A disappointed Jurgen Klopp admitted that Liverpool failed to produce the “special performance” they had been preparing for in their Champions League loss to Real Madrid.
“Being 5-2 down is not a great result if you want to go through,” reflected Klopp in his post-match interview with BT Sport.
“You need to have a special performance and we couldn’t do that tonight. Real Madrid had the best chances, Alisson made two fantastic saves.
“The right team went through, we have to admit that. Knockout stages are like this. It’s not what we wanted but it’s what we got.”
Darwin Nunez had Liverpool’s best chance in the sixth-minute but they failed to create many concrete openings thereafter, and Klopp admits failing to score early on was damaging for his side.
“You need moments in a game like this, if we scored in the first-half it could have given us the spark but this is hypothetical,” he said.
“They were the better team in three halves of this tie and that’s how you go through.
“If we draw at home and play like we did tonight, we probably go out as well. We cannot come here and hope that we get something. We prepared for a special performance tonight but it didn’t happen.
“Nobody thinks ‘how could Liverpool go out’ and that’s probably the best sign that the right team went through and that’s how it is in the knockout stage.”
In his post-match conference, Klopp was asked by reporters why he had taken the decision to replace strikers Nunez and Diogo Jota before the hour-mark with Liverpool requiring three goals.
“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,” Klopp explained. “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.”
Liverpool aren’t back in action until April 1 when they travel to title chasing Manchester City in the Premier League.
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