Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool are paralyzed by first-leg defeat at Real Madrid

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool were too passive in their Champions League round of 16 first-leg defeat to Real Madrid.

Liverpool went two goals up thanks to goals from Darwin Nunes and Mohamed Salah, but a brace from Vinicius Junior leveled the scores before half-time.

The Spanish giants scored twice in the second half from Karim Benzema and another from Eder Militao to secure a 5-2 win for Real.

Speaking after the match, Klopp felt his team lost momentum following Real’s first goal of the game.

He told BT Sport: “The start was great, in short, how we wanted to play. We caused problems everywhere, our reading of the game, a super intense start, 2-0.

“The first goal… we became a bit passive, a bit higher up the pitch. We didn’t chase them, we had to chase them because this is a team where when you’re passive you get punished. At that moment we realized. Yes, the second target is slapstick. It shouldn’t happen, it could happen, it’s 2-2.

“In possession you have to keep the ball, but in the second half especially we lost balls at strange moments. The first half we played frantically in the half-spaces, in the second half we had the wrong players in the half-spaces: we played the ball there and they could win it.

“Organizing the defense is a big challenge because they leave Benzema and Vinicius on the pitch.”

As a result, Liverpool must travel to the Santiago Bernabeu and win by three goals to force extra time. They will need four goals and cannot afford to give up hope of progressing to the quarter-finals.

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Although Klopp recognizes the challenge ahead, he insists his team will give it their all in the second leg.

Klopp added: “We will go to Madrid and play a football game. If we want to score there, every counter attack will be an opportunity for them. We must learn from tonight.

Liverpool next face a trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League this Saturday.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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