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‘A lot for me to take from this’ – Klopp reacts as Liverpool implode against Real Madrid

Liverpool suffered an implosion of epic proportions as Real Madrid came from 2-0 down to win 5-2 on a chastening Champions League night at Anfield

Real Madrid had got the better of Liverpool last May when the two met in the Champions League final, though this meeting couldn’t have been much more different than that close encounter in Paris.


Liverpool have been struggling for form and consistency all season, though got off to the most perfect start. After a lively opening few minutes, a Mohamed Salah delivery from the right picked out the run of Darwin Núñez, who produced a sensational improvised finish to steer the ball past Thibaut Courtois.

Having bagged the man of the match award in the final in Paris last May, Thibaut Courtois went from hero to villain after making an absolute howler as he gifted Liverpool a second, the Belgian controlling a backpass with his chest, before slipping and allowing Mohamed Salah to nip in and have a tap home from six yards.

Both sides looked shaky at the back, and in the 21st minute, Real Madrid started their comeback. Vinicius Jr had netted the only goal of the game to hand Real Madrid their 14th crown in the Paris finale, and the Brazilian showed some tidy interplay around the edge of the Liverpool box, before whipping a fine effort past Alisson to bring the visitors back into the tie.

There would however be another goalkeeping howler as Real Madrid leveled the scores. Federico Valverde tried to release Vinicius down the left, only for Joe Gomez to deal with the ball and play it back towards Alisson. The Liverpool number one tried to play it back to Gomez, only for the Brazilian to play his pass against his compatriot Vinicius before the ball looped up and dropped into an empty net.

After what was a pretty mental first-half, Liverpool then conceded a cheap free-kick in the opening 60 seconds of the second half as Joe Gomez brought down the lively Vinicius. Veteran midfielder Luka Modric absolutely fizzed in the resulting delivery, with Eder Militao being given the freedom of the penalty area before dispatching an absolute bullet header into the back of the net.

Having been two up after 15 minutes, Liverpool all of a sudden found themselves trailing 4-2 before the hour mark. Karim Benzema played a give-and-go with Rodrygo on the edge of the Reds’ penalty area to get past Fabinho, before the Frenchman’s effort took a wicked deflection off Joe Gomez to leave Alisson with no chance.

Defensively, Liverpool were all over the place at times, and having bullied Fabinho off the ball in midfield, Luka Modric drove his side up field, before the ball eventually came to Benzema who coolly sat Alisson down and slotted home his second of the evening with 23 minutes still to play.

It was the first time that Liverpool have ever conceded five in a Champions League clash, leaving the Premier League side with the daunting task of needing to score four in the Bernabeu in three weeks time.

Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp said his side were ‘perfect’ in the opening stages, before giving an honest assessment of his side as they unravelled.

“The beginning was outstanding,” he told BT Sport. “It was us in a nutshell. It was perfect, exactly how we wanted to play. The whole first half was good, beside the goals.

“The first goal we became slightly passive higher up the pitch, we weren’t chasing them. The second goal is slapstick. It shouldn’t happen, [but it] can happen, 2-2.

“The first situation pretty much [straight after the break] they played a long ball to Vinicius. Not sure if it’s a foul. How we defend that is not OK. Then 3-2 and that doesn’t help against a team who are outstanding on the counter-attack.

“We couldn’t get back on track anymore. You need to play like the first half for the full 95 minutes but you need momentum back.

“At 3-2, it was the opposite. They became more confident and scored great goals. One was deflected. That’s how it is. It’s a strange one. There’s a lot for me to take from this as well.

“We have five or six players and no challenge [for one of the goals]. That can’t happen. We were passive until the ball arrived there.

“The only way you can slow down the game a bit is to keep the ball. We started the second half losing the ball in strange moments.

“This space [for the third goal] that’s not possible but it happened. That’s why it’s 3-2.

“You have to keep the momentum and there we lost it and we didn’t get it back.

“We will go there and play a football game. It will be a massive challenge. But we have to play in the Premier League first and make sure we learn from this game.”

Read – Five of the best players to play for Liverpool and Real Madrid

Read Also – Premier League awards: Brilliant Bruno, Sumptuous Salah, Nick’s nightmare,

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