There was no anger on the final whistle from Jurgen Klopp, as Liverpool’s Champions League dream ebbed away with a quiet whimper, not a full throttle roar.

Many thought he was resigned, accepting over the two legs Real Madrid deserved their progress to the semi final. It was more thoughtful though, perhaps reflective on what now needs to be done to this misfiring team.

There was a little of the trademark Klopp intensity against the Spaniards. But it still was not the real Liverpool - the team that would surely have blown a fairly ordinary Real away.

Klopp knows that. He knows there are questions beyond a defence he knows is not strong enough without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, extending to ask, does this team now need major surgery?

Perhaps the biggest question now is over his forward line. While Mo Salah will post his second highest ever scoring stats well before the end of the season and pass 30 goals, his misses against Madrid showed he is not quite peak Salah.

Jurgen Klopp was unable to mastermind a comeback
Jurgen Klopp was unable to mastermind a comeback

That though, is still a long way above the form of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who appear shadows of the players who formed the most lethal and feared forward line of the previous two years in world football.

So is their form merely a short term consequence of the ongoing confidence issues Liverpool have endured this season. Or is the famous front three at the end of their shelf life?

Last night, he appeared to suggest he feels the problem is not terminal. “Going out of the Champions League will not affect us negatively. We played a good game, good enough to go through,” he said.

Indeed, it is not the first time he has pondered the question of whether his side needs major surgery - he actually answered it only six weeks ago...with a fairly emphatic ““Rebuild? No!”

Liverpool will end the season without a trophy
Liverpool will end the season without a trophy

His thinking is more subtle. “I don’t think it is time for a massive rebuild like how I understand it: six, seven out. “The squad of this year didn’t have the chance to play together one time really.

“I think it would make sense to have a look at it (when they are all back) but, on top of that, of course little readjustments will happen....reacting to the situation but planning, at the same time, for the future.”

So what are these readjustments? Well, a fourth centre half for a start. Ozan Kabak is unlikely to be given a permanent contract after his loan period ends, so they will sign one, most likely Leipzig’s promising young defender Ibramhima Konate, though there is still interest in Croatia international Duje Caleta-Car.

He must also readjust his forward line. Salah is unlikely to leave despite his posturing over a new contract, but Klopp must look at a replacement for Firmino, even if it is medium term.

Taki Minamino’s return from loan at Southampton may provide the answer, but more likely he will sign a young forward with the energy to lead the famous press - and provide it with an intensity it has lacked this season.