Klopp didn’t watch back ‘proper torture’ Champions League final for eight months

Jurgen Klopp sat down on his own over the weekend and turned on his TV.

He had finally prepared himself to watch last season’s Champions League final against Real Madrid. The pain of the defeat had been too much for the Liverpool boss to bear before then.

But he had to do his research ahead of the rematch with reigning European champions so he couldn’t put it off any longer.

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Liverpool lost by a single goal last May in Paris. They squandered so many chances before and after Vinicius’ match winner at the Stade de France. It didn’t make for pretty viewing for Klopp.

“We played this final in Paris and I didn’t watch it back since then until this weekend and the thing I realised immediately was now I know why I didn’t watch it back but I had to,” said Klopp.

“It was proper torture because we played a good game and could have won the game – and that's the decisive word because we could but didn't because they scored and we didn't and that's the decisive reason.”

But while he didn’t enjoy his weekend watching, Klopp did learn a lot of it ahead of tonight’s first leg at Anfield in the last-16 tie.

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“We saw how experienced Madrid is and how little they are fussed by the fact when the other team has chances,” said Klopp.

“They don't lose confidence in one second, they know 'Our chance will come' and they defend with legs. That's what you can learn that from them definitely.”

But there is one thing learning from it, now Klopp has to get his players to put what they’ve learned from the loss into practice.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side arrive at Anfield as the reigning champions looking to win their 15th European Cup. They will be without midfield stars Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni for the first leg while Casemiro has obviously joined Manchester United since their Champions League final win over Liverpool.

But do have the quality of Eduardo Camavinga to come in alongside Luka Modric and Federico Valverde.

“Generally I don’t think you can make this team panic so the chances we had, somebody could think, 'Oh my god we have to change this gap’," Klopp added.

“It was a final, we did not take enough risks in little moments, we were super protected because of the counter attack threat so analysis is always super easy, especially a year later but when I watch it back here.

“There is the extra spark we could have made it but it is Real Madrid, there is Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, [Karim] Benzema, all of them are absolutely world class. Now they have Tchouameni, Camavinga, it is a well set up team but it doesn’t mean it is not possible.

“In the rounds before they played [Manchester] City and PSG and both games it is like game over, some of their players won the competition five times and probably think they own the competition and are probably right.”

Liverpool come into tonight’s game with renewed confidence following back-to-back Premier League wins over Everton and Newcastle. But this will be the ultimate test for them to see if they have rediscovered their best.

Klopp added: “We still have to prove that point, that is how it is. It's a different competition and whatever we can take. We were already in a similar situation, not performance-wise but results-wise, directly after the World Cup break with the two wins and it looked like now we are there but it looks different.

“We feel it, we see it and it helps the mood massively. From here we have to go and I would expect us to fight with all we have.”


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