Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted his side could not match Real Madrid’s tempo as they were thumped 5-2 at Anfield on Tuesday.
Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah had fired Liverpool into an early lead but they were pegged back to 2-2 at half-time, after which the visitors ran riot and bagged three unanswered goals to effectively put this tie to bed.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Klopp admitted he had a lot of lessons to learn from the defeat.
“The beginning was outstanding,” he told BT Sport. “It was us in a nutshell. It was perfect, exactly how we wanted to play. The whole first half was good beside the goals.
“The first goal we became slightly passive higher up the pitch, we weren’t chasing them. The second goal is slapstick. It shouldn’t happen, can happen, 2-2.
“The first situation pretty much [after the break] they played a long ball to Vinicius. Not sure if it’s a foul. How we defend that is not OK. Then 3-2 and that doesn’t help against a team who are outstanding on the counter-attack.
“We couldn’t get back on track any more. You need to play like the first half for the full 95 minutes but you need momentum back.
“At 3-2 it was the opposite. They became more confident and scored great goals. One was deflected. That’s how it is. It’s a strange one. There’s a lot for me to take from this as well.
“We have five or six players and no challenge [for one of the goals]. That can’t happen. We were passive until the ball arrived there.
“The only way you can slow down the game a bit is to keep the ball. We started the second half losing the ball in strange moments. This space [for the third goal] that’s not possible but it happened. That’s why it’s 3-2. You have to keep the momentum and there we lost it and we didn’t get it back.
“We will go there and play a football game. It will be a massive challenge. But we have to play in the Premier League first and make sure we learn from this game.”
Liverpool have until March 15 to prepare for their trip to the Santiago Bernabeu, before which they must face Crystal Palace, Wolves, Manchester United and Bournemouth.