Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insisted that his players feel “proud” to play at their Alfredo Di Stefano stadium after Jurgen Klopp labelled them “strange” surroundings.
Liverpool have work to do if they are to reach the Champions League semi-finals after Tuesday’s defeat. Madrid won Tuesday’s first leg 3-1, with Vinicius Junior netting either side of half time. Mohamed Salah notched an away goal for the visitors, but they have a mountain to climb next Wednesday.
Madrid hosted the match at their Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, the club’s training ground.
Los Blancos’ Santiago Bernabeu is undergoing renovation. As such, their smaller ground has played host to their home ties all season.
However, Liverpool boss Klopp took issue with the stadium in his post-match press conference.
He told reporters (via liverpoolfc.com): “This here tonight was really strange, it was really difficult, a different situation with the stadium, but Anfield is at least a proper stadium and that will be good for us.”
Asked to respond to the comments, Zidane refused to fully open up.
However, he said (via the Daily Mirror): “I don’t have an opinion about what Jurgen says, we are proud to play in this stadium.
“Liverpool is the opponent and we know they are going to leave all they have on the pitch, I have no question about that.
“We just need to be ready and it is going to be a very good second leg match. We will need to do the same thing in the second leg.”
Klopp makes big Sadio Mane claim
However, that was not the only major claim from Klopp‘s post-match press conference.
The Liverpool boss claimed that referee Felix Brych had a personal agenda against winger Sadio Mane.
The winger, who was later booked, was brought down by Lucas Vazquez 27 seconds before Madrid scored their opener.
Klopp said: “The situation with Sadio, I have to say, what the ref did tonight I don’t understand.
“For me that was something personal because he did deal with the situation from Sadio, which is a clear foul, like it was a dive or whatever and from that moment on whenever Sadio went down he didn’t get anything anymore, and that’s just not right.
“That’s what I told him after the game, that I just thought he was unfair with Sadio and that’s how it is.
“But that doesn’t change anything at all. He didn’t lose the game, we were not good enough to get a better result.”
Liverpool return to action on Saturday when hosting Aston Villa at Anfield.