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Klopp: “Whoever wants to win the Champions League will have to beat Madrid and City”

Liverpool’s coach had no complaints about the outcome of this evening’s return leg at the Bernabéu: “The best team went through”.

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 15:  Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp & Real Madrid Head Coach / Manager Carlo Ancelotti react during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg two match between Real Madrid and Liverpool FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 15, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/FantasistaGetty

Jürgen Klopp attended the media after his Liverpool side bowed out of the Champions League, losing Wednesday’s return leg 1-0 and 6-2 on aggregate. As the players exchanged their congratulations and commiserations at the end of the game, Liverpool’s anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone rang out around the ground from the stadium PA - a gesture which summed up the great respect between two clubs who have amassed 20 European crowns between them.

YNWA at the Bernabéu: “I didn’t hear it, people told me about it, my staff told me after the game. It is a really nice gesture. We are two heavyweights who meet each other quite frequently in international football. I think it’s clear that we respect each other a lot. It’s a really nice gesture, I have to say. Madrid is a great club, they were the better side in this tie”.

Was it the kind of match you were expecting? “We expected a different type of match. They were very good tonight. They had the best chances. You have to respect your opponent. It has not been the night to achieve the miracle. Allison had to make sensational saves. The one who deserved it the most passed. We have to play better in playoffs”.

Tough night: “Being 5-2 down is obviously not a great result. If you want to go through, you need a really special performance and we couldn’t do that tonight. It was, for moments, an open game tonight, I would say. But Madrid had the better chances, Ali had to make two sensational saves. In the end, the goal was a bit scrappy but it wasn’t a decisive one. So the right team went through. We have to admit that. Madrid controlled the game - we gave them an opportunity to control it. There are 500,000 ways to go out and this was ours tonight”.

Did you talk to Ancelotti about the handball call in last night’s game (City vs Leipzig) and the possible penalty at the end of tonight’s game? “I honestly don’t understand it. If the whole world agrees it’s not a penalty, and two guys think it’s a penalty, then something is wrong. I spoke to Carlo and he told me, ‘That’s not a penalty, it’s deflected’. I know that, but the ref still got sent to watch it on the screen, so... In general, it would be cool if they made the right decisions instead of the wrong ones”

Madrid, the favourites: “Yes, with the experience they have, with the confidence they have, of course they are one of the favourites. I need whoever wants to win the Champions League will have to beat Real Madrid - or needs to beat Manchester City, or Napoli, who we faced and they are a really good football team. Bayern Munich and I don’t know if I have forgotten anyone else. Now there are only strong football teams involved so Madrid, with their history is for sure, a team who can win it ”.


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