Klopp after Madrid rout Liverpool: 'Carlo thinks the tie is over'

By Sports Desk February 21, 2023

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Carlo Ancelotti thinks their Champions League last-16 tie is over after Real Madrid trounced the Reds 5-2 at Anfield in Tuesday's first leg.

The Reds blew an early two-goal lead after Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah's early strikes to suffer the heavy defeat, which leaves them with a mountain to climb in the second leg in Madrid on March 15.

The defeat was the first time the Reds have conceded four or more goals at home in a European game.

Ancelotti insisted the tie is still live after the game despite the deficit, while Klopp remained hopeful, but conceded it was going to be tough to turn it around.

"I think Carlo thinks the tie is over – and I think it as well in the moment," Klopp told reporters. "But in three weeks... the closer you get to the game the bigger our chances become and the less likely it is the tie is over.

"Tonight, with the 5-2, they are pretty good in counter-attacking and we have to score three goals there and take some risk, so that could be a bit tricky.

"We go there, I can say it now already and try to win the game. If that is possible or not, I don't know now but that's what we will try and from there we will see."

Liverpool became the first team in Champions League history to lose by a three-goal margin after being 2-0 up.

Klopp acknowledged Eder Militao's free header from a Luka Modric set-piece straight after half-time for 3-2 shifted the momentum.

"I really thought the 3-2 had a massive impact," he said. "The 2-1 and the 2-2 not so much… my personal feeling was, 'first goal, OK, bad defending but well done as well, the second was slapstick but get over it'.

"Then the third goal directly after half-time, we didn't deal particularly well with that. We don't want to concede goals but I think if we just think about the first half, everybody's impression was, 'Wow, that was a really good first half' even when we conceded two.

"I really thought our people saw it exactly like that, they were outstanding tonight in a difficult game. The first half it was not too difficult to be positive but in the second half when it was difficult to stay positive, they were positive and I am thankful for that."

Defender Joe Gomez was replaced in the 73rd minute with an apparent injury concern, although Klopp had no clear update on his status.

"He showed a little bit of a sign but then we just made a decision," Klopp said. "Now we will see and he will get checked tomorrow."

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