Manner of Real Madrid defeat is story of Liverpool’s season, Klopp admits

Jürgen Klopp admitted it was the story of Liverpool’s season as they were knocked out of the Champions League by failing to score against Real Madrid at Anfield.

The Liverpool manager felt the damage was done last week in the first leg, which his side lost 3-1, but rued their inability to find the net at home again in a stalemate. They still only have three goals and one win at Anfield in 2021 and Klopp said: “It is a little bit ourselves this year with the finishing because we had ridiculous games here that we should have won. We know how often Mo Salah finishes these things with closed eyes. Not here.

“The performance in general was good. We played some really good stuff and had massive chances at the beginning of the game. If we had used one of them, it opens up. But you need [to take] these key moments. If and when is not interesting. We didn’t score and then the experience of Real Madrid played the tie down. We didn’t lose the tie tonight. We lost it in Madrid.”

James Milner, who captained Liverpool, agreed. The midfielder said: “If we had played that first leg with the same intensity it would have been very different. Ultimately, we weren’t good enough over two games. You can’t not take the chances we had. We had more than enough chances tonight.”

Klopp is adamant the blow of being eliminated will not damage Liverpool’s bid to return to the Champions League. They are sixth but have won their last three league games. “It will not happen that it will impact negatively,” he said. “We love this competition and for different reasons it is very important for this club.

“Now we can concentrate unfortunately on the Premier League but we will. We just read the table, we know the points. If we want it we need to play really good football. I think we are not in a bad moment. We are not silly, we want what we earn. If we don’t earn it, we don’t get it. Leeds is the next challenge. We will have to run our socks off.”