KEY POINTS

  • Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio scored in Real Madrid's 3-1 win
  • Mo Salah scored the crucial away goal for Liverpool Tuesday
  • Liverpool will host Real in the returning leg of the quarters Wednesday

Jurgen Klopp slammed the on-field referee for being unfair to Sadio Mane during Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League Tuesday.

Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio scored in Los Blancos’s win in their home leg of the quarters against Liverpool. But Liverpool earned a crucial away goal, thanks to Mohamed Salah’s second-half strike.

Klopp was left livid after referee Felix Brych did not award a foul when Mane was wrongly tackled by Real Madrid defender Lucas Vazquez, just a few minutes before the hosts netted their third goal of the night.

Speaking about the incident, an irked Klopp insisted that it looked as though Brych had "something personal" against the Senegal national Mane.

“The situation with Sadio, I have to say what the referee did tonight I don’t understand. For me, that was something personal because he dealt with the situation with Sadio, which is a clear foul like it was a dive or something. And from that moment whenever Sadio went down, he couldn’t get anything anymore. 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,” Klopp was quoted by Liverpool’s website, as saying, in a post-match interview.

Sadio Mane scored the winner for Liverpool against Norwich Klopp has backed Mane, saying the Senegal national is not a diver. Photo: AFP / Oli SCARFF

But the Liverpool boss cleared that the officials were not responsible for his side’s loss at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium. Klopp then admitted that his side did not deserve to win because his boys didn’t play well enough.

“It doesn’t change anything at all. He didn’t lose the game, we were not good enough, but in these moments you need just an OK ref. That would have been enough. I think we didn’t deserve to win tonight. We didn’t play good enough for that and that’s maybe my first concern [and] what I think about. Especially in the first half, we didn’t play good enough football. We pressed them kind of OK, they were under pressure, they had to shoot a lot of long balls without a proper target, we won these balls but we gave these balls pretty much with the second pass away again,” added Klopp in the same interview.

It was Liverpool’s fourth consecutive loss to Real Madrid and no side has defeated the Reds more often than Los Blancos (4, on level with Benfica). The return leg of the quarter-final between Liverpool and Real Madrid is scheduled to take place at Anfield on Wednesday.