Jurgen Klopp eyes Liverpool revival ahead of Real Madrid revenge mission
Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool to turn their recent improvement into a season-saving renaissance as the Reds look to exact Champions League revenge against Real Madrid.
Klopp’s side are showing signs of finally coming out of a grim spell that threatened to ruin his entire campaign.
Liverpool have posted successive wins over Everton and Newcastle to give them renewed hope of snatching a top-four finish in the Premier League from them.
Saturday’s 2-0 win at Newcastle moved Liverpool six points behind fourth-placed Magpies with one game to go.
While it’s too soon to say that Klopp has found remedies for everything that has plagued Liverpool during a traumatic season, they welcome Real Madrid to Anfield for Tuesday’s round of 16 first leg in high spirits. the soils.
Klopp will take that as a base from which to propel Liverpool’s bid to win the Champions League for the second time under the German.
Liverpool, a six-time winner of Europe’s elite club competition, would already have more Champions League wins in the Klopp era if not for the pesky Real Madrid.
The Spanish giants beat Liverpool in the 2018 final, eliminated them in the 2021 quarterfinals and won last season’s final in Paris 1-0 thanks to a Vinicius Junior goal.
Liverpool haven’t beaten Real since a Champions League round of 16 victory in 2009.
Last year’s defeat was especially painful at the end of their unsuccessful quadruple chase, a quest that brought only FA and League Cup success and left Klopp’s players struggling mentally and physically this season.
Traumatized Liverpool fans bore even greater scars after police used unnecessary force in ugly scenes outside the Stade de France before the start of the Champions League final.
The repercussions of those incidents are still being felt and it would be a cathartic moment for Liverpool if they could end Real’s reign as champions.
It has not escaped the attention of Liverpool fans that this year’s Champions League final is in Istanbul, the scene of their against the odds victory over AC Milan in the 2005 masterpiece.
– ‘Absolutely incredible’ –
A return to Ataturk Stadium would bring back sweet memories for the Reds, but first they have to get past Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
After a season marred by defensive problems, Klopp takes heart with Liverpool’s second straight clean sheet against Newcastle, a feat they have not achieved in the league since October.
“Massive, 100 percent. It explains a bit about the problems we have in games where we can’t control it better. It’s been so long since we were in a situation like that,” Klopp said.
“It is a pity that football is not like cycling, always at exactly the same level. Is different. The only way to get back to normal is by winning.
“We’ve done it twice in a row and that feels absolutely amazing.”
After a slump that included embarrassing defeats at Brentford, Brighton (twice) and Wolves, Liverpool have given themselves a chance to get back on track.
Darwin Núñez and Cody Gakpo were the goalscorers against Newcastle, but what encouraged him most was the way Liverpool fought to subdue a team that launched players forward looking for a way to get back into the game.
That union, traditionally a trademark of Klopp’s teams, has not always been apparent this season.
“We didn’t score a third and that keeps the game exciting. All credit to them, they made a proper change, they fought very hard,” Klopp said.
The only concern for Klopp ahead of the Real Madrid clash was the shoulder injury Nunez suffered in a second-half clash with Kieran Trippier.
“The bad news, Darwin has something on his shoulder. We will see. We need more evaluation,” Klopp said.
“I don’t know at this point. Right now it’s painful, but I hope it’s just painful and no more.”
For once, even another injury problem couldn’t shake Klopp’s spirits as Liverpool look forward to their Real grudge match with confidence.
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