Jurgen Klopp hits out at 'slapstick' Liverpool defending in Champions League thrashing

Jurgen Klopp criticised Liverpool for their "slapstick" defending as they suffered a humiliating 5-2 Champions League defeat against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

The Premier League club led 2-0 after 14 minutes on goals from Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez, but Vinicius bagged a brace before half-time to level the scores. His second came from an Alisson mistake.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Liverpool crumbled in the second half, with an Eder Militao header and Karim Benzema double sealing a stunning comeback from the LaLiga champions.

"We gave all five goals away," Klopp said in his postmatch news conference. "It means we could have done better there.

"In our situation, it is really important we see positive steps, and the first half was, besides the two goals we conceded, was pretty much the best we played all season. The second goal was slapstick."

Liverpool appeared to rediscover last season's form heading into the Champions League tie with 2-0 wins over Everton and Newcastle United, and Klopp urged his players not to lose confidence after their defeat at Anfield.

"I can see that people think that [losing confidence] is understandable, but that is absolutely not allowed," he added. "I told the boys that this is a result the opposite of what we wanted, but a defeat is a defeat.

"If you don't learn from it, and if you don't learn the start was outstanding and was us in a nutshell [it would be a mistake]. So if we allow this one game to be influential, we are really silly. We have a few days when I will make sure we take the right things.

- Ogden: Real Madrid expose Liverpool's defence in UCL thrashing
- Vinicius vows more to come after Liverpool rout

"Yes, we have a few things to improve, especially on the third goal [from Militao], massively. First goal [from Vinicius], massively. But the intensity, the effort we showed, the football was like everything we want to see. So we have to make sure we keep that. [A] 5-2 [result] could be damaging, but I have to make sure that is not happening."

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was also critical of his former side's defensive display.

"I must say, what a performance by Real Madrid, to come to Anfield and do that," he told CBS after the game. "I've never seen a team come to Anfield like that on a European night and destroy Liverpool.

"That was shambolic from Liverpool. Embarrassing. We've made excuses for them all season and said there's reasons why they're not doing as well as they have done in previous seasons, but that was a disgrace, that second half.

"To not even have a chance, to not show any fight after the goals go in, and to lose that second half 3-0 when you're attacking the Kop at 2-2 in a knockout game -- absolutely shambolic. I'm talking about defensively shambolic all season."