Gini Wijnaldum has told the media that Liverpool lost the Champions League quarterfinal because of the performance in the first-leg, and he’s not wrong.
We were awful in Madrid, and were probably lucky to lose 3-1, and couldn’t turn it around on Wednesday evening, despite a stellar performance at Anfield in which we made more than enough chances to win the game.
Mo Salah missed a sitter early on, and Gini Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino both had gilt-edged opportunities to open the scoring.
There is a collective feeling that had we found an early goal, we’d have had the momentum to get a second as well.
“Yeah, for sure, that will give us hope. That’s what we have to do: stay confident and just work hard to still try to bring this season to a good end,” the Dutchman told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Everything was there, a good performance, the way we played on the pitch: position play, counter-press, everything was there. We created chances but one thing was not there and that was the goals….
“I think also for us it would give, of course, more confidence,” Wijnaldum said about the missed early chances at Anfield…
“More confidence than we already had at the moment and for them it would have been really difficult then because they know that we only needed one goal to win the game.
“Unfortunately, that did not happen. I still have to say that we did quite well during the game but, unfortunately, we couldn’t score the chances we created.
“I think the biggest regret we have right now [is] that we gave away the first leg. The goals we gave away there, that makes it even harder to do the job today.
“But that’s the Champions League, you play against good teams and when you play the way we were playing there you get punished – and that’s what happened to us.”
Liverpool now have to focus solely on the Premier League, in order to qualify for Europe’s premier competition next term, and all the riches the CL generates.
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Liverpool face Leeds United on Monday, knowing we pretty much need to win all our games from now until the end of the season in order to usurp either Chelsea or Leicester in the top four.