Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, displayed a gesture of pride in his players after Liverpool suffered a 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.
The Reds had more possession and registered more shots than their illustrious opponents as they produced a strong performance at Camp Nou on Wednesday evening.
However, they ended up with only a significant aggregate deficit to show for their efforts as Luis Suarez’s opener and a Lionel Messi brace saw Barca take charge.
Klopp refused to get too downhearted, though, with the way his team played providing reason for cheer in the post-match press conference.
“I am not sure if we deserved a lot more than we got,” he said. “We played really good football game, but in the end they scored three and we didn’t score and we just need to accept that.
As a manager, what I judge on is how we played. I am completely happy and proud of the boys, I think it was the best Champions League game we played not only this year but last year as well. Against a side like this, playing this kind of football I was completely happy.
“We played through the lines, around the box, we had really good chances, we caused them a lot of problems. That is good. But if you lose away it is not a massive problem, it can happen as long as you score a goal. That’s the problem tonight, and it makes our life not much easier to be honest.
“But from my point of view my boys gained a lot of respect for the way they played, and I am so happy with how they developed. I had so much fun out of that game but in the end we lost it, which is not funny really. I am long enough in the business that I have learned to accept it.”
Klopp also refused to completely write off Liverpool’s chances of making it through to the final, despite the huge turnaround in fortunes required at Anfield.
Asked if the Reds could still progress, he added: “Because it is football, yes, but before this game we had a bigger chance, let me say it like this. It is difficult.
“It is Barcelona and they can play for counter attacks, which doesn’t help us a lot. Because it is football, we should still try but it didn’t make our life easier.
“It is not the night to be mouthy and saying it was exactly what we wanted, if we score an early goal and all that s***. It will be another really difficult game.”
Source: Evening Standard