Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted his side got what they deserved in a 3-1 quarter-final loss to Real Madrid, leaving their Champions League hopes hanging.
However, he took a hit on referee Felix Brych for having what he claimed was a personal issue with Sadio Mane after the Germany official ruled the Senegal international was not the victim of a foul. Lucas Vazquez on the edge of the penalty area as he ran to goal. moments before Marco Asensio scores.
Mohamed Salah’s 26th goal in 44 Champions League appearances gave the Reds a vital away goal and reduced the score to 2-1 early in the second half after a terrible first 45 minutes that saw them concede to Vinicius Junior and Asensio.
But they conceded another to Vinicius to leave them with a tough job at Anfield without a fan next week.
“First and foremost, I don’t think we deserved to win tonight, we didn’t play well enough and that’s my first concern,” said Klopp.
“Especially in the first half, we didn’t play football well enough. We conceded the first goal, served the second on home plate. [after Trent Alexander-Arnold’smistake], but that wasn’t the game’s real problem.
“Of course conceding goals is a problem but that’s not the problem. The second half we did better, we scored our goal which is the positive of the night and that’s how it is.”
“Did we deserve more than the 3-1? I’m not sure.”
Klopp puzzled by referee’s mane treatment
Klopp was puzzled as to why Mane didn’t receive a free kick and Vazquez a red card for the challenge at the end of the first half.
“The situation with Sadio, what the referee did tonight, I have to say I don’t understand,” he added.
“For me it was a personal thing because he handled the situation with Sadio, which was a clear fault, like he was a diver or whatever.
“From that point on, every time Sadio fell he didn’t get anything. It’s not fair. That’s what I told him after the game, which I thought he was. unfair to Sadio. “
“It doesn’t change anything at all. [Brych] did not lose the game. We weren’t good enough to get a better result, but in those times you just need an “OK” benchmark. It would have been enough. “
Klopp on replacing Naby Keita …
With his side 2-0 down, Klopp replaced Naby Keita, coaching Thiago Alcantara just before half-time, and the German boss revealed it was a tactical decision.
“It was tactical,” he said. “It’s one of the things I don’t like about my job because when you do that it’s like a player is responsible for the performance in the first half.
“Naby wasn’t responsible for that. He hadn’t played in a while, especially not from the start. He wasn’t good in the game, but we all saw him and to be honest I could have done more. It wasn’t. about Naby but I did and now I’m not happy because now we’re talking about it like it’s Naby’s responsibility. was not, but it was tactical. “
“ Real had too much for Liverpool ”
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate review:
“It was an exciting game but Liverpool came out on the wrong side.
“The makeshift defense had been a bit more confident in the past few weeks, but this exam was a bit more difficult and Real Madrid had too many in the evening.
“Vinicius Junior was superb, but the frustration is that individual mistakes also played their part – notably Trent Alexander-Arnold’s misguided header for the second goal.
“Mohamed Salah’s away goal means the draw is far from over and the opportunity is still there for Liverpool to progress at Anfield, but they are against it now.”
‘The away goal could be crucial’
Lianne Sanderson on Sky Sports News:
“You can’t start a Champions League game like that, especially against Real Madrid, and hope to win the game.
“But the positive they can take is that they reversed the game at half-time. Yes the game ended 3-1 but Liverpool were definitely better in the second half.
“Some might say they couldn’t have done worse. The number of unforced errors that there have been, people will highlight Trent Alexander-Arnold, but Ozan Kabak was making mistakes, Fabinho was making mistakes, they all were. “
“The fact that they reacted to everything Jurgen Klopp said at half-time and got the away goal was positive.
“Of course, Liverpool fans won’t be happy to lose, but after playing like they did in the first half, only coming away with a 3-1 loss is a positive result, and the goal away in the Champions League is so vital. “
Zidane: important goals for Vinicius
Vinicius’ pace has been a problem for Liverpool all night and the Brazilian’s first brace in a game was well deserved, according to coach Zinedine Zidane.
“I’m happy for him because what he does and what all the guys are doing is a great job, especially from a defensive perspective,” said the Real boss.
“Maybe he was missing a few goals with the work he brings to the team, so scoring two goals is important to build confidence and he deserves it.
“I don’t know if it was his best game, but two quarterfinal goals are important for him and for the team.
“I’m happy because of the football. At the start of the second half we struggled a bit but at the end of the day we are happy with the 3-1 because it was a huge effort.
“We must take advantage of what we have done today.”
Klopp’s side are back in action on Saturday when they host Aston Villa at Anfield, live on Sky Sports Premier League (kick off 3pm) ahead of next Wednesday’s second leg against Real Madrid.
The Spaniards face a big La Liga clash ahead of the second leg when they host Barcelona at El Clasico on Saturday; kick off 8 p.m.