Press conferenceLiverpool 2-5 Real Madrid: Jürgen Klopp's reaction
Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah scored early as the Reds flew out of the blocks at Anfield on Tuesday night, but Real responded and were back on level terms at the break through a Vinicius Jr brace.
Eder Militao made it 3-2 in the opening minutes of the second half, before Karim Benzema struck twice to earn Carlo Ancelotti's side a commanding advantage heading into the second leg in Madrid next month.
Read a summary of Klopp's post-match press conference below.
On the result and Liverpool's performance...
I really think everything was pretty obvious tonight; I think we gave all five goals away and that means we could have done better there, but they were all obviously different. The start in the game, in our situation where we are, it is really important that we see positive steps - and I think the first half was, besides the two goals we conceded, the best we've played for probably the whole season. I liked it a lot. OK, the second goal, we cannot defend better because it is a slapstick [moment], but it equalled pretty much our second goal that we scored. The first goal we conceded we have to defend better, there were enough players around, nobody puts a foot in and stuff like this. It's very tight and it is just a world-class moment from Vinicius then as well, but I think it is obvious we can defend it better.
Half-time, [it was] rather positive, to be honest. You think, 'OK, this happened... we have to play in this and that space, if we keep doing that they will have problems...' and then we start with conceding the third goal, which was a horrible goal and today it was pretty much the game-changer. We lost the momentum in that moment and never really got it back. In the first half we could have scored a third one, we had our moments, we were a bit unlucky with the scrappy situation in the six-yard box. In the second half, the game was the game Real Madrid wanted to play. Both of the other goals they scored, one is deflected and they are not really well defended, to be honest. We lose the ball in the wrong moment, which is obviously a massive problem against Real Madrid with the counter-attacking threat they have and that's how it came to the result. That's it.
On Ancelotti saying he doesn't believe the tie is over...
I think Carlo thinks the tie is over - and I think it as well in the moment, but in three weeks... it's how it is in these moments, the closer you get to the game the bigger our chances become and the less likely it is the tie is over. Tonight, with the 5-2 and you see the game, they are pretty good in counter-attacking and we have to score three goals there and take some risk, so that could be a bit tricky. It is really not even in my mind. We go there, I can say it now already, and try to win the game. If that is possible or not, I don't know now but that's what we will try and from there we will see.
On whether Joe Gomez picked up an injury...
We will see. He showed a little bit a sign but then we just made a decision. Now we will see and he will get checked tomorrow.
On whether he is concerned about what this result may do to the confidence of his players…
I can see that people think that, understandable, but that's actually not allowed. So, I told the boys directly after the game, there are different things that happened tonight, this was a result that was the exact opposite of what we wanted. We made mistakes around the goals, yes as well, and I said a couple of times that a defeat is a defeat if you don't learn from it. If you don't learn tonight that the start of the game was outstanding and the way we played was us in a nutshell, was us like we want to be, and that's what we have to keep doing. So if we now allow this one game to be influential, well, we are really silly.
We have a few days and we will make sure we take the right things out of this game. Yes, we have to improve, third goal massively, first goal massively, but we have to take the good things as well - that would be horrible if we don't do that. It's a different game than in Paris, of course, but anyway the intensity, the effort we showed, the football we played, pretty much everything was like how we want to see ourselves so we have to make sure that we keep that. I know, 5-2 could be damaging, but I hope I can make sure that is not happening.
On how Liverpool can sustain their level of performance in the first half over a full match…
I am not sure how often you watched us but we had periods where we played like this and it's not like you don't have to defend each opponent with that intensity… obviously Madrid is one of the best teams in the world so we don't face them, thankfully, every three days. There are things we have to improve, even in that period we could have been calmer on the ball. We prepared too much in these moments but it was really difficult to defend for Madrid I would say, much more than they wish for probably. But yes, it's the way we used to play, let me say it like this, in the past.
On how much of an impact Real's third goal coming just after half-time had on the match…
I really thought the 3-2 had a massive impact, I saw that as well. The 2-1 and the 2-2 not so much… my personal feeling was, 'first goal, OK, bad defending but well done as well, the second was slapstick but get over it and play from there and then the third goal directly after half-time, we didn't deal particularly well with that, that's true.' We don't want to concede goals but I think if we just think about the first half, everybody's impression was, 'Wow, that was a really good first half' even when we conceded two. I really thought our people saw it exactly like that, they were outstanding tonight in a difficult game. The first half it was not too difficult to be positive but in the second half when it was difficult to stay positive, they were positive and I am thankful for that.
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