Jurgen Klopp’s intuition Champions League then dreams end real Madrid They had an astonishing 5-2 comeback win in the first leg of their last 16 draw.
a night that started Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah goals resulted in the Reds’ worst home defeat in Europe.
Vinicius Junior’s attack was at Madrid level at the timeout, and after the restart, Eder Militao’s header blew Liverpool’s sails out of the wind.
Karim Benzema He added two more to mark a 5-2 victory, leaving Klopp’s side facing the barrel of an early Champions League exit to the side that beat them in the final nine months ago.
When Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti told the Liverpool boss that he couldn’t say their last 16 draw was over, he said: “I think Carlo thought the draw was over – and I think he is now as well.
“But in three weeks – that’s what happens in these moments – the closer you get to the game, the better our chances and the less likely it is to end a draw.
“But tonight, when you see the game 5-2, they’re pretty good at counter attack… We have to score three goals there and take some risks. It can be a bit of a challenge.
“But it’s not really in my mind, so we’re going there, I can say that now and try to win the game.
“I don’t know if that’s possible right now, but that’s what we’re going to try and we’ll see from there.”
Liverpool, the first team in Champions League history to lead 2-0 and lose by three goals, is heading to Spain for the second match on 15 March after a humiliating defeat.
This is a result that could shake confidence in an already difficult season, but Klopp wants his players to focus on the positives.
“I can see that people are understandably thinking about this, but it’s not actually allowed,” said the Liverpool boss.
“I told the kids right after the game, so what happened today is something different. An outcome that is the opposite of what we wanted.
“We made mistakes on the target, yes, and I said a few times that if you don’t learn from defeat, it’s defeat.
“If you don’t learn that the start of the game tonight was extraordinary and the way we played was simply what we wanted to be, and that’s what we have to keep doing. Now if we let this game take effect, we are really stupid.
“We have a few days to make sure we get the right things out of this game.
“Yes, we need to improve. The third goal is tremendous. A great first goal.
“But we have to get the good stuff too. It would be terrible if we didn’t do this.
“Obviously it’s a different game (Saturday at Crystal Palace) but the intensity, the effort we put in, the football we played, pretty much everything we wanted to see ourselves.
“So, we have to make sure we protect that. I know 5-2 can hurt but hopefully I can make sure that doesn’t happen.”
A comeback seemed unlikely given the start at Anfield, but Ancelotti was encouraged by his Champions League semi-final return against Manchester City last year.
“Obviously we didn’t expect to start like this but with 2-0 down I thought about City away last year hoping we could do the same – but it got even better,” said the Madrid boss.
“They were damaging us from the left, but when we were better on our offense, we moved (Federico) Valverde a little towards that danger and then we defended better.”