"It could have been a different story" - Milner laments Liverpool's loss to Real Madrid
James Milner says everyone at Liverpool has been left rueing their poor first-leg display which led to their Champions League exit.
Jürgen Klopp’s Reds lost 3-1 away to Real Madrid last week after a very poor performance on the night – a defeat they were unable to bounce back from on Wednesday at Anfield.
Despite an impressive effort, the second leg finished 0-0 at Anfield and Liverpool are out of European football’s premier competition.
Speaking in his post-match interview, Liverpool vice-captain Milner could not hide his regret at how The Reds let the tie slip in that first leg in Spain over a week ago:
“It’s disappointing, a disappointing way to end obviously because if we’d have played the first leg with that same intensity I’m sure it could have been a different story.”
Liverpool’s number 7 also discussed the missed chances in front of goal that would have changed everything at Anfield:
“The positive is that we’re creating them [chances], especially against a team like this, and the reaction we showed after the first leg. We have done enough tonight to go through, I believe that with the chances we had. We were obviously the better team. Ali’s made a good save as well, which you’re going to expect, but we did enough to win the game and do what we needed to do. But if you don’t take your chances… and you only need that first one, if you get the first one then obviously it changes the game again but if you don’t take your chances then you’re not going to go through.”
Milner was then asked about Liverpool’s need to refocus now and push for a top-four Premier League finish:
“The most important thing is we concentrate on our level of performance and if we perform with that level of intensity and desire and tempo that we played with tonight for the last league games, hopefully, we can get into those top-four spots. But that’s the most important thing: that we replicate this form and these sorts of performances. That’s the one thing that has been missing, that consistency we haven’t had, so that’s what we need to get back and have a big push in these last few games and put this disappointment aside.”
Liverpool travel to Leeds United in their next game on Monday night.
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