Jürgen Klopp stated his pride in Liverpool’s performance at Camp Nou, where Barcelona took control of their Champions League semi-final with a 3-0 win on Wednesday night.

The Reds were beaten by the La Liga side despite creating a number of chances in Spain, with Luis Suarez’s first-half opener followed by two Lionel Messi strikes after the interval.

In his post-match press conference, Klopp reflected on the details of the game, where the result leaves his side’s chances of reaching the final, and more.

Read a summary below…

On whether Liverpool deserved more than they got…

I’m not sure if we deserved a lot more than we got; we played a really good football game but at the end they scored three and we didn’t score, so that’s easy to accept. In football you have different things as a manager you have to judge. For me, it’s very important how we played and I’m completely happy, I told the boys I’m proud of how we played. I think it was the best away game in the Champions League, not only this year, last year included. Against a side like this, playing this kind of football I was completely happy. We played between the lines, we didn’t play through, we were in the box, we had really good chances and caused them a lot of problems – that’s good.

The Champions League is now like this: if you lose away it’s not a massive problem, it can happen, as long as you score a goal. That’s the problem tonight, we didn’t score that goal, so that makes our life now not easy, to be honest. But from my point of view my boys gained a lot of respect again for the way they played, how they developed. I had so much fun, really, in that game but at the end we lost it and that’s now not really funny. But I’m long enough in the business that I had to learn to accept things like this and I do that obviously. That’s it.

On what he’ll say to the players…

I said I am really proud of them, that I really liked the game. They don’t have to think about the next game against Barcelona, now we play Newcastle. That’s all our focus. We go to the hotel, have a proper sleep, get up in the morning, fly home and then prepare for Newcastle. Whatever happens, these boys, I couldn’t be more proud of them. I know the result and people who didn’t see the game will say strange things, we accept that easily. It’s just how they always strike back in these kind of games, how brave they are in these moments. I just like it. At the end it’s still a 3-0 – however I think about the game – and it does not change. But it’s OK. Let’s fly home and play Newcastle.

On Messi…

In these moments he’s unstoppable. You cannot defend the free-kick – what a strike. He’s a world-class player. The second goal for 2-0 was probably not the nicest goal in the career of Lionel Messi but it shows his skills that he is even there – the ball on the crossbar and he’s there in that moment. Apart from that, I was happy with how we handled the whole Barca team and Lionel involved. I’m a big admirer of him, how probably everybody is. But my boys tonight didn’t show too much respect, they were really there and they tried completely legal things, we didn’t treat him harshly or whatever to try to get him out of the game. We just played football and I like that. I knew before Lionel Messi was a world-class player and now I saw it again I’m not too surprised.

On Barcelona’s approach…

I saw them quite a lot. I didn’t think too much about Barcelona’s style, to be honest. We tried to play our game, that’s what we did in a lot of moments. I liked it. It’s difficult to play against us but still we lost 3-0, so I would say Mr Valverde did everything right and I did everything wrong – that’s in football how it is. We both will still carry on. I was not surprised about Barca. The line-up was [how we expected] apart from maybe Vidal, full-back maybe different. That’s pretty much all. Dembele, maybe. To be in a position to make these choices is a super life, to be honest. The good thing is you can’t make a mistake because every decision is good.

On what impressed him about Liverpool’s performance…

I think everybody in football is impressed by Barcelona – the quality of the players, the stadium, the competition and all that stuff. The challenge in football is not to show that respect. You have to be ready to look sometimes ridiculous, that you get a nutmeg or whatever, but you have to be there, you have to make this last step and then somebody is there, can collect the ball and then we can start playing football. So, how we defended it, how brave we were in these situations, I liked it. When we had the ball, we were not always brilliant but we were pretty much always really good. We played, we controlled the game in moments, we let them run, we had to defend, we created – not chances constantly because that’s not possible, but moments with a chance to make a proper chance of it. That’s good and that’s what you have to do, you have to create by yourself and that’s what we did. In the end, nobody is really interested – probably only football nerds will think about it – because it was about the result and we lost 3-0. I can work really well with this game, I will use this game to show the boys what is possible. It was brave performance that was very passionate, very lively and in a lot of moments creative and direct.

On whether Liverpool can hold any optimism ahead of the second leg…

Because it’s football, yes, but before this game we had a bigger chance, let me say it like this. It is difficult, what can I say? It is Barcelona and if they can play for counter-attacks that doesn’t help us a lot. It is difficult to avoid, but because it is football we should still try. It didn’t make our life easier and it is not the night for being really mouthy and saying things like ‘It is half-time… score an early goal…’ and all that stuff. It will be another really difficult game.

On how important Mohamed Salah’s shot that hit the post will prove to be…

Obviously our season is for close, tight decisions, balls in or not in, goals, not goals. 3-1 would be a better result and I would feel slightly different in this moment. What can I say? We showed we can have chances and these boys never give up, that’s how it is – they never give up and I love that. But there is no party in the moment. We have to use that game for a lot of things, but in the moment we just feel disappointed, frustrated, whatever you want to say. There will be a moment when I can convince the boys again how important this game was for us for our development because I really think it was the best away game we played in the Champions League. That’s a very important message for us, not for the world outside.

Source link – https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/first-team/348481-jurgen-klopp-barcelona-liverpool-reaction