Following Wednesday’s dismal departure from the Champions League, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp acknowledged his team was outmatched by Real Madrid.
The defending champions were in a strong position to advance to the round of eight after winning the first leg 5-2 at Anfield. They avoided what coach Carlo Ancelotti referred to as a “banana skin” by winning the second leg 1-0 at the Bernabeu in Madrid, with Karim Benzema’s goal in the 78th minute making all the difference.
Real Madrid eliminated Liverpool’s chances of winning the Champions League for the third straight year.
Real Madrid won their 14th European Cup and fifth in the last eight years by defeating Liverpool in the Champions League final last year.
The Spanish giants, according to Jürgen Klopp, were superior than them.
“We came here with the backpack we had with the three goals difference, and you need a special performance and we did not show a special performance tonight,” he said.
“In moments it was a good performance but Real Madrid were the team in control for most of the game. They had the better chances.”
“Ali [goalkeeper Alisson Becker] had to make two sensational saves to keep us in the game and that’s the reason [we lost].
“If you want to get through, you need to be outstanding. If you want to win the game, you need to be really good, and Madrid was the better team and that’s why the right team went through to the next round.”
With Diogo Jota joining Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, and Darwin Nunez in Klopp’s attack, his team was loaded with offensive skill.
Nunez, who had the team’s two best chances in the first half, and Jota just after halftime both missed their opportunities, and the gamble did not pay off.
“For Diogo it was clear he shouldn’t play extremely long as he is still coming back from a long, long injury and you could see the game got harder for him,” Klopp added.
“He made some fouls as he was coming late, so no risk for him. Darwin looked like he was not at the absolute top level as well and we needed to defend that side as well. We could change and we wanted to mix things up a bit.”
Defending champions Real Madrid join AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester City and Napoli in Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw.