‘They didn’t seem like they believed’: Rio Ferdinand disappointed by Liverpool’s limp Champions League exit as Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled to create chances in second-leg defeat against Real Madrid
- Rio Ferdinand has questioned Liverpool’s determination against Real Madrid
- The Premier League side produced a weak display against the Spanish giants
- Karim Benzema’s cool finish saw Liverpool crash out of the Champions League
Rio Ferdinand has expressed his disappointment in Liverpool’s second-leg Champions League showing against Real Madrid that saw the Reds dumped out of the competition.
Reigning European holders Madrid secured safe passage through the tournament’s quarter-final stage after Karim Benzema’s late goal ensured a 6-2 aggregate defeat for the Premier League outfit.
All the pre-match hype was around Liverpool attempting to produce a Champions League miracle of the likes that saw them stun Barcelona in 2019.
It wasn’t that however and instead was a limp showing that left Ferdinand labelling Jurgen Klopp’s side as ‘flat’ and questioning whether they ‘believed’ they could claw their way back into the tie after their 5-2 first-leg hammering, saying: ‘This never became the game we really hoped for.
‘We were hoping for fast and frantic start and put real under pressure. they didn’t seem like they believed they could win this before a ball was kicked,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.
Liverpool slumped to a disappointing Champions League exit against Real Madrid
Liverpool’s players started brightly but faded in the second-half as chances of a comeback slipped away
‘It was a flat performance in the main. Kept saying go out on sword all guns blazing but Liverpool might be thinking handbrake on a bit because we want to keep ourselves in frame for qualifying for the Champions League via the Premier League. If we lose this by big margin could it affect us on the weekend.
‘I think they’ll be disappointed, to come out of the game where they didn’t give it anything is not enough,’ he added.
A 1-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu saw the visitors slump to their biggest ever aggregate defeat in the competition against a Madrid side that never looked in any significant danger of letting the game runaway from them.
For all of Liverpool’s ambitions to silence the baying Madrid crowd with footballing theatrics, this was instead a more typical showing of Liverpool’s domestic form that has seen them struggle to rediscover their usual consistency and quality under Klopp.
Five shots on target tells half of the story as does the scoreline with plenty of chances for either side in the first-half but failing to capitalise in a more muted second period of play.
Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez produced one great save from Thibaut Courtois but Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo could only send their respective efforts into the arms of the Madrid goalkeeper.
Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch joined Ferdinand in analysing Liverpool’s efforts and expressed that overturning such a huge deficit was a ‘step too far’.
‘I don’t think anyone of us really believed it could happen,’ said Crouch.
‘Real Madrid were dominant comfortable in possession, not too many chances on goal and it was a step too far tonight,’ he added.
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