*Foden scores late winner as Man City edge Dortmund
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool made it “too easy” for Real Madrid to win the quarter-final first leg between the sides, but feels Mohamed Salah’s goal offers his side a lifeline in the return game at Anfield.
The Reds were largely second best throughout an entertaining game against a Real team missing their first-choice centre-back pairing, but packed with impressive attacking talent, reports the BBC.
Much of the damage was done in the first half through Vinicius Junior’s low drive after he had chested down a superb long pass from Toni Kroos and a Marco Asensio’s close-range finish following a defensive mistake from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool came out fighting after the break, pulling a goal back through Salah’s finish off the crossbar to spark their best 20-minute spell of the contest.
But they were stung when Vinicius found the net via a first-time shot following a fine attacking move with 25 minutes to go, leaving them with a mountain to climb in the return leg at an empty Anfield on 14 April.
“If you want to go to the semi-final, you have to earn the right to do so,” Klopp told BT Sport. “We didn’t do that tonight, especially in the first half.
“We just didn’t play good enough football to cause Real Madrid more problems. We made it too easy for them.
“The only good thing I can say, apart from the goal, is it’s only the first half of the tie. We didn’t deserve a lot more but that one goal and the second half was OK. It gives us a lifeline.”
And in the second tie of the night, Phil Foden’s last-gasp strike gave Manchester City a crucial slender advantage in their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund at Etihad Stadium.
City’s hopes of reaching the semi-final looked to be in the balance when Marco Reus gave Dortmund what looked like a priceless away goal with a cool finish from Erling Haaland’s pass six minutes from time.
Kevin de Bruyne, who had given City the lead with a crisp finish after 19 minutes, played his part once more in the final minute of normal time when his fine cross was touched back by Ilkay Gundogan for Foden to stroke a finish past Marwin Hitz.
It was a bitter blow for an enterprising Dortmund side, who will leave Manchester nursing a burning sense of injustice directed towards Romanian official Ovidiu Hategan after he controversially ruled out Jude Bellingham’s second-half goal with City leading 1-0.
Bellingham beat Ederson to a throughball but after it appeared City’s keeper kicked the teenager, the referee blew for a foul against Borussia with the England star racing towards an empty net – not even allowing the intervention of VAR which would have surely awarded a goal.
City, who had a first-half penalty award overturned by VAR, showed commendable strength of character and great determination to react to the blow of Reus’ goal to score the winner and are now in pole position before the return leg in Germany.
Real Madrid 3 – 1 Liverpool
Man City 2 – 1 Dortmund