Jürgen Klopp met with the media ahead of Liverpool's Champions League tie with Real Madrid. Klopp knows his club faces a nearly impossible task as no team ever erased a 3-goal deficit in the 2nd leg of a Champions League tie, but he says the Reds will “Give it a go”.
There was some question heading into the match about how Liverpool would approach the situation of being down 5-2 on aggregate. He answered that question emphatically.
“If there is only a one percent chance, I would like to give it a try,” Klopp said. “We are here to play an extremely strong opponent and try to win the game tomorrow. As difficult as it is, it's probably possible - not likely, but possible and for that we are here. Then we will see where it leads us to. That is pretty much all. We respect the competition too much, we respect the opponent too much to not look forward to this game tomorrow, to be honest. It is a tough task, we caused ourselves not a great situation we are in, but as I said, I am looking forward to the game anyway.”
Just when it seemed the Reds were relatively healthy, Klopp announced that Jordan Henderson and Stefan Bajčetić would miss the Real Madrid match. Henderson just has an illness and he is not expected to miss much time but for rising star Bajčetić, the news is much worse. Klopp revealed that the 19-year-old had a “bad stress injury” and his timetable for a return to the pitch is unknown at this point.
After losing the first leg 5-2 Klopp was asked if he was going to make any tactical changes ahead of the rematch. The boss says, however, that he does see many issues with Liverpool's tactical approach from the first leg.
“The only problem we really had from a tactical point of view was the counter-attacks in the second half,” he said. “In the first half, the goals were not counter-attacks and the situations of the counter-attacks we defended absolutely OK. You cannot avoid or deny Vinícius all the time and you cannot deny Karim all the time, but for a long period we did. We scored our two goals, conceded from a fantastic individual situation from Vinícius for the first one. The second goal was a present from us and then we could have scored a third one. From a tactical point of view, we have to be super-active with and without the ball; you cannot play against Madrid without defending on an extremely high level”
While I am happy Liverpool have repeatedly said they are going to push to advance to the next round of the Champions League, I am worried about what kind of toll such an effort would take on the team. Stefan Bajčetić is already out with what could be a long-term injury.
Liverpool certainly don't need any more as they make a push to the Top-4 of the EPL Table and a spot in the Champions League next season. In this match, I would take a more conservative approach and focus on the rest of the Premier League season.
“If there is only a one percent chance, I would like to give it a try. As difficult as it is, it's probably possible - not likely, but possible and for that we are here.”
“From a tactical point of view, we have to be super-active with and without the ball; you cannot play against Madrid without defending on an extremely high level”