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Jurgen Klopp’s response to Carlo Ancelotti’s Liverpool verdict sums up Reds boss



Liverpool take on Real Madrid on Tuesday night in what will be a rematch of last season’s Champions League final, with Jurgen Klopp hoping to win one against Carlo Ancelotti

Jurgen Klopp has decided to play some pre-match mind games ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League meeting with Real Madrid.

The two European heavyweights meet at Anfield on Tuesday night in the first leg of their successful round of 16 clash. The draw sees the resumption of a rivalry that has dominated this league in recent years.

Real have beaten Liverpool in two finals in the last 5 seasons, including last year’s, where they triumphed in Paris. In 2021, the Blancos also won against the Reds, even though both games were played in empty stadiums amid the coronavirus pandemic. After their last encounter, decided by a Vinicius Jr goal, legendary manager Carlo Ancelotti claimed Liverpool had presented them with the simplest tactical dilemma. The Spaniards had only reached the final thanks to magnificent comebacks against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, while their victory over Liverpool was a little more direct.

“Looking back, people were like, ‘Oh, PSG were unlucky, Chelsea were unlucky, Manchester City were unlucky’,” Ancelotti explained. “It was pretty much the only game where people thought we were more or less on the same level.

“I think it helped that Liverpool were easier to read than the others because they have a very clear identity and we were able to prepare as we did.

“We knew what strategy to use, don’t give them space behind the defense to collide. Maybe our football tonight wasn’t very good from an aesthetic point of view, but playing from behind to boost the pressure wasn’t a good idea.”

But Klopp claimed that even if Ancelotti and his players knew exactly what they were up against, his side should still have won.

Speaking to reporters, Klopp said: “Someone told me – I don’t know if it’s true – that after the final with Liverpool, Carlo said it was cool because they knew exactly what awaited them. I watched the game now and even though I know exactly what we are going to do, we have to win this game. We didn’t, for some reason we didn’t score or concede , but other than that, we should have won this game.”

However, rather than creating animosity between his opponent in the opposing dugout, Klopp praised the Italian manager, admitting he is on a “different level” compared to their respective jobs.

“Carlo is the most relaxed manager I have ever met in my life,” he added. “One of the best people you can meet, amazing and humble person, super smart and kind. And his handling of man is on a different level from all of us. I have great respect and admiration for him.

“With this world class squad, as they were last year, they brought in super exciting young players. They are always super competitive and super hard to beat. This combination is therefore difficult, but I think it makes sense to try anyway.

Meanwhile, Klopp has revealed that Dariwn Nunez could win his race against time to be fit on Tuesday night. The Uruguayan made a brilliant opener for Newcastle but was then knocked out with a painful shoulder injury.

His fitness should now be decided late, but there is cautious optimism: “There is a chance. We will have to see how he is today. When we know we are going to make a decision.”