Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool only had themselves to blame after their Champions League hopes were left hanging in the balance.
Bayern Munich played with the composure of a team who have reached the Champions League semi-finals eight times in the last decade and they summoned an excellent defensive performance to secure a 0-0 draw. But Klopp believes the result would have been different had his side’s passing been sharper, particularly during the first half when Sadio Mane missed the game’s best chance and fired wide with only Manuel Neuer to beat.
The Germans will be favourites to progress to the last eight but Klopp was not too disheartened with the scoreline and is confident his team have enough to get through, provided they recapture their sharpness in the Allianz Arena on March 13.
‘Our problem was that our last pass was not our friend,’ said Klopp. ‘There were 10 or 12 passes where it was on a plate. How it is in situation like this is that I’m sure Bayern will feel better but day by day it will feel better for us and worse for Bayern. If we had won 1-0 what would have changed? Nothing. It’s not perfect but good enough to work with. It is the best draw (not conceding an away goal). A 0-0 would have been enough for us. So it is not perfect but good enough.’
Liverpool have lost every game they have played away from home in Europe since last April – the semi-final in Rome, the final in Kiev then three group games – and before they go to Germany they have a sequence of demanding Premier League assignments.
‘It is not the result or the game we dreamed about and nobody will remember this game in 20 years,’ said Klopp, who will at least have Virgil van Dijk back from suspension. ‘In Germany, we say it is like the Homburger Shooting, a big ballyhoo before the game and then not much happens. It was an intense one, you saw the respect both teams have for each other. I didn’t see when we watched Munich before, like the full backs stayed in their half and Gnabry defended on the wing so there was a lot of respect. But we had chances, in the first half with Sadio, if he strikes the ball better, with the overhead kick. A goal would have changed things.’
Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac is similarly cautious about the return fixture and said: ‘It is half full, half empty, I can’t remember that many clubs have not lost and not conceded at Anfield and the way Liverpool played, they are a sensationally good team. ‘My team in defence and as a whole kept everything tight at the back and played at a high level, tactically and mentally. We didn’t score but we didn’t let one in. We are at home now, we will play in front of 75,000. We know if we concede, we have to win. We will see.’