‘Not good’: Klopp slams lacklustre Liverpool

Vinicius Junior scored twice as Real Madrid made Liverpool pay for more defensive errors on Tuesday (AEST), a 3-1 victory putting them in sight of the Champions League semi-finals.

Vinicius and Marco Asensio both profited in the first half after darting behind Liverpool’s makeshift backline before a simple move from a throw-in gave Vinicius a simple finish in the second.

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Mohamed Salah’s strike shortly after the interval briefly made it a contest at Valdebebas, with an away goal certainly a significant consolation for Liverpool to take into the second leg at Anfield next week.

But without fans and with a miserable recent record at home, Jurgen Klopp will know his side have it all to do to avoid his team’s season becoming solely about scraping into the Premier League’s top four.

“We didn’t play well enough, that’s my first concern,” said Klopp. “We didn’t deserve to win tonight, but the good news is that there is another match.

“We are going to fight, 3-1 is not good, but we have a chance.” Except for two spells after half-time and at the finish, when their opponents were holding on to what they had, Liverpool were overpowered by Real Madrid, whose only disappointment might be missing out on a clearer margin ahead of the return in eight days’ time.

Before then, they go up against Barcelona on Saturday and this result, their fifth consecutive victory, should be another huge boost to morale going into what will be a crucial fixture in La Liga’s title race.

Madrid were without Sergio Ramos, who throughout was bellowing at his team from the stands, while teammate Raphael Varane testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning meant both sides were fielding patched-up back fours.

Vinicius Junior’s second goal sealed the deal for the men in white.Source:Getty Images

The last time these two clubs met, Ramos dislocated Salah’s shoulder and Madrid went on to win their 13th European Cup but Klopp insisted there was no desire for revenge in the minds of his players.

A full stadium this time around would have sent a surge of momentum through Madrid but there was still a simmering buzz, as their substitutes were cheering louder and the players pressed quicker and passed harder.

It was these Spanish cheers that could be heard when the whistle blew.

Sadio Mane and Lucas Vazquez compete for the ball.Source:Getty Images

Man City defeat Dortmund in nailbiter

Manchester City “felt the pressure” of expectancy in the Champions League as they needed Phil Foden’s 90th minute winner to take a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg of their quarter-final tie against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

City have now won 27 of their last 28 games in all competitions to remain on course for a historic quadruple of Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

But they have failed to get beyond the last eight in the Champions League in each of the Pep Guardiola’s four previous seasons in charge.

We felt the pressure today, in this competition, at home, not knowing how we would react,” said Guardiola.

“It’s better to win than draw but even at 1-1 we had 90 minutes to do it.”

The sides will meet again in Germany on April 14 with the winners facing Bayern Munich or Paris Saint-Germain in the last four.

Manchester City got the job done.Source:Getty Images

— with AFP

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