LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp congratulated Premier League champions Manchester City on their triumph on Sunday, after his side missed out on the title by one point for the second time in four seasons, but said his team would improve next year.
Liverpool came from behind to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday, while City fell behind themselves — 2-0 to Aston Villa at home — but scored three times in five minutes to clinch back-to-back titles.
Klopp has his own history of finishing second in domestic campaigns, having done so twice with Borussia Dortmund in Germany after winning two Bundesliga titles.
He also led Liverpool to their first Premier League title in 2020, a year after they finished runners-up to City by one point, but said on Sunday that he was proud of his players despite the agonising finish.
“(Finishing second) is the story of my life… You need to get more points than any other teams, but we didn’t do that,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“You can’t do more than give your absolute best and that’s what the boys did again. We chased the best team in the world to the wire, that’s absolutely special. We’ll build a team again and go again.”
Liverpool end the season with the third highest points total in the club’s history, the fourth when adjusting the 42-game 1978-79 season to three points for a win.
They found themselves second to City again, although they do have a glut of silverware already from this season, having captured the League Cup and FA Cup.
They could add a seventh European Cup to their collection in the Champions League final against Real Madrid next Saturday.
“I’ve already told them 500 million times. This is the best group I’ve ever had. It’s a joy to come into work every morning. We need a solid basis to react to defeats. We know why we didn’t make it – we needed a bit more consistency in the first half of the season,” the German added.
“There’s space for improvement and we’ll work on that. It’s really cool when you don’t need 10 changes, you just build on what you have. That’s what we’ll do.
“If people on the outside don’t understand how special this club is, I can’t help them. Hopefully now, we’ll get our third trophy of the season.”
(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Toby Davis)