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April 21, 2021

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What Jurgen Klopp told referee after Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid

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Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with the referee after Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid (Picture: BT Sport)

Jurgen Klopp has revealed he told the referee he treated Sadio Mane ‘unfairly’ and appeared to have a ‘personal’ problem with the forward during Liverpool’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

The Reds slipped to a 3-1 defeat in Spain on Tuesday night in a major blow to their hopes of progressing in Europe and salvaging what has been a hugely frustrating season.

Mane was one of a number of Liverpool players to underwhelm against Real Madrid and was booked for dissent in the first half after appearing to argue with the referee following the home side’s second goal.

But Klopp felt referee Felix Brych was ‘unfair’ towards Mane and told him after the game that he appeared to have a ‘personal’ issue with the Senegal international.

‘The situation with Sadio, I’m not sure what the ref did tonight,’ Klopp said in his post-match interview.

‘It seemed like it was sort of personal. I told him after the game, “I just thought he was unfair with Sadio.” He didn’t lose us the game but you need just an OK ref.’

On Liverpool’s performance, Klopp added: ‘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.

Sadio Mane was booked by referee Felix Brych before half-time (Picture: Getty)

‘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.’

Liverpool have endured a difficult season, with their title defence crumbling midway through the campaign and their place in next season’s Champions League in jeopardy.

Winning this year’s competition may be their best route back into the Champions League as they continue to fight for a top-four place, but their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals now look bleak.

Reds captain Georginio Wijnaldum said: ‘It was difficult. We played against a good side. The way we played 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. Unfortunately they scored and that makes it more difficult. We hoped for a better result.’

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