Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 May 2016

Proud Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool deserve their place in Wembley showpiece

By Robert Jones

Published 27/01/2016

Liverpool players celebrate winning the penalty shootout, during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PA
Liverpool players celebrate winning the penalty shootout, during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PA
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen celebrates scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out after the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Welsh midfielder Joe Allen scores the winning penalty in the shoot-out after the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. Liverpool won the two legged semi-final 6-5 on penalties, after a 1-0 Stoke victory in 90 minutes meant the tie finished 1-1 after extra time. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Joe Allen of Liverpool (24) is congratulated by team mates as he scores the decisive penalty in the shoot out during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool win 6-5 on penalties after extra time. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) embraces Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino after winning the penalty shoot-out in the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. Liverpool won the two legged semi-final 6-5 on penalties, after a 1-0 Stoke victory in 90 minutes meant the tie finished 1-1 after extra time. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (L) and Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva celebrate on the pitch after winning the penalty shoot-out in the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. Liverpool won the two legged semi-final 6-5 on penalties, after a 1-0 Stoke victory in 90 minutes meant the tie finished 1-1 after extra time. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Jordan Ibe (second left) celebrates winning the penalty shootout with team-mates, during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates on the pitch after winning the penalty shoot-out in the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. Liverpool won the two legged semi-final 6-5 on penalties, after a 1-0 Stoke victory in 90 minutes meant the tie finished 1-1 after extra time. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: (L-R) Christian Benteke, James Milner and Jordon Ibe of Liverpool celebrate as Joe Allen of Liverpool scores the decisive penalty in the shoot out during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool win 6-5 on penalties after extra time. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Joe Allen of Liverpool (24) is congratulated by team mates as he scores the decisive penalty in the shoot out during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool win 6-5 on penalties after extra time. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Liverpool players celebrate as Joe Allen of Liverpool scores the decisive penalty in the shoot out during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool win 6-5 on penalties after extra time. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool players celebrate winning the penalty shootout, during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Liverpool's Emre Can (centre) celebrates with team-mates after winning the penalty shootout, during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Joe Allen of Liverpool (24) is congratulated by team mates as he scores the decisive penalty in the shoot out during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool win 6-5 on penalties after extra time. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Joe Allen (centre) is mobbed by team-mates after scoring the winning goal in the penalty shootout, during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Liverpool players celebrates on the pitch after winning the penalty shoot-out in the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. Liverpool won the two legged semi-final 6-5 on penalties, after a 1-0 Stoke victory in 90 minutes meant the tie finished 1-1 after extra time. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool players celebrate winning the penalty shootout, during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and Mark Hughes manager of Stoke City shake hands during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (centre) shouts angrily towards Alberto Moreno during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PA
Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City (2L) shoots past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet of Liverpool to score their first goal during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German midfielder Emre Can (L) vies with Stoke City's Irish midfielder Glenn Whelan during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Erik Pieters of Stoke City beats Christian Benteke of Liverpool to the ball during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Zaire-born Belgian striker Christian Benteke controls the ball during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool shakes hands with Kolo Toure of Liverpool as he is usbstituted during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Glen Johnson of Stoke City clears the ball from Adam Lallana of Liverpool during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Referee Jonathan Moss in discussion with Erik Pieters of Stoke City and Adam Lallana of Liverpool during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool beats Philipp Wollscheid and Jonathan Walters of Stoke City to head at goal during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino reacts after missing a chance during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. PA
Liverpool's Alberto Moreno and Stoke City's Bojan Krkic (left) battle for the ball during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Bojan Krkic of Stoke City takes on Roberto Firmino of Liverpool during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp arrives ahead of the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Jon Flanagan of Liverpool evades Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Stoke City's English striker Peter Crouch (L) vies with Liverpool's Ivorian defender Kolo Toure during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Alberto Moreno and Stoke City's Bojan Krkic (left) battle for the ball during the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PA
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Liverpool fans hold a banner in memory of young Liverpool fan Owen McVeigh during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. 11 year old McVeigh passed away last month after a battle with leukaemia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool fans hold a banner in memory of young Liverpool fan Owen McVeigh during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. 11 year old McVeigh passed away last month after a battle with leukaemia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Jon Flanagan of Liverpool holds off Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Bojan Krkic of Stoke City evades Alberto Moreno of Liverpool during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Ulla Sandrock, wife of Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp is pictured in the crowd ahead of the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp greets Stoke City manager Mark Hughes before the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is all smiles before the Capital One Cup, semi final, second leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 26, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish (R) is pictured in the crowd ahead of the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Stoke City's Welsh manager Mark Hughes greets Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) ahead of the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England, on January 26, 2016. / AFP / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / /AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Jon Flanagan of Liverpool holds off Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Jon Flanagan of Liverpool holds off Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City during the Capital One Cup semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield on January 26, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
A match graphic of the Liverpool v Stoke City match. PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed his players after their penalty shoot-out victory over Stoke in the Capital One Cup semi-final and declared that they deserve their place in the Wembley decider.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Liverpool appeared to be in control of the tie until Marko Arnautovic scored for Stoke on the stroke of half-time, which was enough to give the Potters victory on the night and ensure extra-time.

The two sides couldn't be separated in the additional 30 minutes, however, and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and midfielder Joe Allen were the heroes for Klopp's side in the spot-kicks.

German Klopp said afterwards: "It was great, the atmosphere was special. It was a good game for my side against a difficult side to play against.

"They changed their style. It was (Jack) Butland to (Peter) Crouch so it was difficult to defend.

"We had a few problems, but they didn't have too many opportunities.

"Their goal was double offside but, in the end, we had luck in the penalty shoot-out. Over the whole 120 minutes, the players, crowd and Liverpool deserved it.

"Wembley is a cool place to play football... but we go there to win. It's not much fun to lose."

Klopp will hope to banish his Wembley misery against either Everton or Manchester City, who meet in tonight's second semi-final with the Toffees 2-1 up.

The last time Klopp managed at Wembley, his Borussia Dortmund side lost the Champions League final 2-1 to rivals Bayern Munich thanks to a late Arjen Robben goal.

Potters boss Mark Hughes, however, disagreed with Klopp and insisted his side had performed the better.

He said: "I thought we were by far the better team. We were behind in the tie and I'm proud of what the players produced. Nobody gave us a chance - why they would do that I don't know.

"We've proved for a couple of years that we're a good team. I think Liverpool were delighted to go to penalties and then it's a lottery.

"In terms of a performance, I thought we merited a win. We got a win on paper but the objective was to get to a Wembley final which we didn't."

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, meanwhile, says he would only play for Liverpool if he were to return to the Premier League.

The 29-year-old left Anfield in a £75m move during July 2014, having scored 84 goals and nearly helping Liverpool win the title.

Suarez said if he was to one day look to move back to England, it would only be for the Reds, having originally signed from Ajax in January 2011.

"You never know what will happen in the future," he said.

"If I was to return to England, it would be to play for Liverpool - not for any other team.

"I have missed the fans. The (Anfield) atmosphere is incredible. The fans know that they are in my heart."

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