"You eat it, Vini!"
After a result that greatly compromises Liverpool's chances of reaching the Champions League semi-final (3-1), their coach, Jürgen Klopp, recalled a worse one in another first leg, the 3-0 that Barcelona put them in Camp Nou in 2019. They traced that back at Anfield, on a crazy and brilliant night (4-0) that led to the club's sixth European Cup held at the Metropolitano. So there is a precedent for something even more complicated, but Klopp quickly identified the differences between the two. "We lost 3-0 against Barcelona, but at the Camp Nou we played a super game," he recalled. Nothing to do with Alfredo di Stéfano, according to his analysis: “We didn't deserve to win tonight, we didn't play well enough, especially in the first half. It's not just that we made mistakes. Soccer is a game of mistakes. The question is where you make those mistakes and we made them in the wrong areas. We scored a goal, yes, and that is the positive for the return leg, but I'm not sure we deserved anything more than a 3-1 ”, he acknowledged.
The analysis of the failures of his team, Klopp truffled him with praise towards the good game of Real Madrid, in particular of the three midfielders: Casemiro, Kroos and Modric. “When you analyze Real Madrid, they have three of the best in the world . For them, accelerating the ball is easy. If they win the ball, they change it sideways, they look for the back of our three midfielders, and you don't know where it is. We lost too many balls in the wrong areas, and that cannot be. We were not good enough, "he said.
Real MadridCourtois, Nacho, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, Lucas Vázquez, Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Marco Asensio (Federico Valverde, min. 69), Benzema and Vinicius Junior (Rodrygo, Junior min. 84) LiverpoolAlisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, A. Robertson, Nathaniel Phillips, Ozan Kabak (Roberto Firmino, min. 80), Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Naby Keita (Thiago, min. 41), Salah, Mane and Diogo Jota ( Shaqiri, min. 80) Goals1-0 min. 26: Vinicius Junior. 2-0 min. 35: Marco Asensio. 2-1 min. 50: Salah. 3-1 min. 64: Vinicius Junior. Referee Dr. Felix Brych Yellow cards Mane (min. 38), Lucas Vázquez (min. 48), Thiago (min. 55) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (min. 82)
However, Klopp did not want to give up the tie, although he recognized that they would need show a very different face on Wednesday of next week in England: "We did not shoot at the door in the entire first half and it is not a good sign," he summarized. But he believes they have a lot of room for improvement: “We have chances if we don't make mistakes, and we play better football, something we can do. We have to fight it, and we are going to do it. ”
Comeback against Barça
For that fight, and to measure the options with which he can present himself to it, Klopp returned again to the great heroic feat of his tenure on the bench of the Liverpool, the night they destroyed Leo Messi's Barcelona at Anfield and came back from a 3-0 first leg that seemed unattainable. Although that happened before the pandemic, in a packed stadium – as it was also when Atlético de Simeone was the one that dismounted them in the second round last year – a time that Klopp contemplates with intense nostalgia. “If you watch the game against Barcelona again, 80% did the atmosphere in the stadium. This time we are not going to have that, so I don't know if we can do it. But we are going to try ”, he promised.
And at that point he returned to the initial regret, which already slipped before the ball started rolling in the Alfredo di Stéfano. The first leg was played in an enclosure that seemed like a training ground to him, something that caused him surprise and discomfort. For the return home, Klopp will continue to miss the public, but he believes that the stage can at least give them the advantage of custom: “It is going to be a difficult mission for Madrid. At least Anfield is a real stadium, ”he said.
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