquest but Liverpool have to remember they have been phenomenal this season. To have a historic Quadruple talked about until the last weeks of the season is remarkable.
Fans will not grumble at Klopp’s decisions as many would’ve agreed with him at kick-off
It will be a blow if Mane leaves, he is my favourite Liverpool player, but I don’t think creating or scoring goals will be an issue next season with Salah, Jota, Diaz – a young man who will only get better – Firmino and don’t forget Fabio Carvalho.
I’ve taken a lot of notice of this kid because he played for another of my former clubs Fulham and he is going to play games next season. He glides past players like Phil Foden or Bernardo Silva and if he plays as a winger it’ll give Jota more of a chance down the middle. I don’t think Klopp needs to go and splash out on an Erling Haaland-style superstar.
You have to remember Diaz is only 25. As good as he’s been in his first six months at Anfield, he’ll be even better next time.
Where Liverpool may look to strengthen however is midfield. We don’t know what will happen to James Milner, Jordan Henderson still has plenty left in the tank but at 31, can’t be expected to play 50 or 60 games a season at Klopp’s tempo.
Jordan Henderson and James Milner are ageing, so a midfielder like Declan Rice would surely be of interest
I don’t know if either is affordable but a young and hungry top English midfielder like Declan Rice or Kalvin Phillips would surely be of interest if they became available because they’d be able to come and learn off Henderson and be a useful part of the team for years.
The temptation after defeat in a big final is to want to tear things up but their opponents last night Real Madrid are perfect examples of why you shouldn’t overreact.
Their midfield trio Modric, Kroos and Casemiro were being written off years ago. They’ve got a combined age of 98 and are champions of Europe – again.