‘The best team is through’: Klopp gives honest verdict after Liverpool’s European exit

‘The best team is through’: Klopp gives honest verdict after Liverpool’s European exit

Jurgen Klopp gave a very honest assessment after Real Madrid beat Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Liverpool took a 2-0 lead in the first leg at Anfield, but then capitulated and were beaten 5-2.

It took a miracle to overturn the deficit in the Spanish capital, but they lost the second leg 1-0 thanks to a Karim Benzema goal.

Liverpool will need to focus solely on the Premier League between now and the end of the season and will need to secure a top four finish if they are to compete in next season’s Champions League.

Klopp credited Madrid, who were the “better team” on both legs.

“Being 5-2 down is not a great result if you want to go through,” Klopp told BT Sport.

“You have to do a special performance and we couldn’t do it tonight. Real Madrid had the best chance, Alisson made two fantastic saves.

“The right team has moved on, we have to admit that. The knockout stages are like this. It’s not what we wanted but it’s what we got.

“We need moments in a game like this, if we had scored in the first half it could have given us the spark but this is hypothetical. They’ve been the better team in three halves of this draw and that’s how it goes.

“If we draw at home and play like tonight, we will probably go out too. We can’t come here and hope to get something. We got ready for a special performance tonight, but that didn’t happen.

“Nobody thinks ‘how could Liverpool get out’ and that’s probably the best sign that the right team has come through and that’s how they are in the knockout stages.”

Former Blackburn Rovers forward Chris Sutton admitted after Wednesday’s defeat that Liverpool were always unlikely to reach the quarter-finals.

“It was always going to be difficult to turn the tables,” he told BBC Sport.

“The only comparison I made is that in 2019 you felt like they were really capable of it that season.

“It was a pretty flat performance, I just think they have been so inconsistent this season in terms of performance levels and results.

“It is absolutely crucial that they get into the top four. That’s what they need to think about in the short term.

Liverpool face an uphill battle to finish in the top four with Brighton enjoying an outstanding season.

The Seagulls are currently six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with two games to spare, with Liverpool trailing both Newcastle United and Antonio Conte’s side.

READ MORE: Liverpool surrender to the inevitable as European champions Real Madrid race to bottom


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