Barcelona may have put Liverpool behind the UEFA Champions League 8-ball on Wednesday, but it was another Premier League boss who’s been offended by the performance.
While Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp couldn’t help but shrug at the 3-0 first leg loss in Spain despite a quite decent Liverpool performance at the Camp Nou, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was angered by the result.
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Why? Because when he watched Lionel Messi’s passionate display against Liverpool, he wondered why his men didn’t have the same fire in their UCL semifinal first leg versus Ajax.
“If we play like [Messi] without the ball, with the desire he showed yesterday, for sure we are going to have the chance to qualify for the final. If not, no chance. … Ajax weren’t better than us. It’s only in the moments they showed more desire than us that they were better.
“That is the key for football. To play Saturday against Bournemouth, we need to show the same desire. If not, it’s difficult to win. Wednesday is going to be the same. It’s so painful when in the same semi-final you watch Messi play with the desire and motivation, and say ‘why did we not feel the same?”
Again, Spurs’ loss seems more about absent Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son than passion, but Pochettino wouldn’t win any point from his players for saying, “Guys were hurt and the other guys just aren’t capable of getting to that level.”