Jurgen Klopp: ‘I don’t know if Liverpool can play better
The Reds, bidding to reach the final for a second consecutive season, fell behind to former player Luis Suarez’s opener in the first half but were arguably the better team over the course of the first 70 minutes and squandered a string of chances to grab a crucial away goal.
However, Lionel Messi took the tie beyond the Camp Nou visitors with a quickfire brace, the second of which was a stunning 30-yard free kick to bring up 600 goals for Barcelona.
“Football is like this – it’s about scoring goals and they scored three and we scored none. The performance was really good – the boys played a super game – but against a side like Barcelona a few moments are enough to give them the opportunity. I’m really happy with the performance, but of course not too happy with the result. We have to take that – that’s football,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“How we created the moments is outstanding, how we caused them problems was outstanding.
We controlled the game so well in the second half, especially when we had the ball. One time bad defending being 1-0 down is already bad, but not a big problem. That’s what we said at half time, analysed it and told the boys what we can do better and what we have to do again.
“I don’t know if we can play it much better, but then you have one moment. I don’t know exactly how it happened by Messi is there for a very easy goal. The other is a wonder strike – that ball was unsaveable.”
Liverpool now have a mountain to climb when they welcome Barcelona to Anfield for the second leg next Tuesday.