Jurgen Klopp lamented Liverpool's failure to take their chances in the second leg against Real Madrid at Anfield, but admitted: "We didn't lose the tie tonight - we definitely lost it in Madrid".

The Reds' Champions League campaign was ended by opponents from the Spanish capital for a second successive season, Madrid holding on for a 0-0 draw on Merseyside for a 3-1 aggregate triumph in the quarter-final clash.

Liverpool needed at least two goals to turn the tie around, but were unable to find a way through at home, despite creating a number of excellent opportunities - particularly in the opening 45 minutes.

They attempted 13 shots from inside the box – their most in a Champions League home game without scoring since March 2006 against Benfica (20) - but managed just four on-target efforts.

"You always need those key moments. The performance in general was good - we didn't lose the tie tonight, we definitely lost it in Madrid," Klopp told BT Sport.

"It was uncomfortable for Madrid, definitely. We were good, we were aggressive and played some really good stuff, obviously massive chances at the beginning of the game.

"It's hypothetical I know, but if you use one of them, it feels different. They had already started to struggle, and it would have increased that. But it is 'ifs' and 'when', because we didn't score.

"It became more and more difficult and then with the experience of Real Madrid; they played the time down."

Mohamed Salah failed to convert from Sadio Mane's square pass inside the opening two minutes as Liverpool started quickly, while the Egyptian and Georginio Wijnaldum were guilty of missing the target completely when presented with clear-cut openings before the half-time interval.

For Klopp, the inability to apply the finish to some excellent approach play summed up the 2020-21 season as a whole.

"It's a little bit ourselves this year with our finishing. We've had games here – ridiculous games – where we should have won. Not tonight, but in the Premier League where we just don't finish the situation off," he said.

"We have to take that, we all know how often Mo Salah finishes these kinds of things, with closed eyes pretty much. We had a lot of situations – and could have had more. The football we played around was even better than the chances we created."

Klopp admitted his substitutions affected the rhythm of his team, with the European exit now meaning the focus solely shifts to finishing in the top four of the Premier League.

Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota were introduced at the hour mark, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri came on with just under 10 minutes remaining.

"Second half, after 60 minutes, they took a bit more control, more of the ball. We made the changes and maybe timing wise it wasn't exactly right, we wanted fresh legs but we didn’t come through that well," the Liverpool boss continued.

"We lost a little bit of rhythm and tried too hard. Tonight it was absolutely okay, but we are out anyway.

"We love this competition, and for different reasons it is very important to the club. It doesn't make it easier now, because the two or three games we could have fitted easily in our schedule.

"Obviously we can now concentrate on the Premier League. That is what we do – Monday at Leeds is the next challenge. They are leading the league in all physical stats, so we will have to run and work our socks off to get anything."

Real Madrid reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2018 after a 0-0 draw at Anfield secured a 3-1 aggregate triumph over Liverpool.

Zinedine Zidane's depleted side had seized control of the tie in the first meeting a week ago, Vinicius Junior the hero as he scored twice in the Spanish capital.

A makeshift defence stood up to the challenge in a scoreless return fixture, setting up a two-legged showdown with another English side in Chelsea for a place in this year's final in Istanbul.

The Ataturk Stadium holds fond memories for Liverpool – they were crowned European champions at the venue in 2005 – but there will be no return trip this year, leaving the focus for Jurgen Klopp's squad on securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.

The Reds will look back with regret on a disappointing display on the road, though they had a number of clear-cut chances to reduce the deficit on Merseyside.

Mohamed Salah was unable to convert a Sadio Mane square pass inside two minutes as the hosts started at a frenetic pace, his first-time attempt aimed straight at Thibaut Courtois.

The Egyptian forward – one of the more consistent performers in a season Klopp recently described as "bumpy" – wastefully fired over following superb work by Gini Wijnaldum, who also failed to keep an attempt of his own down as Madrid made it to the break unscathed.

Liverpool had a let-off when Karim Benzema's attempted pass to Vinicius deflected off Ozan Kabak and onto a post, much to the relief of Nathaniel Phillips after he had lost possession to present the counter-attacking opportunity.

Roberto Firmino tested Courtois again soon after the interval, while another on-target attempt from the Brazilian midway through the second half was blocked superbly by compatriot Eder Militao.

Vinicius was denied by Alisson in a one-on-one situation as Madrid's run of scoring in 23 straight knockout games came to an end, but more importantly they held firm at the back to seal their progression.

Real Madrid's team bus had one window smashed en route to Anfield for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Liverpool.

Reports began circulating in the Spanish media shortly after Madrid left the team hotel that their bus had been struck by an object.

While confirmation was not relayed by Madrid, footage of the bus showed the damage once it had arrived at Anfield, with one window on the vehicle missing.

Although it is unclear who is responsible, Liverpool were charged by UEFA in 2018 after Manchester City's bus was pelted with bottles and cans on its approach into Anfield ahead of a Champions League knockout clash.

The Reds were fined €20,000 for the actions of their supporters on that occasion.

Liverpool are 3-1 down from the first leg in Madrid.

Andy Robertson believes Liverpool need to cope better with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric if they are to stand any chance of overturning their 3-1 Champions League quarter-final deficit to Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Liverpool were considered fortunate to avoid suffering a worse defeat at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano last week, as Madrid appeared the far more accomplished of the two teams.

Kroos completed more passes (68) than anyone else on the pitch, though Liverpool enjoyed a slightly larger share of the ball (54.4 per cent). Despite this, Jurgen Klopp's men managed just one shot on target to Madrid's seven.

The issue, seemingly, was that Madrid used the ball better and focused much of their play down the left, with Vinicius Junior operating in the spaces vacated by Trent Alexander-Arnold. In fact, 44.3 per cent of their forays forward came down that side of the pitch.

Kroos was deployed on the left of Madrid's midfield three, allowing him to work closer to the area Los Blancos appeared to target – as such, the fact his four key passes was double the amount of anyone else on the field proves Zinedine Zidane's set-up worked like a charm.

Robertson, though, is convinced Liverpool could have done more without the ball, a suggestion supported by Fabinho being the only one of the Reds' four central midfielders involved (Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara and Georginio Wijnaldum the others) to make more than one tackle (three).

"Real Madrid are one of the best at controlling games. When they're in winning positions, they've got the likes of [Luka] Modric and Kroos that can just stand on the ball for what feels like 10 minutes and you can't get it off them," Robertson told Liverpool's official website.

"But we need to put these players under pressure, we need to put them all under pressure, we need to make their life a bit more uncomfortable than we did last week. It felt as if we gave all of them too much time on the ball, really, so we need to make it uncomfortable for them.

"If we lose the ball, we need to get it back quickly and our pressing game needs to be top level, and that's the basis for all our good games. When you look at all the big games we've played and all the good games we've played, it's been down to the pressing being so good. So, we need to try to create that.

"It doesn't just happen, we need to make it happen. We need the hard work and we need everyone willing to do it. The lads are always willing to do it, so I've got no doubt about that, but it's just about us trying to get close to the ball.

"We know that when we've got it we can hurt teams, but when we don't have it we need to get it back quickly and we need to close the spaces, which we probably weren't good enough at last week. We can learn our lesson from that and hopefully we can put in a better performance."

Despite their injuries and subsequent frequent personnel changes, Liverpool have continued to be effective with their pressing this season, with their PPDA (opposition passes allowed per defensive action) of 10.6 slightly higher than the 10.3 they managed last term in the Premier League.

Only Chelsea (10) and Leeds United (9.2) have better such numbers than the Reds domestically, yet against Madrid their PPDA dropped significantly to 14.8, suggesting they were guilty of perhaps showing Zidane's men too much respect.

Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are preparing for home quarter-final legs knowing only victories will give them a chance of reaching the Champions League last four.

Jurgen Klopp's side were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid in the Spanish capital last week, the scoreline matching that of the 2018 final, when Zinedine Zidane won the trophy for the third year running.

Of course, the Reds have history of famous Anfield comebacks, most notably two years ago when Barcelona were stunned on Merseyside after winning the semi-final first leg 3-0.

Dortmund are also in need of a spirited display. Marco Reus' away goal gave them a foothold in the tie against Manchester City, but a late winner from Phil Foden at the Etihad Stadium means the Premier League leaders have the advantage.

Still, if Dortmund repeat the result of the last time they hosted City in this competition, they will be going through...

 

Liverpool v Real Madrid (1-3 on aggregate): History on Zidane's side

Liverpool's unforgettable 4-0 win over Barcelona was one of two instances out of a possible 11 where they have progressed in a knockout tie after losing the first leg by two or more goals.

They beat Madrid by the same scoreline in March 2009 at Anfield, but Los Blancos' most recent visit to Merseyside ended in a 3-0 win in October 2014. They are now on a run of four consecutive wins over Liverpool.

Given Madrid have scored in each of their previous 23 Champions League knockout games, and the fact they have won 15 of the past 16 ties where they won the first leg by at least two goals, they would appear to be in a very strong position.

If Liverpool are to produce another turnaround, Mohamed Salah will almost certainly be key. His goal in the first leg means he has scored in each of his previous four appearances in the competition, and he could become only the second Liverpool player – after Steven Gerrard in 2007-08 – to do so in five.

Luka Modric is also chasing a small slice of history. The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner has provided an assist in three Champions League games in a row; since at least 2003-04, no Madrid player has ever managed to set up a goal in four consecutive games in this competition.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City (1-2 on aggregate): Haaland the main threat to Guardiola's record

Pep Guardiola lost three of his first five meetings with Borussia Dortmund but is unbeaten in his most recent seven, while City have only failed to progress twice in 15 European knockout ties after winning the first leg.

However, Guardiola endured the most recent of those eliminations, with Monaco upsetting City in his first season in charge in 2016-17. In fact, in Champions League history, the team to win the first leg 2-1 at home has been eliminated (15 times) more often than they have progressed (12).

It really could be a game of fine margins. If Dortmund repeat the scoreline from their only previous home game against City in December 2012 (1-0), that will be enough to send them through. However, City have kept clean sheets in four consecutive away games in the competition; another on Wednesday will guarantee their semi-final spot and see them become the first side to record shutouts in five games in a row since Manchester United a decade ago.

Inevitably, all eyes will be on Erling Haaland. The Norway star has only failed to score in three of his 15 Champions League appearances and has never drawn a blank at home for Dortmund, hitting seven in just four games.

Haaland has been tipped to replace Sergio Aguero at City next season, but this could be a chance for the Argentina striker to underline his legacy: a goal here will take him to 37 in the competition, the most of any player for a Premier League club. Aguero likes Bundesliga opposition, too: 11 of his 36 goals have come against sides from Germany, more than he has managed against teams from any other nation.

Mason Mount declared Chelsea are "ready for anyone" and confident they will beat Real Madrid or Liverpool in their first Champions League semi-final for seven years.

Mehdi Taremi's spectacular stoppage-time volley snatched a 1-0 victory for Porto in the quarter-final second leg on Tuesday, but Chelsea progressed 2-1 on aggregate at Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan.

Thomas Tuchel's well-drilled Chelsea were untroubled until Taremi found the back of the net with a sublime acrobatic strike, which was only Porto's second shot on target in a drab encounter in Seville.

Chelsea have now reached the last four of the Champions League eight times, more than any other English team.

Mount, who scored in the first leg at the same venue last week, said the London club are not finished yet as they eye two trophies – with an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City to come on Saturday.

Asked who he would like to play Madrid or Liverpool at the semi-final stage, Mount told BT Sport:  "We are ready for fight and battle. we get to sit down, watch and analyse it [the second leg at Anfield on Wednesday]  

"The best team will go through and we will be ready for anyone."

The England midfielder added: "We're buzzing. We're in a good position, we know we're playing well. The focus in every game is 100 per cent.

"We're going into each game with confidence that we're going to win. We've got a big end to the season."

Chelsea's second-leg defeat was their first in the Champions League this season and just a second in 18 games in all competitions under Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard in January.

Luka Modric has admitted he would love to play with Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker continues to be linked with a switch to the LaLiga giants, and recent unconfirmed reports claimed Mbappe has told his French club he wants to leave.

Mbappe has also previously been linked with a possible switch to Liverpool, who Madrid face in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.

It now appears the Spanish capital is a likelier destination than Merseyside for 22-year-old Mbappe, who helped France win the 2018 World Cup final against Modric and Croatia.

Asked about the prospect of signings for next season, Madrid playmaker Modric told a pre-match news conference: "There are a lot of rumours and news about players coming and leaving. I can't comment on that.

"Kylian Mbappe is a great player, he has showed us many times with PSG and the French national team. Great players are always welcome at Real Madrid, of course.

"But it wouldn't be correct for me to talk about players from other teams, especially at this stage of the season.

"We'll see what happens next season, but what I can tell you is he is one of the best players in the world."

The first degree of uncertainty over whether Mbappe and Modric share a dressing room next term centres on whether a deal will be struck between PSG and Madrid, but the second would be whether Modric remains with Los Blancos.

The 35-year-old midfielder's contract expires after the end of the season, and Modric is hopeful of staying on, saying there have been positive moves towards that happening.

"Like always, my contract extension is going well," Modric said. "I can't say anything else. I've always said I want to keep playing here at Real Madrid.

"I feel very happy here and hope I can stay here next season, but apart from that I can't tell you anything else."

Modric and Toni Kroos continue to look like a midfield combination that Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane would be bold if not foolish to split up, and Modric said his German team-mate has "made me feel at my most comfortable".

"I enjoy playing alongside Toni a lot. We understand each other very well," Modric added. "Let's see how much longer we can share the pitch together."

Madrid, who lead 3-1 from the first leg against Liverpool, travelled to Anfield without injured captain Sergio Ramos, and it emerged on Wednesday the skipper has also tested positive for the coronavirus.

They are also without Raphael Varane, Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard for a game which Madrid approach on the back of a Clasico win over Barcelona in LaLiga.

Former Tottenham midfielder Modric said it was unfortunate the game would be played behind closed doors, given the volume that can be generated at Liverpool.

Madrid won 3-0 at Anfield in the group stage in 2014, with Modric and Kroos again at the heart of midfield.

Modric said Madrid would have relished a noisy welcome, saying: "I would like to play at Anfield with a crowd because I played a few times with Tottenham and played that game with Real Madrid and the atmosphere was amazing.

"Everyone wants to play with fans, with a crowd. That's why we're not thinking about if it's an advantage for us or not."

Real Madrid must perform at "maximum intensity" to get past Liverpool and reach the Champions League semi-finals, head coach Zinedine Zidane has warned.

Los Blancos claimed a 3-1 first-leg win in Spain thanks to two goals from Vinicius Junior and one from Marco Asensio, with Mohamed Salah grabbing an away goal for the Premier League champions.

Liverpool famously recovered from a 3-0 deficit to knock Barcelona out of the semi-finals two years ago, but that was one of just two out of 13 occasions in which they have progressed after losing the first leg of a European tie by two goals or more.

Madrid have only lost one of their previous 16 knockout ties when winning the first leg by such a margin, while they have scored at least one goal in each of their past 23 games in the competition beyond the group stage.

With history seemingly on their side, and following an impressive 2-1 win over Barcelona that lifted them to within a point of LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid, Zidane's side could perhaps be forgiven if they are unable to match the same level of effort at Anfield.

However, Zidane is not prepared to accept any such compromise in their standards, nor to begin prioritising one competition over another.

"We don't think like that. We only have this game with Liverpool in our heads. We want to go through," he told reporters.

"We're not going to waste our resources. Real Madrid always go out on the pitch to win. We've used so much energy against Liverpool and Barcelona but we're going to have to play at our maximum intensity again, and we're ready for that."

Madrid will be without Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez, with Federico Valverde battling to be fit and several players admitting to being tired after the wins over Liverpool and Barca in a gruelling week.

"The team is always united against difficulties," said Zidane. "This shows the character they have. It's a very strange season for many reasons. But we can't do anything other than recover well. We'll keep going until the end.

 "We know what type of game we have coming up. What we are going to try and do is continue what we're doing and compete as a team. We're going to need to compete and attack well as a unit. We're ready for this return leg."

With Carvajal and Vazquez sidelined, Zidane is expected to choose between Valverde – nominally a midfielder – and Alvaro Odriozola at right-back on Wednesday.

"Fede has recovered and he's at 100 per cent with the team. We'll see tomorrow how we use him," Zidane said.

"Odriozola has played little, it's true, but now I'm not going to say anything about the team."

Liverpool's hopes of producing another famous European comeback at Anfield will be reduced due to the lack of fans, manager Jurgen Klopp has conceded.

The Reds lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie in the Spanish capital, leaving them with an arduous task to reach the last four.

Liverpool have only progressed twice in the previous 13 European knockout ties in which they lost the first leg by at least two goals, the most recent example coming two years ago when they stunned Barcelona with a 4-0 win at Anfield after losing the first game 3-0.

Anfield has become much less of a fortress this season while games have been played behind closed doors, with last weekend's 2-1 win over Aston Villa ending a six-game losing streak at home in the Premier League for the English champions.

Klopp accepts it is a blow to play without the backing of the crowd but he hopes his players still believe in their chances.

"When you're 3-1 down, it looks like you're already out," he said on Tuesday. "That means you have not a lot to lose, so we will give it a try. It's exactly how we'll go for it.

"It's a result of the performances of the night: they were better than us and we were not as good as we could have been, or should have been. But it's the first leg.

"It's just one extra problem: no supporters in the stadium. The result is a problem, the quality of the opponent is a problem, and obviously that the stadium is empty is a problem as well.

"It's always about winning football games and that is the target. If that will end up in a comeback, I have no idea.

"We have to be in a mood to start believing again and, if that happens and we can see that it's possible, then we have a chance, but it's still incredibly difficult."

Real Madrid have scored in each of their previous 23 Champions League knockout matches and an away goal would put them in a commanding position to progress.

While Klopp would love to keep a clean sheet, he is not certain any side can keep Madrid at bay if they are at their best.

"The clean sheet is very important but that's not too different to other games – you never want to concede goals," he said.

"I have no idea [if there is] anyone in the world who can deny Real Madrid having any chances.

"They beat us and then they beat Barcelona in a very important game so they are obviously in a good moment. We have to be 100 per cent on our top level if we want to make it.

"With the quality that Real Madrid has you have to defend on your absolutely highest level and that is what we didn't do in the first leg."

Vinicius Junior produced arguably his best performance for Madrid in the first leg, scoring either side of Marco Asensio's goal to give Zinedine Zidane's side men the advantage.

Klopp, who was not surprised by the Brazilian's display, wants his team to control the passing threat of Toni Kroos better in order to prevent a repeat.

"He is an outstanding talent, everybody knew it before Real Madrid signed him [from Flamengo in 2018]," he said.

"The one goal we could have defended but the other was just a great long ball and then a great first touch and finish.

"We have to try to avoid the passes in his direction, which is a big task. [I was] impressed yes, surprised no."

Eden Hazard will not be risked by Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Liverpool.

Hazard has been restricted to only 14 appearances in a frustrating injury-hit campaign for the LaLiga champions.

The Belgium international recovered from a hip injury to make a substitute appearance in a 2-1 win over Elche last month but sustained another setback.

Hazard is back in training but was not included in Los Blancos' 21-man squad for the clash at Anfield on Wednesday, which Zinedine Zidane's side will start with a 3-1 lead.

Lucas Vazquez will also be absent after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2-1 Clasico victory over Barcelona on Saturday.

There were concerns over Toni Kroos' fitness for the trip to Merseyside after the Germany midfielder came off in the win over Barca, but he was named in the squad, along with Federico Valverde, who was also a doubt.

In-form Madrid will also be without injured defenders Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Raphael Varane once again.

Where will Kylian Mbappe be playing next season is a question being asked across Europe.

The Paris Saint-Germain star has been tipped to join Real Madrid.

Should Mbappe depart Paris, PSG are reportedly drawing up a list of replacements.

 

TOP STORY – KANE AND SALAH WANTED IN PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain have set their sights on Tottenham forward Harry Kane and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah as possible replacements for Kylian Mbappe, according to Telefoot.

Mbappe has been heavily linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, though PSG remain in negotiations over a contract extension.

While PSG are still hopeful, the Ligue 1 holders are eyeing the Premier League should Mbappe leave the French capital.

Kane is reportedly wanted by Manchester United and Manchester City, while Salah has previously been linked with Madrid and Barcelona.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are chasing Inter midfielder Nicolo Barella. The Sun adds Chelsea are also interested in the Italy star.

Juventus and PSG could exchange Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala in a swap deal, says Corriere dello Sport. Icardi's future is up in the air, despite only joining PSG permanently from Inter last year, while countryman Dybala is reportedly nearing an exit.

- AS Diario claims United are keeping tabs on Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, who has also been linked with neighbours City. United have also been credited with interest in Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, RB Leipzig's Liverpool target Ibrahima Konate as well as Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and team-mate Raphael Varane.

- Eintracht Frankfurt boss Adi Hutter is set to replace outgoing boss Marco Rose at Borussia Monchengladbach, reports Kicker. Rose is poised to take charge of Borussia Dortmund.

What does the future hold for Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo?

Mbappe has been heavily linked with Real Madrid, while Ronaldo's future at Juventus is far from certain.

A possible switch to the Spanish capital could reportedly impact Ronaldo.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE OUT, RONALDO IN AT PSG?

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo could join Paris Saint-Germain if Kylian Mbappe leaves for Real Madrid, according to Tuttosport.

Mbappe has long been tipped to swap Ligue 1 holders PSG for LaLiga champions Madrid, who have been linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Inter forward Romelu Lukaku.

If Mbappe makes the move to the Santiago Bernabeu, it could send Ronald to Paris as Juve look to reduce their wage bill in Turin.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Athletic reports Harry Kane will ask to leave Tottenham if they do not qualify for next season's Champions League. The Spurs star has been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Madrid.

Barcelona are eyeing Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez, claims Mundo Deportivo. The LaLiga giants are not rumoured to be interested in Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng, who is set to depart Bavaria at season's end.

- The Mirror says Liverpool are interested in signing Barca star Pedri, who reportedly has a release clause around £70million (€81m).

United have been warned West Ham will not accept an offer to include Jesse Lingard as part of a deal to prise Declan Rice to Old Trafford, claims The Sun. United are also keen to bring back Sam Johnstone from West Brom if David de Gea or Dean Henderson leave.

- Bild says Liverpool are entering the final stages of a deal for RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate. Premier League rivals United have also been linked.

Jurgen Klopp does not want to continue the debate surrounding Trent Alexander-Arnold's England hopes after the right-back again wrote himself into the headlines, this time in front of Gareth Southgate.

Alexander-Arnold was controversially left out of the latest Three Lions squad by Southgate last month, the team's final gathering before a group for Euro 2020 is named.

Liverpool manager Klopp defended his player and said Alexander-Arnold's form - widely questioned this season - "cannot be the reason" for his omission.

The 22-year-old has since turned in an influential display at Arsenal, assisting the first goal in a 3-0 win, before his error let Marco Asensio in for one of three Real Madrid goals in the Champions League in midweek.

Back in Premier League action on Saturday, Alexander-Arnold was a talking point again for the right reasons.

His superb 91st-minute strike clinched a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, Liverpool's first Anfield success of 2021.

The academy graduate wrote on Twitter: "Are you not entertained!?"

Alexander-Arnold had a game-high 102 touches and no Reds player created more chances than his three. Crucially, he also made a joint-high three tackles.

A balance between attack and defence has been identified as key, and this was the first time all season Alexander-Arnold had three key passes and three tackles in the same league match.

Klopp was again asked about his star performer post-match but hopes the topic of conversation can finally now change.

"He wants to be in the [England] squad - that is clear - so we don't have to talk too much about it," Klopp said. "He is a wonderful player.

"I think Gareth agrees that he is a really wonderful player, then there is a manager who has to make a decision.

"I respect that, I really respect that. Trent respects that, I respect that.

"To be in the England squad, you have to play outstanding football. Trent did this very, very often at a very young age. So there's nothing to talk about.

"There will be tough decisions, not only at that position, too, for Gareth. I have to make tough decisions every day – that's normal in the job.

"But we don't have to talk about it; just leave the boy playing football, which he's pretty good at, and don't talk any more about it."

Although Alexander-Arnold lost possession 35 times and was dribbled past twice, there were no errors leading to shots to add to the two against Madrid - one of which Asensio punished.

Prior to the trip to Spain, Alexander-Arnold had only made one such error all season across all competitions.

"Life is like this, football is like this," Klopp said, hailing the defender's character.

"He played an exceptional game against Arsenal, a top game today, and in Real Madrid, we don't have to hide that, he was involved in the second goal they scored. That's how it is.

"I don't think Trent is in a situation where he has to prove himself constantly at this level; he has to play good football.

"As a young player, you have to develop, and you only do that if you challenge yourself in specific moments.

"If he's not playing well, it's not that he's not bothered or doesn't care, it's the opposite."

Jurgen Klopp feared Liverpool were living the "same old story" against Aston Villa, but hopes his side's response to falling behind can help them against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

The Reds finally recorded a first home win in the Premier League in 2021, though the champions had to rally from a goal down at half-time following Ollie Watkins' opener at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah drew Liverpool level before Trent Alexander-Arnold struck a superb stoppage-time winner, the full-back's goal coming with England manager Gareth Southgate watching on inside the stadium.

Klopp was particularly pleased with the spirit shown by his players, with Liverpool ending a six-game losing streak at Anfield in the league. The 2-1 triumph aids their hopes of a top-four finish this season, while it also offers a timely boost ahead of hosting Madrid in midweek.

"Obviously, the other game [against Arsenal] was really, really good, but today seemed to be the same old story, if you like," the Liverpool boss said.

"We played well but we made one mistake – which is not the biggest mistake in the world – to give them the opportunity to score, and they do. We score an equaliser, which was a great goal – a great pass, great link-up play, all these kinds of things – and then you get the information it is offside.

"We go in at half-time and it's a little bit like the same story again. But it was decided long ago and we have accepted that it’s going to be a bumpy season for us, we have to strike back again, and again, and again.

"The boys did. It took a while until we scored, but we scored a really nice goal. Then, in our situation, we had to increase a little bit the risk, took off a centre-back [Ozan Kabak] for [Xherdan] Shaqiri.

"Then we scored this wonderful goal for 2-1. It was the best goal for ages, emotionally. I'm really happy for the three points."

Liverpool ended an eight-match winless run in the Premier League at their own ground. In doing so, they scored as many goals against Villa as they did across that shocking streak.

Klopp said in his media conference: "It's no secret that it's quite a bumpy season for us. We have to fight through and if, in the end, we finish in a Champions League spot, then great.

"But it's tricky. I'm not surprised any more when things like the first half happen, I'm interested in the reaction. I liked the reaction. If we didn't turn the situation around previously, that's why we lost six games in a row at home, which should not happen - but it happened."

Next up is the return fixture in the quarter-final tie with Madrid, who triumphed 3-1 in the opening leg on Spanish soil.

While making clear his players will give it their all in attempting to turn the situation around, Klopp appreciates they face a tall order against opponents who were so clinical in the first meeting.

"We need a perfect performance on Wednesday if we want to have a chance – just a chance," Klopp said.

"I really think that with the way we played – and the way Real Madrid played there – it doesn't look very promising, but the good thing is we can play better.

"Real Madrid doesn't come here and think they are already through. It's going to be a tough one, but we will give it a try, I can promise.

"This helps, of course. When you are in the moment and win everything, you don't feel the intensity, you just want to play the next game – you would play the next day if you could. 

"Obviously, for us in the moment, it's not that easy. We have to work really hard. We have to create five chances to score a goal, or 10 to score. You have go through that, you cannot change it just because you want to. You have to work for it. We did that against a strong opponent, a very important three points.

"Whatever it gives us for Wednesday, we will use."

Liverpool left it late to secure a first Premier League win at home in 2021, with Trent Alexander-Arnold's superb stoppage-time strike downing Aston Villa 2-1 at Anfield.

The Reds rallied from a goal down to secure three crucial points in terms of the top-four battle, while the result is also a timely boost with a Champions League second leg against Real Madrid coming up in midweek.

Ollie Watkins – who scored a hat-trick in a stunning 7-2 win for his side when Liverpool visited Villa Park early in the season - gave the visitors a half-time advantage on Merseyside, his left-footed shot squeezing underneath Alisson.

Roberto Firmino had a potential equaliser ruled out by the video assistant referee before the interval, but Mohamed Salah scored the Reds' first home goal from open play in the league in 765 minutes to level early in the second half.

Liverpool had a let-off when Trezeguet hit the post but, with England boss Gareth Southgate watching on, Alexander-Arnold collected a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and curled in a late winner.

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