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Sports

Klopp rues Reds' wasteful finishing as Madrid roll into Champions League semis

  • Despite the empty stands due to coronavirus restrictions, Liverpool flew out of the traps and should have halved their deficit within two minutes.
15 Apr, 2021

LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp bemoaned Liverpool's inability to turn dominance into goals as Real Madrid held out for a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Wednesday to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League 3-1 on aggregate.

Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum were guilty of wasting glorious opportunities to get Klopp's men back into the tie as they failed to replicate a remarkable recovery from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate at the semi-final stage two years ago.

"We didn't lose the tie tonight. We lost it definitely in Madrid but even if we drew there 0-0, we would probably still be playing because we didn't score," said Klopp, whose side now face a battle just to qualify for next season's Champions League via a top-four finish in the Premier League.

"It's a little bit ourselves this year. We had games here in the Premier League where we just don't finish the situation often enough.

"We know how often Mo Salah finished these chances with closed eyes and in this moment (he did) not."

Madrid were far from their best, but did not need to be to set up a semi-final clash with Chelsea as Los Blancos extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 14 games.

"We knew we had to suffer tonight, but in the end we got what we wanted, which was to go through," said Zidane.

"We knew they'd start fast and they were really good in the opening 15 minutes, but that's normal. In the quarter-finals of the Champions League you have to dig in and we did that and got through."

Klopp admitted before the game that his players had to create their own atmosphere without the cauldron of noise that has accompanied famous European nights at Anfield in the past.

Despite the empty stands due to coronavirus restrictions, Liverpool flew out of the traps and should have halved their deficit within two minutes.

Sadio Mane knocked Ozan Kabak's long ball perfectly into the path of Salah, but Liverpool's one consistent performer in the final third this season fired straight at Thibaut Courtois.

Klopp surprisingly repeated his decision from the first leg to leave Thiago Alcantara on the bench with James Milner this time taking the place of the Spanish international in midfield.

Milner made his presence felt within a minute with a late lunge on Karim Benzema and nearly inflicted a different type of damage on Madrid 10 minutes in when his long range effort forced Courtois into another fine save.

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