Jurgen Klopp signs off with a win in emotionally charged final match as Liverpool manager

Sun, May 19, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Jurgen Klopp signs off with a win in emotionally charged final match as Liverpool manager

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) - In many ways, it was business as usual for Jurgen Klopp.

He touched the "This is Anfield" sign in the tunnel on the way out to the pitch.

He patrolled the middle of the field with his hands behind his back during the warmups, watching his own team - and then, with that trademark glare, his opponents.

He waved to fans behind the Liverpool dugout and tapped his heart just before kickoff, before soaking in the pre-match rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

"This morning I woke up," Klopp said Sunday before the final match of his transformational, nearly nine-year stint in charge of Liverpool, "and I was completely in game mode."

This, of course, was no normal day for Klopp.

The 2-0 win over Wolverhampton on a sunny day at Anfield doubled as a tribute to a coach who led Liverpool to seven major trophies and forged such a connection with the city that he has been compared to Bill Shankly - the club's legendary manager from 1959-74.

No wonder he looked emotional throughout an afternoon that Liverpool fans never wanted to come.

They lined the streets outside Anfield to welcome Klopp and his players, and then produced a paper mosaic of the word "JURGEN" in the stand opposite the dugouts.

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"People are calling it The Last Dance. So let's dance," he told Sky Sports just off the field before the match began - and Liverpool obliged by strolling to one final victory for Klopp thanks to goals by Alexis Mac Allister and Jarell Quansah.

Klopp embraced each member of his backroom staff and also Wolves manager Gary O'Neil after the final whistle blew. Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk was in tears as he hugged Klopp near the center circle.

Liverpool finished third in the standings, nine points behind champion Manchester City.

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