Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has conceded his side deserved to be dumped out of the Champions League after their 6-2 aggregate defeat was confirmed.
The Reds lost 1-0 against Los Blancos at the Bernabeu in their last-16 second leg tie on Wednesday night as they were once again outclassed by their Spanish opponents.
Real have often got the better over the Merseyside outfit in recent years, having beaten them in the 2018 and 2022 finals.
And the LaLiga giants again proved to be too hot to handle for Klopp‘s side, with the German admitting they were not up to the task.
He told BT Sport after the match: “Being 5-2 down is obviously not a great result, if you want to go through you need a really special performance.
“And we couldn’t put on a really special performance on the pitch tonight, it was at moments an open game I would say, but Madrid had the better chances, Alisson had to make two sensational saves.
“In the end the goal is a scrappy one, but that’s obviously not decisive anymore, so the right team went through, it’s what we have to admit.
“Madrid controlled the game, we gave them the opportunity to control it.
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“It’s not what we wanted, but it’s what we got, and now we have to carry on.”
He continued: “The game we saw tonight, Madrid were the better team and won the game, I think in three halves of the two games they were the better team, and that’s how you go through to the next round.
“We prepared for a special performance, but we were not able to put it on the pitch tonight, it was obvious.”
After winning two trophies last season, Liverpool will finish this campaign without major silverware, and are now in serious danger of finishing outside the top four.
It has led to talk that it is the end of an era for Liverpool in terms of their dominance domestically and in Europe, as talkSPORT host and ex-Chelsea star Jason Cundy said they are not the same team anymore.
Speaking on The Sports Bar, he said: “The midfield now, that high intensity, that turbo start that Liverpool had, is gone.
“That blistering start where they would blow teams away in the first 20 minutes, they’d be all over you like a rash, close you down all over the pitch, squeeze you, high energy, put you under pressure, get the first and second goal… that’s gone.
“I’ve seen Liverpool in the Champions League two-three years ago where they were absolutely sensational, they’re not like that anymore, that energy is gone, that same team, it’s not there.
“They’re going to carry on with Klopp, you have to back him and get more legs in the middle of the park.”
Cundy was then asked by co-host Jamie O’Hara whether the last few years for Liverpool can be counted as a success.
To which he replied: “I think they’re very unlucky they’ve come up against one of the greatest Premier League sides ever in Man City.
“They got pipped to the post by a point, they’re getting 90-plus points, they got to three Champions League finals.
“It’s not like they haven’t gone as far as they can, but ultimately, it’s about bringing home the bacon.
“There have been better Liverpool sides that this current side that I’ve seen that have gone on to win multiple league titles and European Cups.
“This Liverpool side really when you look back on it, will say they were a ‘nearly team’.”
Asked whether this Liverpool side will go down as one of the Premier League’s greatest teams, Cundy remarked: “I don’t think they will. No. It won’t go down.
“In memory, you’ll look at the silverware they’ve won, and they’ve won pretty much everything.
“But they’ve done it in a short space of time, Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, Super Cup…
“It feels like as quick as that came, for as quick as all that silverware turned up, it’s come and gone.
“It came in the blink of an eye that they were the best team in the country, and now it’s one league championship in nearly 35 years.”
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