Jurgen Klopp suggests playing at Real Madrid training ground was factor in defeat
The pitch is the same size, mate
A 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final has slashed Liverpool's chances of making it to the final four, as they were outclassed by a side also missing their best two centre-backs.
Toni Kroos was the star of the show in midfield, with Brazilian starlet Vinicius Junior scoring two crucial goals and Marco Asensio grabbing the other, while Liverpool salvaged some hope with an away goal from Mohamed Salah.
It was clear from the beginning that Real Madrid were the team in better form, as Klopp's decision to bench both Roberto Firmino and Thiago Alcantara backfired, with Liverpool seemingly unable to keep hold of the ball for very long.
Klopp conceded he had made the wrong call in starting Naby Keita, hooking the midfielder off just three minutes before half-time, with Thiago replacing him. Brutal.
And behind closed doors, Klopp will know his team weren't good enough.
But in front of the cameras, as all great managers do, he found another reason for his team's lacklustre performance: Having to play at Real Madrid's training ground, AKA Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
"It is completely different," Klopp said, speaking about playing with no fans in attendance.
"If you watch the Barcelona game back, 80 per cent of this game was the atmosphere in the stadium," he added, referring to their 4-3 win over two legs back in 2019.
"So yes, we have to do it [come back] without that.
"We always had supporters in the stadium, we don't have that this time, so I don't know if we can do it."
He then spoke more specifically about not playing in the Bernabeu.
"Tonight it was really strange because of the stadium and the situation, but Anfield is at least a proper stadium. That will be good for us," he said ahead of the second leg, when Liverpool have a mountain to climb.
Real Madrid have been playing at their training complex's stadium for the whole of this season while work is done on the Bernabeu.