A 'proud' Jurgen Klopp called Liverpool's performance against Barcelona their best away from home in Europe this season or last, despite losing 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.
The Reds have a mountain to climb in next week's second leg at Anfield, needing a four-goal swing after failing to pinch an away goal at Camp Nou. However, the Liverpool boss spoke positively of his side's performance, claiming they couldn't have played much better.
Speaking after the game, via the Liverpool Echo, Klopp revealed how he addressed the team after the disappointing defeat in Barcelona.
He said: "I said that I am really proud of them, that I liked a lot of things about the game.
“I don’t have to think about the next game against Barcelona yet, we have Newcastle and that will have all of our focus. We will go to the hotel, have a proper sleep, get up in the morning and fly home.
“Whatever happens, these boys, I couldn’t be more proud of them."
After forging several good chances and going toe-to-toe with the Spanish champions for much of the night, Liverpool were unfortunate to lose by such a heavy scoreline and were ultimately undone by some Lionel Messi magic.
This room is full of people who are better at free-kicks than Lionel Messi... pic.twitter.com/2ZoZozBGiJ— 90min (@90min_Football) May 2, 2019
Former Liverpool player Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the first half but the Reds stayed in the game until the 75th minute, when Messi added a second before scoring his 600th Barcelona goal with a breathtaking free-kick to give the Spanish champions a healthy first-leg advantage.
At 1-0 down, Liverpool created a few chances to equalise through Sadio Mane and James Milner, with Mohamed Salah also forcing a good save out of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and perhaps it's for this reason Klopp believes it was their best European away performance to date.
Klopp added: "As a manager, what I judge on is how we played. I am completely happy and proud of the boys, I think it was the best Champions League game we played not only this year but last year as well."
Liverpool must turn their attention immediately to a crucial Premier League match against Newcastle United on Saturday night, as they look to take the title race to the final day of the season with a win at St James' Park.
Source : 90min