Jurgen Klopp has hailed his Liverpool players for producing their “best away performance” in a Champions League game.
While praising the “unstoppable” genius of Lionel Messi, which he accepts has shattered Liverpool ’s Champions’ League dream, he admits that his players didn’t let themselves down.
The Reds suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss at Camp Nou – a result which may have ended their hopes of reaching the Champions League final for a second successive seasons.
“It’s not a night to be really mouthy and say score an early goal and all that sh**,” Klopp said..
“We know the reality. We know this is Barcelona. Because it is football yes we have a chance (in the second leg) but before this game we had a bigger chance.
“We know how difficult it is going to be – it is Barcelona, they can play for counter attacks which doesn’t help us a lot. Because it is football, we should still try but they scored three and we need to accept that.”
Messi was at his imperious best in the second half as his two goals sealed a very comfortable win for the Catalans.
And while Klopp passionately argued that in many ways the performance was Liverpool’s best away from home in the Champions’ League, he admitted Messi can destroy even the best teams.
“In these moments he is unstoppable! We couldn’t defend the free kick.
What a strike!” he said admiringly. “He’s a world class player.
The second goal was probably not the nicest in the career of Lionel Messi but it shows his skills, that he is even there in that moment.
“Apart from that I was happy in how we defended the whole Barcelona team. But I knew before that Lionel was a world class player and now I saw it again I am obviously not surprised.”
Klopp added: “I said that I am really proud of them, that I liked a lot of things about the game.
How we defended, how brave we were – we were not always brilliant but very good and we played and controlled the game in moments.
“No one will be interested but a few football nerds because it is about the result and we lost 3-0 but I really think this was our best Champions’ League away performance.
There will be a time when I can use the game forever to show the boys what is possible.
“Obviously our season is for close, tight decisions.
We had a chance for Mo at the end and 3-1 would be a better result and I would feel slightly different in this moment but it is 3-0.
It showed we can have chances and these boys never give up. I love them but there is no party at the moment. “