James Milner gives his instant reaction to Liverpool's Europa League heartbreak

Paisley Gateway

The devastated Reds skipper admits it is a double blow to miss out on both a trophy and European football next season.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner has told BT Sport, as quoted by BBC Sport, that he is devastated at the way the side crumbled from 1-0 up to lose 3-1 o Sevilla in the Europa Legue final on Wednesday night.

Daniel Sturridge's stunning strike had the Reds 1-0 up and in control at half-time, but they allowed Sevilla to cut through them to equalise through Kevin Gameiro after just 17 seconds of the second half.

That signalled a complete reversal in the pattern of play from the first period, and two fine goals from midfielder Coke saw the Spanish side become the first side ever to win the competition three years in a row.

There was a huge amount riding on the final for Liverpool, whose eighth-placed Premier League finish was not good enough to qualify for European competition next season, and the defeat not only sees them miss out on a first trophy in four years, but also spurn the opportunity to secure a return to Champions League football.

Milner, who captained the Reds in the absence of full-time skipper Jordan Henderson, could not hide his devastation when facing the BT Sport cameras after the match.

The midfielder said, as quoted by BBC Sport: "We never started in the second half and it is devastating. We didn't show near our ability and that is the biggest disappointment. We gave a sloppy goal away and never got back into the game.

"We didn't think about the Champions League, it was about winning this trophy. We didn't manage to get over the line. It is a double blow not to be in Europe next season. We go into two finals and lost both, next time we need to finish the job.

"It will take a long time to get over this but we need to regroup. We have showed our character in the competition but today we could not do that."

It was a traumatic end to a generally successful first seven months under Jurgen Klopp, and the club end the campaign having lost both of the major finals they reached after the penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final in February.

Many of the club's stars, including Milner, must now pick themselves up for international duty ahead of Euro 2016 next month, whilst Klopp will look ahead to the summer transfer market as a chance to mould the club into his own shape.

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