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Liverpool conceded a calamitous five goals against Real Madrid on Tuesday night to all but end their hopes of progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals.


Steven Gerrard admits Liverpool must do plenty of “soul-searching” and has demanded Jurgen Klopp launch an inquest after they suffered one of their most chastening defeats of recent years at the hands of Real Madrid.


The Reds will exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage unless they pull off a miraculous victory at the Santiago Bernabeu after they were thrashed 5-2 at Anfield on Tuesday night. The hosts led 2-0 after 14 minutes but Los Blancos showed all their experience and European pedigree to rally and score five goals without response.


Liverpool came into the match after successive Premier League victories over Everton and Newcastle, so their early flurry against Real Madrid seemed to confirm they had turned a corner after what has been a poor season. But they were brought back to earth with a thud as their defensive woes were exposed brutally by the defending European champions in what Gerrard described as a “reality check” for Jurgen Klopp’s men.


Speaking in the BT Sport studio, the Anfield legend said: “[Liverpool] Got off to the perfect start, exactly what you need on a European night – start fast, get yourself in front, build on it. They went two-nil up, but from that moment Real Madrid came back into it, scored quite quick – fantastic goal.


“From then, Liverpool were dominated and outclassed for large periods. Look, I think any team, any club, if you concede five goals there’s got to be an inquest into why and how. I’m sure Jurgen will do that in the coming days. I think everyone will be a little bit raw on the back of that defeat.


“Liverpool don’t concede five goals here at Anfield, and if they do, it’s very rare. There’s gonna be a little bit of soul-searching, a little bit of looking in the mirror, sure, there always is when you concede that many goals. It weren’t good enough.”

Gerrard had no qualms about confessing Liverpool were thoroughly outplayed by the same team that has defeated them in two Champions League finals over the last five years. Yet again, it was the seasoned veterans in Carlo Ancelotti’s side that shone brightest, with Benzema imperious and Luka Modric dominating the midfield battle.


“Sometimes in football, you’ve got to hold your hands up and say the best team won,” Gerrard added. “Liverpool were outclassed, Liverpool were dominated. They [Real Madrid] were better in most areas of the pitch, you’d have to say.


“They got off to a slow start but the experience, the reaction was absolutely top class. And we’re witnessing here absolute greatness in Modric and Benzema; you’re talking about players that are operating on a different level than most.”

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