TEMPO.CO, Madrid - Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp blasted his players for playing into Real Madrid’s hands after they were outclassed in a 3-1 defeat in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Liverpool’s defence was caught out on two occasions in the first half, allowing Vinicius Jr. and then Marco Asensio to score to put Zinedine Zidane’s side in control before halftime.
Mohamed Salah grabbed a crucial away goal early in the second half in what proved to be Liverpool’s only shot on target but more slack defending allowed Real to coast into their area and score a third goal thanks to an inspired Vinicius.
“We made it too easy for them,” Klopp told reporters.
“If you want to go to the semi-final, you have to earn the right to do so. We didn’t do that tonight, especially in the first half. The only good thing I can say, apart from the goal, is it’s only the first half of the tie.”
As well as lamenting their lack of concentration, Klopp was disappointed with his side giving the ball away too casually, which led to him hauling off Naby Keita before halftime for Thiago Alcantara.
“You cannot defend the speed of Real Madrid when you give them the ball at the wrong moments. If you lose ball in the right moment it’s OK. We lost the ball, so many easy passes. You have really quick and world class players in one on ones. We have to be better in possession,” he said.
“We just didn’t play good enough football to cause Real Madrid more problems.”
The German coach had a glimmer of hope for next week’s second leg back on Merseyside though due to Salah’s goal.
“We didn’t deserve a lot more but that one goal and the second half was OK. It gives us a lifeline,” Juergen Klopp added.