Jurgen Klopp already knows what has to change when Liverpool face Real Madrid at Anfield. The Reds were awful in Spain.
Liverpool struggled badly on Tuesday. Jurgen Klopp took a risk with his lineup against Real Madrid but it just didn’t work.
In fact, after leaving Thiago on the bench for Naby Keita, he changed his mind before half-time. But that was far from all that was wrong.
Liverpool were slow on the counter, misplaced pass after pass, and didn’t press well enough. Honestly, you can pick just about any part of their game and be confident that they did it badly.
It just wasn’t good enough.
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Fortunately, the tie is only halfway done. There’s still the second leg at Anfield – although, Liverpool’s recent record there is certainly worrying.
Klopp, though, is thinking positively. He’s already picked out what has to change in that second leg, for one.
“[We must improve out] intensity with the ball especially,” he told BT Sport. “You cannot defend the speed of Real Madrid when you give them the ball at the wrong moments. If you lose ball in the right moment it’s OK and you can counter-press.
“We lost the ball, so many easy passes. You have really quick and world-class players in one on ones [against you]. We have to be better in possession.”
What RTK has to say
It’s certainly good that there was so obviously a problem and that it’s one Liverpool can easily fix. In fact, you’d hope they’ll naturally pass the ball better and sharper in the second leg.
Liverpool frequently gave the ball away in horrible positions, failing to pin Real back. It meant that Los Blancos could counter-attack from midfield, rather than their own box.
That just has to change. You want Real starting their attacks with their defenders, rather than midfielders and you want to ensure that their forwards are pinned back.
Liverpool didn’t do any of that. They were sloppy and slow in possession – exactly the opposite of what they needed to be.
Hopefully, Klopp can fix that for the second leg. Only then do Liverpool have a chance of progression.