Jurgen Klopp admitted his Liverpool side did not ‘earn the right’ to get a good result in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid in Spain.
Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr scored twice for Real in a game played at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium due to work being done at the Bernabeu.
Marco Asensio was also on target for the impressive home side, with Mo Salah giving Liverpool hope with an away goal.
But the Reds will have to be substantially better in the return leg if they are to progress.
Speaking after the game, Klopp told BT Sport: “If you want to go to the semi-final, you have to earn the right to do so. We didn’t do that tonight, especially in the first half. The only good thing I can say, apart from the goal, is it’s only the first half of the tie.
“We just didn’t play good enough football to cause Real Madrid more problems.
“We made it too easy for them. These mistakes can happen. We didn’t deserve a lot more but that one goal and the second half was OK. It gives us a lifeline.”
On replacing Naby Keita towards the end of the first half, the Reds chief said: “It’s not a big story. I don’t like it. He wasn’t the only one. It was tactical. I could have done a few more changes in that moment.”
On what they need in the second half, Klopp added: “Intensity with the ball especially. You cannot defend the speed of Real Madrid when you give them the ball at the wrong moments. If you lose ball in the right moment it’s OK. We lost the ball, so many easy passes.
“You have really quick and world class players in one on ones. We have to be better in possession.”
Wijnaldum blames poor Liverpool concentration
Reds skipper for the night Gini Wijnaldum admitted two sloppy moments cost his side.
He told BT Sport: “It was difficult. We played against a good side. The way we did in the first half wasn’t good. We lost it quickly with simple passes. Two moments of not concentrating enough and they scored.
“We weren’t sharp enough.
“We said in the second half we have to play our football and not lose the ball too easily and concentrate more. They were a few times dangerous with long balls. We played our own game [at times after the break] and that’s why we scored. Unfortuntately they scored and that makes it more difficult.
“It [the goal] gave us confidence. We hoped for a better result.”