Klopp challenges Liverpool to ‘earn’ Champions League return after Real Madrid elimination


The Reds have seen their latest European adventure come to a close and must now focus on securing a top-four finish in the Premier League

Jurgen Klopp has challenged Liverpool to “earn” their Champions League return for 2021-22 after Real Madrid brought their latest European adventure to a close.

A 0-0 draw in the second leg of the heavyweight quarter-final clash saw the Reds bow out of this season’s competition 3-1 on aggregate, with the Premier League holders unable to deliver another fightback on home soil.

Focus at Anfield has now been narrowed to domestic matters, with Klopp hoping to see his side end a testing campaign on a high with a top-four finish.

What has been said?

Klopp told reporters on the chances of Liverpool securing Champions League qualification: “We are not silly. We want what we earn. If we don’t earn it 100% then we respect the situation.

“We concentrate on what we do and what we have to. It is tough, we are still not in hotseat and we play at Leeds United on Monday. That is a tough one, they are the most physical team in the Premier League pretty much so you better run a lot yourself.”

Salah Nacho Liverpool Real Madrid Champions League 14042021

Asked if he is confident about hitting targets, the German tactician added: “It has nothing to do confidence. I am naturally confident but that doesn’t mean we will end up there. We know the points we have, we know the table, we know the situation. We don’t have to talk too much about it.

“If we want [Champions League football] then we should play really good football which we did tonight but if we want to go through we should finish the situations off on top of it.

“We are not in a bad moment. We played really well and got a late winner against Aston Villa, we played really good against Arsenal and not good against Real Madrid in first leg, but we were not bad tonight.

“We really have to keep going and keep fighting, we want the Champions League next year, but we have to pick up more points than a lot of other teams.”

Where do Liverpool stand?

The Reds are, with nine Premier League defeats suffered this season, sixth in the table. They have a three-point gap to bridge in order to make the top four, with Chelsea and West Ham immediately above them.

There are still seven games before the 2020-21 campaign comes to a close, and the Champions League-chasing pack has started to bunch up.

That could work in Liverpool’s favour as they are no longer chasing down just one position. Leicester, who occupy third place at present, are only four points better off.

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