- Madrid beat Liverpool 5-2
- Modric put in an impressive shift
- Klopp praised Liverpool's first-half performance
WHAT HAPPENED? The Reds went 2-0 up within the first 14 minutes of the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, but a brace from Vinicius Junior erased the lead before half-time. Real Madrid scored again through Eder Militao two minutes after the restart before Karim Benzema scored twice himself to condemn Liverpool to their worst-ever defeat at Anfield in Europe's top competition. Modric and Vinicius shone the brightest for Real Madrid, and Klopp did not take kindly to being peppered with questions on the pair by the Spanish media after the game.
WHAT THEY SAID: Klopp replied with a short shrift "yep" when asked whether Vinicius is one of the best players in the world. He then became even more agitated after being quizzed on whether Modric deserves a new contract at Madrid after his display at Anfield.
"Oh God," said the Liverpool manager. "You obviously are not too much interested in my problems, so this is not one of my problems. Yeah, fantastic player and I’m pretty sure Carlo [Ancelotti] and Real Madrid will do the right thing for the right player."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite the heavy defeat, Klopp had plenty of positives to take away from the night, especially the way his team started the match and their overall first-half display. "Everything was pretty obvious tonight I think," he said. "We gave all five goals away. All five. That means we could have done better there, but they were all obviously different. The start of the game, in our situation where we are, it’s really important that we see positive steps and I think the first half was pretty much – besides the two goals we conceded – the best we’ve played probably in the whole season. So I liked that a lot."
However, Klopp accepted that his team played into the hands of Los Blancos in the second half and was not happy with his defenders, as he added: "The second half the game was the game Real Madrid wanted to play. Both the other goals they scored, one is deflected and they weren’t really well defended to be honest. We lost the ball in the wrong moment, which is obviously a massive problem against Real Madrid with the counter-attacking threat they have and that’s how it gave the result and that’s it."
IN THREE PHOTOS:(C)Getty Images(C)Getty ImagesJuan Jiménez / GOAL
WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL& REAL MADRID? The Reds will look to quickly regroup before a Premier League encounter against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Real Madrid, meanwhile, do not have the time to rest on their laurels as they are set to be in action in a derby encounter against Atletico Madrid on the same day in La Liga.