Liverpool return to heroes’ welcome

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Thousands of fans lined the streets of the city as double cup-winners Liverpool returned home for an open-top bus parade on Sunday that took place amid a flood of conflicting emotions.

Winning both the League Cup and FA Cup in the one season, as Liverpool did by twice beating Chelsea on penalties in two Wembley finals, would be reason enough to celebrate for most clubs.

But the two trophies they really wanted, and which would have enabled them to claim an unprecedented quadruple in a single campaign, narrowly eluded Liverpool.

Manchester City pipped them to the Premier League by just a single point last week before Liverpool lost 1-0 to Spanish giants Real Madrid in Europe’s showpiece Champions League final in Paris on Saturday.

Supporters of rival teams were quick to point out Liverpool had failed to score a goal in regulation time in any of the three finals they had played this season.

But as the bus carrying players and officials displaying the two trophies won by the Reds this term made its way through the city amid loud cheers and a vibrant backdrop of flares and flags, defiant Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “This is the best club in the world.

“We lost a Champions League final yesterday and this is the reception we received. I really couldn’t care less what other people think. What a club,” the German added.

The result in Paris was overshadowed by chaotic scenes which delayed the kick-off at the Stade de France by over half an hour, with thousands of ticket holders struggling to enter the stadium as French police used tear gas on Liverpool fans.—AFP