UEFA Champions League English

Klopp’s players urged to recover quickly from their bitter Champions League exit to Los Blancos

Jurgen Klopp has sent the word out to his players to quickly overcome their bitter disappointment with their Champions League exit and be ready to attack the week that will finally define their season.

The Reds were eliminated from the Champions League after failing to put Real Madrid under any significant pressure. Karim Benzema’s late goal gave the Spanish giants a 1-0 win, adding to their convincing 5-2 rout on Merseyside, to reach the quarter-finals.

Klopp’s side are now game-less until after the international break but face trips to Manchester City and Chelsea as well as hosting the Gunners upon their return. This next sequence of games will determine whether Liverpool will qualify for the Champions League next year.

Klopp, clearly dejected, admitted: “With the history we have in this competition, we start usually in the competition with the idea of winning it, to be honest.

“We reached a few times the final, we didn’t the final often that’s true but we were there three times in the last few years.

“That’s why I really believe if you want to win the competition, you have to be outstanding. And we weren’t tonight and that’s fair why we go out. But it’s THE competition and we want to be a part of it every year, and that’s now a massive task for us. We all know that.

“When we come back from the international break we have a proper football week ahead of us, I would say, with three games – City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

“They will probably define where we get out of it.

“People might say we lost it at Bournemouth but I think this week is a pretty decisive one.”

Klopp’s six full seasons in charge have seen him lead the Reds to Champions League qualification each season but their inconsistency this campaign has been abominable so far, something clearly witnessed by all and sundry even in this most recent Champions League defeat particularly in the first leg against the Los Blancos when they were drubbed 5-2, followed up with the lackluster way they were unable to pose any challenge to the Spanish side in the return leg, losing lamely 1-0 to the LaLiga giants at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, grace permeated the atmosphere at the end of the night as the victors, Real Madrid, definitely displayed subtle class as the stadium reverberated poignantly with the epochal You’ll Never Walk Alone anthem of the Reds after the final whistle out of respect for the vanquished opponents.

This gesture meant a lot to Klopp, who was frustrated that things didn’t fall into place for his team.

“I was not angry after the game, I was disappointed,” he added.

“I would be angry if we would have played better and it was close and they won because of a penalty which isn’t a penalty or things like that, but in the end that all didn’t happen.

“Real Madrid was just the better side. I’m long enough in the business to respect that.

“We are two heavyweights who meet each other quite frequently in international competition and it’s clear we respect each other a lot and however did something like that, it was a really nice gesture I have to say.”