Jurgen Klopp dreaming of miracle moment against Real Madrid
‘If it is only a 1% chance, I would like to give it a try’: Jurgen Klopp dreaming of miracle in Spain in Champions League clash with Real Madrid, as Reds attempt to overturn 5-2 aggregate deficit
- Jurgen Klopp is hoping Liverpool can earn a Champions League miracle in Spain
- Liverpool currently trail Madrid 5-2 on aggregate ahead of the crunch clash
- Klopp wants his players to ‘surprise themselves in a positive way’ at Madrid
Jurgen Klopp was careful to keep adding caveats but the glint in his eye and the upbeat demeanour gave the game away.
Liverpool’s manager thinks there is a chance of what would be a comeback to surpass even Barcelona at Anfield. You might laugh and shake your head incredulously about the prospect of the team that lost at Bournemouth making history in the Bernabeu but Klopp is an unashamed dreamer.
Klopp knew he was an island here on Tuesday night, all on his own surrounded by a sea of inquisitors (this one included) who are adamant that it simply will not be possible for Liverpool to score four unanswered goals and turn a 5-2 deficit upside down.
The situation has been complicated further by the fact Jordan Henderson, a force of nature when the circumstances are this way, has been sidelined with illness. Liverpool’s captain has not travelled and his aggression will be missed. Stefan Bajcetic, with a stress fracture, is another absentee.
But, again, Klopp smiled. When you are already beaten in the eyes of the world, what is there to lose? Real Madrid, it must be recognised, are a far different proposition to the Barcelona team that melted in 2019 but, while there are 90 minutes to be played, anything is possible.
Jurgen Klopp is hoping for a miracle when Liverpool take on Real Madrid on Wednesday
Liverpool players are attempting to pull themselves back into their Champions League tie with Real Madrid
While Real Madrid are hoping to build on their existing 5-2 aggregate lead over Liverpool
‘What I said after the game three weeks ago was that Madrid are through to next round,’ Klopp said. ‘But three weeks later, we know there is a game to play and if it is only a one per cent chance, I would like to give it a try.
‘In this room, 100 per cent of people think we have no chance. If I am the only one who thinks we have a little, that’s fine. We are not saying: “we are coming, be careful!” and, to win, we are going to have to play really well.
‘It’s Real Madrid, they are three goals up. It’s not something you want for Christmas, but we have nothing to lose. We are alone with a little belief, in with a chance of doing it. If we can surprise ourselves in a negative way, then we should be able to surprise ourselves in a positive way.’
He might be dreaming but, equally, he is not a fantasist. Madrid, who are arguably the greatest Champions League side we have seen with five trophy lifts since 2014, are going to fight fire with fire and Carlo Ancelotti has promised they will be looking for more goals to secure their progress.
‘If we do not play a good game of football then they can give you a proper, proper knock,’ Klopp acknowledged. ‘They have won so much that is something to admire. They have all my respect. But we respect the competition too much not to give this a proper try.’
Fabinho, once of Real Madrid before becoming a key member of Liverpool’s 2019 Champions League winners, was similarly open-minded about the possibilities ahead of this squad. The spirit of that semi-final will certainly be summoned, as they look for every kind of inspiration.
‘Everyone expects Real to win and go to next phase, but this group of players has a really nice experience – the Barcelona game, we were 3-0 down and changed it in the second leg,’ said Fabinho. It is a bit different because this game is not at Anfield, but we know it’s possible and we believe
‘It’s important to have the mind-set we have: nothing to lose. Everyone expects Real to win and get to the quarter-finals and this can be good for us. But if Madrid smell blood, they can kill you. We are facing the champions and that is going to be tough.’
It is but it should not be forgotten that Madrid are not immune to having curious nights in front of their own fans: Ajax were 4-1 victors here in the quarter-final of 2019, Chelsea were leading 3-0 with 10 minutes to 12 months ago at the same stage before buckling under a whirlwind.
‘Liverpool will come here trying to change the dynamic,’ said Ancelotti. ‘We have to do both things, attacking and defending, properly.
Jurgen Klopp admitted he wants his team to fight even if there is only a ‘one per cent chance’
Liverpool travel to the Santiago Bernabeu aiming to turn over their huge Champions League deficit
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti wants his team to ‘attack and defend’ properly against Liverpool
‘We will not just defend, we are thinking about the attack. From a psychological level the match is more complex for us than Liverpool.
‘Liverpool come here to give it their all and do their best from minute one, whatever happens. We saw that from the first leg. We will try to do all we can from the beginning but we have more questions than the opponent.’
Real Madrid (4-3-3) Courtois: Carvejal, Rudiger, Militao, Camavinga: Kroos, Modric, Valverde: Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Liverpool (4-2-3-1) Alisson: Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Robertson: Milner, Fabinho: Gakpo, Jota, Nunez: Salah
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