Liverpool’s hopes of winning their seventh European Cup are hanging by a thread.
Jurgen Klopp’s side lost 3-1 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie against Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Tuesday night.
With no fans to attend the second leg along with their wretched recent home form, it’s now a huge ask for Liverpool to reach the last four of the competition.
Goals from Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio gave Real a fully deserved 2-0 lead at half time. Mohamed Salah did score a crucial away goal but Vinicius grabbed his second of the game to restore Zinedine Zidane side’s two-goal cushion.
The 20-year-old Brazilian has only scored three goals in 26 La Liga appearances this season but ran Trent Alexander-Arnold ragged during the 90 minutes.
His pace and trickery on the left was just too much for the Liverpool full-back.
And Alexander-Arnold’s frustrations boiled over in the second half.
A rare Vinicius mistake saw him dribble the ball out of play as Alexander-Arnold barged into him. Vinicius didn’t take too kindly to it, though, and barged Alexander-Arnold back.
That sparked a reaction from the Liverpool man who got up into the forward’s face as the pair squared up.
Both were careful not to raise their hands and referee Felix Brych let them off with just a warning.
However, there was another man who seemingly wanted to get involved in the clash.
Footage of Alexander-Arnold’s clash with Vinicius shows Klopp in the background. As the two players went head-to-head, the German can be shouting, gritting his teeth and looking as though he wanted a fight.
Then, in a split second, he completely changes his persona and puts his hand up to Vinicius in an attempt to calm him down.
Only Klopp can go from 100 to zero like that so quickly.
It was a frustrating evening for Klopp and while he would have been pleased to see the referee not take any action against Alexander-Arnold on that occasion, he claimed Brych had a problem with Sadio Mane throughout the match.
“The situation with Sadio, what the ref did tonight I have to say I don’t understand,” Klopp said.
“For me that was something personal because he dealt with the situation with Sadio, which was a clear foul, like he was a diver or whatever.
“From that moment on whenever Sadio went down he didn’t get anything. That is not right. That is what I told him after the game, that I thought he was unfair with Sadio.
“He (Brych) didn’t lose the game. We were not good enough to get a better result, but in these moments you need just an ‘OK’ ref. That would have been enough.”