Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s failure to find the net against Real Madrid was typical of their season as they failed to produce another Anfield comeback in the Champions League.
Having lost 3-1 in Madrid last week, the Reds were in need of a special performance if they were to progress to the last four. However, despite having 15 shots at goals- with four of those on target- they were unable to find even one of the goals they required. Therefore, a 0-0 draw saw them eliminated from Europe and provided confirmation that they will end the year empty-handed.
Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wjnaldum both wasted chances in the first half, while James Milner saw a long-range effort saved. Salah was again lively but failed to find the net in the second half.
And despite being upbeat about his side’s overall display, Klopp pointed towards that lack or ruthlessness in his post-match reaction.
“It’s a little bit like ourselves this year if you want- with our finishing,” he told BT Sport.
“We had games here, ridiculous games, where we should have won definitely. Not tonight, but in the Premier League. But we just don’t finish the situations. But we have to take that. That’s how it is.”
The German refused to criticise his players though, instead highlighting how some key men have produced the goods in the past.
“We all know how often and how many times Mo Salah finishes these kind of things with closed eyes pretty much, in this moment not,” he added. “Bobby [Roberto Firmino], too.
“We’ve had really a lot of situations, and we could have had more because the football we played was even better than the chances we created. We really had them in moments.”
Klopp focus already on top four charge
Liverpool now only have one route into next term’s Champions League. They have to finish in the top four of the Premier League if they are to qualify.
They currently sit sixth with seven games remaining, three points behind fourth placed West Ham.
But while Klopp could not hide his disappointment at being eliminated, he insisted all energy will now be channeled into having a strong end to the campaign to ensure they are in it again in 2021/22.
“We have to, we have to,” he said when asked how determined he is to be involved.
“We love this competition. It’s for different reasons, it’s very important for the club, so we have to.
“That doesn’t make it easier now, those two or three games we would have fitted easily into our schedule.
“But obviously we can now concentrate, unfortunately, on the Premier League. But we will, that’s what we will do.
“Monday night at Leeds is the next challenge. [They are] leading in all physical stats in the league, we have to run and work our socks off pretty much to get anything. That’s what we’ll try to prepare for now.”