Villarreal Coach Marcelino accepted Liverpool deserved to win the Europa League semi-final but ‘wouldn’t be like Jurgen Klopp in victory.’
The Yellow Submarine lost 3-0 at Anfield after a 1-0 win at El Madrigal, missing out on a first European final and what would have been an all-Spanish affair after holders Sevilla eliminated Shakhtar Donetsk.
“We tried everything. We were facing a good opponent and we have to congratulate them. We started the game very well. We had two chances but the first goal hurt us. To reach a final you have to have moments of luck and we didn’t have them,” Marcelino lamented, AS reports.
“We have to congratulate the opponent and our players for everything they have done, for almost reaching the final, for fighting for everything. We are very grateful to them. Liverpool were better. They’re a great team and played in circumstances that favoured them. There weren’t many fouls given, we went down to 10, it wasn’t fair. But you have to adapt.”
Marcelino declined to discuss the performance of referee Viktor Kassai any further but criticised Klopp for his reaction to his team’s success.
“I didn’t see a penalty on Denis Suarez, I was too far away. I’m not going to complain about the referee, he had no influence. I only want to talk about what I saw on the pitch. We had a player sent off and I don’t think that was fair,” he continued.
“Klopp is a great Coach but I wouldn’t be like his other side, at least not in victory. But he is as he is. They pressed us a lot. We wanted to impose ourselves but we are talking about Liverpool, a great team. They were superior and we congratulate them for it.
“I’m not sad. We did everything possible. With 10 men, at 2-0, we just needed a goal and we’d have been in the final. We won the first leg and competed here for everything we could. Clearly it didn’t work out as we wanted. We didn’t want to concede a goal early and we did. That did a lot of damage.
“Next year we’re in the Champions League. We have to thank our fans and say sorry to them. Thank you for your support throughout the year. We’ll try to give them the prize they want.”