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‘Book the hotel for Istanbul’ – Liverpool boss Klopp vows to return to Champions League final after falling short against Madrid.



'Book the hotel for Istanbul' - Liverpool boss Klopp vows to return to Champions League final after falling short against Madrid. 49



Jurgen Klopp advised Liverpool fans to start booking their tickets for next year’s Champions League final after falling just short against Real Madrid in the 2022 decider.

The Reds went down 1-0 to Vinicius Junior’s second-half goal, after Karim Benzema had seen an earlier effort chalked off for offside.

But much of the play developed around Thibaut Courtois’ penalty area, with the Belgian putting in a memorable performance to deny Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in particular as Salah’s call for “revenge” went unanswered.

What did Klopp say after final disappointment?

“In the dressing room nobody feels it was a great season at the moment. We maybe need a few hours for that,” he told BT Sport after the game.

“It was the two decisions against us were the smallest margins possible.

“We played a good game, not a perfect game. I don’t think a perfect game is possible against an opponent set up with a deep formation.

“We had a lot of shots but not the clearest. Courtois made two top saves. We conceded a goal from a throw-in. Valverde wanted to shoot, Vinicius was there and that’s it.

Klopp added: “It feels different. It’s not bad to get to the final. It’s a kind of success. Not the success you want to have.

“I have a strong feeling we’ll come again. The boys are really competitive. It’s an outstanding group together. We will have an outstanding group next season.

“Where’s it next season? Istanbul? Book the hotel.”

Thwarted by Courtois

Liverpool racked up a total of 24 shots in Paris to Madrid’s four, nine of which were on target.

But all nine were saved by the ex-Chelsea goalkeeper, who richly deserved his first Champions League title after finishing as runner-up in his previous trip to the final with Atletico Madrid in 2014.

Salah in particular will have no wish to run up against Courtois again any time soon, after seeing no fewer than six shots claimed by the towering shot-stopper.

The Egyptian and his team-mates thus missed out on the chance to avenge Madrid for defeat in the 2018 final, in which he was an early injury casualty after tangling with Sergio Ramos.

Liverpool’s final 2021-22 trophy haul

As recently as last Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s side were still in the running to claim the quadruple, a feat that has never been managed in English football.

But Manchester City held on to their Premier League lead to take the title on a thrilling final day, and now Madrid have muscled their way to Champions League glory to claim their 14th crown.

Liverpool, then, finish 2021-22 with the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, having pushed hard throughout an exceptional season.