Klopp bemoans Liverpool’s ‘passive’ defending; his side ‘lost momentum’ in Real Madrid hammering

Klopp on Liverpool loss Credit: Alamy
Klopp on Liverpool loss Credit: Alamy

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his Liverpool players were too “passive” defensively as they slipped to a heavy 5-2 defeat at Anfield against Real Madrid.

Liverpool were out for revenge against Real Madrid after the Spanish side beat them in the Champions League final last year.

The Reds made the perfect start as Darwin Nunez opened the scoring following a pinpoint assist from Mohamed Salah. The Egypt international then capitalised on a mistake from Thibaut Courtois to double Liverpool’s advantage.

Real Madrid did not lie down though and Vinicius Junior fired the ball home past Alisson to make it 2-1 after 21 minutes.

Before half-time, the goalkeeper’s attempted clearance ricocheted off Vinicius and into the net as Real Madrid grabbed an unconventional equaliser.

The La Liga giants were able to tear Liverpool apart after the interval as they surely took the tie away from Klopp’s side. Eder Militao headed home from a free-kick and Karim Benzema netted a quickfire brace as Real Madrid compounded the hosts to their biggest-ever home defeat in Europe.

Liverpool now have it all to do heading into the return leg at the Bernabeu in three weeks. Speaking post-match, Klopp admitted that his team have given themselves a “massive challenge” to overcome in the second leg.

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

“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, can happen, 2-2.

“The first situation pretty much [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 any more. 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.”

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