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Rush of Red tide

Liverpool legend believes Klopp's men can end Sevilla's stranglehold

Ian Rush believes the momentum Liverpool have built up in the Europa League could finally loosen Sevilla's grip on the trophy.

The Reds booked their place in the final by beating Villarreal 3-0 at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time) and now face Spanish holders Sevilla in Basel on May 18.

Sevilla's pedigree in the Europa League is unrivalled in recent years after winning the competition twice in the last two seasons and four times in all over the last decade.

But Rush feels victories over Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal have given Juergen Klopp's side the belief that they can go on and claim both the trophy and the Champions League place on offer.

"Nothing ceases to amaze me at Anfield. It's not a one-off," said Rush, Liverpool's record goalscorer with 346 in two spells at Anfield between 1980 and 1996.

"The support was absolutely amazing, as it was against United and Dortmund. Villarreal were expecting it, but it still happened.

"It gave the players an extra energy to play for the supporters. And now that they're in the final, there's no reason they can't win it."


Sevilla reached their third successive final by beating Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 yesterday morning for a 5-3 aggregate win.

The Spanish side will start as favourites to complete a hat-trick of titles in Switzerland, but Rush insists that will count for nothing on the night.

"It will be an amazing feat for Sevilla to win it for a third time in a row," said Rush.

"But Dortmund were the favourites to win the competition when Liverpool beat them. Liverpool have shown what they can do and Europe is made for them.

"The Europa League has come as a bonus and getting a place in the Champions League would help them attract players next season."

Rush says Klopp deserves huge credit for creating a buzz on Merseyside, but he feels the German manager's influence will be even greater next season.

"Juergen Klopp has made people believe in him and he's given people belief," said Rush.

"But next year is going to be the big year when he's got his own players in and he's put all the hard work in during pre-season.

"The fans love him because of what he does on the sidelines as he's doing it out of passion. He's not doing it for the sake of it, he's doing it because he believes in it.

"When you talk to him it's exactly the same, you can feel something there that you would want to go out and play for him."

Meanwhile, Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana believes Europa League glory can see the Reds catch the winning "bug" and serve as a catalyst to a period of success under Klopp.

"We've experienced losing in a final (against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup) and it is not nice," said Lallana.

"The experience of that day will help us, even in such a short turnaround to this final.

"It is a young squad, but I feel we need to win something to feel what it is like to win and almost make it like a bug, just keep going."

The England international highlighted the change in mindset implemented by Klopp.

"It doesn't matter what team are selected, whether they are attacking or defensive... as long as you're all fighting for one another and are willing to press and feel a bit of pain for one another, then you can put on performances like that," said Klopp.

"You can sense it when the opposition is rattled and they don't like it. It is a great feeling." - PA Sport.

Ian RushliverpoolEUROPA LEAGUESevilla FCFootballDaniel Sturridge