After Manchester United booked their place in next year’s UEFA Champions League by beating Chelsea 4-1 in the Premier League on Thursday, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah took to Twitter to apologise to fans and share that he was “devastated” that his side had missed the opportunity to play in Europe’s top club competition.
United’s win meant that Liverpool will finish fifth in the Premier League with a UEFA Europa League spot.
“I’m totally devastated. There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed. We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down,” Salah tweeted.
Some fans objected to the pessimistic tone of the message.
However, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp jumped to the 30-year-old’s defence.
Speaking at a press conference today, Klopp told reporters that Salah’s reaction was “completely normal”.
“In the world of social media, so many bad things happen and I don’t think that’s one of them.”
He further shared: “It’s a normal description of the situation, and he’s right. But I saw him now an hour ago in the canteen and he was smiling, he was not in a bad mood!”
Next season will be the first since 2016/17 — the campaign before Salah arrived — that Klopp’s side are not in the Champions League.
On Thursday, Manchester made a triumphant return to the Champions League after a dominating 4-1 victory over Chelsea.
The resounding win secured their spot in Europe’s elite competition next season and marked a successful first season for manager Erik ten Hag. Casemiro’s arrival from Real Madrid proved to be instrumental in United’s revival, as the experienced midfielder showcased his class throughout the match.
In contrast, it was another dismal outing for Chelsea, despite their massive transfer spending of over £500 million ($620 million). The defeat was their eighth in the last ten games since Frank Lampard returned as interim manager. The club’s season has been marred by inefficiency in both boxes and a lack of results, leaving them with little to play for.