Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool ‘did not show a special performance’ versus Madrid
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepted his side could not raise their game against Real Madrid in the Champions League and were second best in the Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema’s 78th-minute goal gave the hosts a 1-0 victory on the night but all the damage had been done in the first leg which Liverpool lost 5-2.
“It’s true. We came here with the backpack we had with the three goals difference, and you need a special performance and we did not show a special performance tonight,” he said.
“In moments it was a good performance but Real Madrid were the team in control for most of the game. They had the better chances.
“Ali (goalkeeper Alisson Becker) had to make two sensational saves to keep us in the game and that’s the reason (we lost).
“If you want to get through, you need to be outstanding. If you want to win the game, you need to be really good, and Madrid was the better team and that’s why the right team went through to the next round.”
Klopp went with a 4-2-3-1 formation in an attempt to go for goals but made changes just after the break when withdrawing Darwin Nunez, who had their best two chances in the first half, and Diogo Jota.
“For Diogo it was clear he shouldn’t play extremely long as he is still coming back from a long, long injury and you could see the game got harder for him,” he added, confirming there were no injury issues.
“He made some fouls as he was coming late, so no risk for him. Darwin looked like he was not at the absolute top level as well and we needed to defend that side as well. We could change and we wanted to mix things up a bit.”
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who continues to get the better of Klopp in the Champions League having beaten him in last season’s final, was satisfied with his side’s performance.
He believes he has, in Vinicius Jr, the best player in the world currently after the Brazil international gave Trent Alexander-Arnold another tough night, dribbling past him six times – the most suffered by any player in this week’s Champions League matches.
“He is (the best player in the world),” said Ancelotti.
“He is important because he assisted (Benzema’s goal) and every time he touched the ball he was dangerous.”