The absence of an away goal for the Reds might harm them in the return leg.
Liverpool suffered a crushing 3-0 defeat against FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal. The Reds were very much in contention to go away with at least an away goal until Lionel Messi came up with his brilliance on field and took the game away from the visitors.
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp admitted that his side could not have played any better even after the 3-0 loss to the Catalans.
“Football is like this. It is about scoring goals and they scored three and we scored none but the performance was really good, the boys played a super game to be honest but against a side like Barcelona, a few moments are enough to give them the opportunity,” Klopp said.
“What can I say? I am really happy with the performance but of course not too happy with the result, we have to take that, that’s football and we know that. You don’t get grades, only a hard result and we have to accept that.”
Luis Suarez broke the deadlock in the 26th minute as Liverpool went in 1-0 down at the break. But the Reds dominated most of the early part of the second half before Messi struck twice including a mesmerizing long-range freekick. The visitors had their chances with Mane being wayward in front of goal, Milner getting both his shots saved and Salah striking the post.
“That is how it is. How we created the moments was outstanding, how we caused them problems was outstanding, we controlled the game so well,” Klopp said. “We went in at halftime, analysed the half, told the boys what we can do better and what have to do it again. I don’t know if we can play it much better to be honest,” he said.
“But then you have that one moment, the ball hits the crossbar….. and then Messi is there for an easy goal. Then a wonder strike again, that is how it is. That ball was obviously unsaveable,” Klopp added.
According to the German tactician, Barcelona’s experience on the big stage gave them an advantage over his side on the occasion as the Catalan chose their moments to attack Liverpool.
“Barcelona showed they had more experience. We saw that in the moments when they stopped our rhythm, going down, but that’s part of the game,” the German said.
Liverpool must now try to turn the game around at Anfield, an even harder task without an away goal. “3-0 is not the easiest result but we have another game (second leg) and our people will be there,” he concluded.
It will be interesting to see whether the club from Merseyside can turn the tables at Anfield or will it be Messi inspired Barcelona storming their way to the Champions League finals.