Liverpool could not have played the second half of their 3-0 defeat at Barcelona any better according to manager Jurgen Klopp, who said his side’s trip to Newcastle United in the Premier League was “more important” than the second leg of their Champions League semi-final.
The Reds went in 1-0 down at half-time at Camp Nou, where they were undone by a brilliantly crafted Luis Suarez goal.
The Uruguay international showed he has lost none of his poacher’s instincts that once thrilled the Kop when he flicked Jordi Alba’s cross beyond Alisson to give the Blaugrauna a 26th-minute lead, before Liverpool squandered several good chances to equalise.
They were punished after the interval, when Lionel Messi capitalised on a Suarez shot that rebounded off the crossbar to bundle home seven minutes before he sent a spectacular free-kick hurtling into the top corner from 30 yards.
Klopp told BT Sport: “Being one nil down is not a big problem usually and that’s how we went in at half-time and analysed the first half and told the boys what they have to do better and what they have to do again.
“Going out then, the game, how we played it, I don’t know if we can play it much better to be honest.
“Football is like this. It’s about scoring goals and they scored three and we scored none. But the performance was really good. The boys played a super game.
“Against a side like Barcelona a few moments are enough to give them the opportunity. That’s football. You don’t get grades, you just get a hard result and we have to take that.”
Liverpool must avoid defeat at St. James’ Park on Saturday to ensure Manchester City cannot wrap up the Premier League title two days later, and Klopp said that game would take priority as the club look to stay in the hunt for a first league title in 29 years.