Liverpool ‘obviously the better team’ against Real Madrid despite Champions League exit, says James Milner

Real Madrid progressed with a 3-1 win aggregate and will face Chelsea in the semi-finals

Jamie Braidwood
Thursday 15 April 2021 14:31
<p>James Milner captained Liverpool in the absence of Jordan Henderson</p>

James Milner captained Liverpool in the absence of Jordan Henderson

Liverpool were “obviously the better team” against Real Madrid at Anfield in the Champions League on Wednesday, midfielder James Milner has said, despite the Premier League side’s elimination from the tournament at the quarter-final stage.

The hosts missed several clear chances as they were held to a 0-0 draw against the Spanish champions, and were made to pay for their damaging 3-1 defeat in last week’s first leg in Madrid.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made four saves, including a long-range effort from Milner in the first half, but Jurgen Klopp was left to rue his team’s wastefulness in front of goal.

Milner said the number of chances Liverpool created in the match was a reflection of their superiority in the game, but was also made to regret the missed opportunities.

“The positive is that we are creating them, especially against a team like Real Madrid, and the reaction we showed from the first leg,” Milner told BT Sport.

“We did enough tonight to go through, I believe that with the chances that we had.

“We were obviously the better team. He [Courtois] made a good save, but if you don’t take your chances you’re not going to go through.

“You only need that first one, if you get the first one in then it changes the game.”

The result left Liverpool out of all three cup competitions this season, with securing Champions League football for next season through the Premier League now the priority for Klopp’s men.

Liverpool are sixth and are in a battle with Leicester, West Ham and Chelsea for the two remaining qualification spots.

“The most important thing is how we concentrate on our level of performance,” Milner added.

“If we perform with that intensity and desire and tempo that we played with tonight for the last [seven] league games then hopefully we can get into those top four spots.

“But that’s the most important thing, that we replicate this form and these sort of performances. That’s the one thing we’ve been missing, that consistency we haven’t had.

“So that’s what we need to get back, have a big push these last few games and put this disappointment aside.”

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