Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s hopes of a remarkable Champions League comeback will be bolstered by their dramatic win over Aston Villa.
But the Reds boss admits his team will need a “perfect performance” when they look to overturn a 3-1 quarter-final first leg deficit against Real Madrid at home on Wednesday.
The Premier League champions ended a run of six straight Anfield defeats – and secured their first win at the stadium since December 16 – with a 2-1 triumph against Villa on Saturday afternoon.
Mohamed Salah’s 28th goal of the season and an injury-time winner from Trent Alexander-Arnold wiped out Ollie Watkins’ first-half opener for the visitors.
And Klopp has urged his players to take encouragement from the manner of the victory going into their Champions League crunch.
“Whatever it can do, we will take,” he said. “We need a perfect performance on Wednesday if we want to just have a chance.
“The way we played and the way Real Madrid played there (in the first leg), it doesn’t look very promising.
“But the good thing is we can play better, which will change the game already. But we have to.
“It will be a tough one, but we will give it a try I can promise. That’s the only thing we can say.
“This today helps of course. When you win everything, you don’t feel the intensity, you feel nothing. You just want to play the next game, you could play it the next day.
“Obviously for us at the moment it’s not that easy. We have to work really hard and we need five chances or 10 to score a goal – you have to go through that. You can’t change it because you want to, if you want it to be different you have to work for it.
“We did that today against a very strong opponent, a very important three points. Whatever it will give us for Wednesday, we will use.”
Liverpool went in at half-time angered by Roberto Firmino having had an equaliser disallowed following a controversial VAR offside call against Diogo Jota.
Get all the latest Liverpool breaking news, team news, transfer rumours, injury updates plus analysis of what's next for the Reds.
You'll also get the latest transfer talk and analysis straight to your inbox every day with our FREE email newsletter.
Sign up here - it only takes a few seconds!
And Klopp was delighted with the reaction of his players and is hopeful they have now addressed their Anfield failings.
“It’s no secret that it’s quite a bumpy season for us,” he said. “A lot of things are happening and we have to fight through.
“In the end, if we end up in a Champions League spot then that will be great, but it’s tricky. It’s difficult, really hard for us.
“I’m not surprised any more that things like the first half happened, but I’m interested in the reaction and I liked the reaction today absolutely.
“That we didn’t turn the game around at Anfield in the last six games, that’s why we lost six in a row. That should not happen but it did. Hopefully we have turned it around now.”
Klopp added: “But we have tough opponents coming up with their own targets. Real Madrid everyone knows about.
“Then we play Leeds, everyone who saw them against Man City will know that won’t be a walk in the park. I think they are leading in all the physical stats in the league, so if you want to get something from there you have to do a lot.”