hammered | 

Jurgen Klopp struggles to find the words to sum up Liverpool’s humiliation

The Reds crashed to their heaviest home defeat in Europe as they suffered once again at the hands of Real Madrid.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp© Getty Images

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp didn't try to hide his despair after his side were torn apart by Real Madrid in the Champions League at Anfield.

The Reds crashed to their heaviest home defeat in Europe as they suffered once again at the hands of Real Madrid, who executed a clinical 5-2 victory at Anfield.

On a night when Mohamed Salah set two new club landmarks previously belonging to Steven Gerrard there was one record broken which no-one in red will care to remember.

What was even more galling for the hosts was they had raced into a 2-0 lead after a brilliant start in this Champions League last-16 first-leg tie only to be overhauled by a classy performance from the 14-time winners, who had inflicted Liverpool’s previous worst home defeat (3-0 in in 2014).

Darwin Nunez’s goal after three minutes and 10 seconds was their quickest Champions League goal at Anfield before Salah capitalised on an error from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to score his 42nd in Europe for the club.

Gone was the caginess of May’s final in Paris but unfortunately for Liverpool still present was their nemesis Vinicius Jr, scorer of the only goal at the Stade de France, who took his tally to five in as many games against the Reds to drag his side back into the match as he too benefited from a rare mistake from goalkeeper Alisson Becker for his second goal.

Eder Militao’s goal and two from Karim Benzema ended the game as a contest – and quite possible the tie overall – midway through the second half.

"The beginning was outstanding. It was us in a nutshell,” reflected Klopp.

"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, 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."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson also gave his verdict, as he struggled to find the words to sum up his side’s humiliation.

"Very difficult. It's hard to sum it up straight after the game. Mixed feelings. Frustration with the result,” said Liverpool’s 2019 Champions League winnings kipper.

"For large parts of the first half we performed well and were unlucky to be level at half-time.

"We made too many mistakes. Real Madrid punished us every time tonight.

"A lot was [down to] their quality. We didn't help ourselves for sure. We didn't defend it [Real's third goal] well enough. After that there was a few balls we could do better. The game went away from us at that point.

"The last two games we kept clean sheets. It's hard. it's difficult to come here and speak. Yes, they have a lot of quality. When you're not 100% defending they punish you. We caused ourselves problems at times.

"It's a tough one to take in the end.

"We still played a good first half. We were on top and created some good chances. There was a good chance at 2-0, a scuffle on the line. If that goes in it's a big moment.

"The second goal obviously is a mistake. The third we'll be disappointed with. That's when the game went away from us.

"It's [the second leg] still a few weeks away. We have to move on quickly. We have Premier League games before then so we have to concentrate on that, and cross this bridge when we come to it."

Today's Headlines

More Soccer

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos