Milner admits that Liverpool 'never started' the second half in defeat to Sevilla

Liverpool's captain for the night was gracious in defeat, conceding that his team's second half performance wasn't good enough.

Milner admits that Liverpool 'never started' the second half in defeat to Sevilla
Milner pictured during the game (photo: Getty)

James Milner admitted that Liverpool 'never started' in the second half against Sevilla, and that was what eventually led to their disappointing 3-1 defeat in Wedenesday's Europa League final.

The Reds did go in at half-time in Basel with a 1-0 lead, after Daniel Sturridge scored a beauty of a goal with his left foot. However, Kevin Gaimero equalied right at the start of the second half, before a brace from Coke secured it for the Spanish side.

Reds didn't get going at the start of either half, says Milner

Stating that it "took us [Liverpool] a while to get into the game", the captain for the night explained that he thought his side "played well and got the goal" thereafter, without finding too many problems caused by Sevilla.

However, the second half was a different story, Milner admitted that Liverpool "never started at all" in the second 45, with the biggest disappointment of the night being that he and his teammates "didn't play anywhere near our abilities". 

On Gaimero's goal, just 17 seconds after the whistle blew for the restart, Milner told of how he felt the Reds "were ready", but didn't show it on the pitch, giving away what he described as a "sloppy goal", from which they "never got back into the game".

Milner (far left) and fellow players trudge back to position after Sevilla's equaliser (photo: PA)
Milner (far left) and fellow players trudge back to position after Sevilla's equaliser (photo: PA)

Refereeing decisions must be forgotten

There were a few contentious decisions in the game given by referee Jonas Eriksson, Milner revealing that "there were a few decisions we were disappointed didn't go our way", but that "it's not about the referee, it's about us" and that in the end, after "showing we could win it all the way through the competition", the Reds couldn't when it mattered most. 

Defeat does mean that Liverpool won't be in the Champions, or Europa, League next season, having finished 8th in the Premier League and not won this tournament. 

When asked about what it meant to miss out on Europe's premier club competition, the midfielder explained that Jürgen Klopp's side "haven't really thought about it", in the run up to the final, but it is of course a "double blow" to have missed out on that opportunity.