Jurgen Klopp pinpoints key Liverpool failing in heavy Real Madrid defeat: ‘That cannot happen’
Jurgen Klopp bemoaned Liverpool’s defending after his side produced a first-leg performance against Real Madrid that leaves them requiring a miracle in Spain.
The Reds were 2-0 up inside 14 minutes at Anfield in the last-16 clash, but fell to a 5-2 defeat as Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema both struck braces in a remarkable encounter.
Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool a perfect start in front of a raucous crowd, with the hosts threatening to blow defending champions Real away in the early stages.
Vinicius struck twice before the break, once with a brilliant finish into the far corner and another after an error from Alisson that his manager described as “slapstick” after the match. Klopp though was particularly frustrated with Real’s opening goal, and his side’s sloppiness in possession in the second-half.
“In the situation they scored, we had like five or six players around,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“No challenge. That cannot happen. We were passive until the ball arrived there. It can happen, but it should obviously not happen.
“The only way to slow down the game a little bit is in possession, keep the ball. Second-half we lost the ball in strange moments. The wrong players were in half-spaces, they could win it and leave Vinicius and Benzema up.
“[Vinicius] has pretty much nothing else to do there but to wait and show his skills.”
Real needed less than two minutes of the second-half to take the lead for the first time, as Eder Militao found himself all alone to power home a header from a Luka Modric free-kick.
“The free-kick - again it can happen,” Klopp said.
“But then this space, that is really not possible. It happened and that is why we went 3-2 [down].
“Then you feel the intensity. You have to keep the momentum, but there we lost it and didn’t really get it back.”