LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 4, 2021: Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Chelsea won 1-0 condemning Liverpool to their fifth consecutive home defeat for the first time in the club’s history. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Robbo calls for “close-to-perfect game” from Liverpool to overcome the odds

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson insists the players are determined to prolong their Champions League season despite few people giving them a chance of making the semi-finals after their woeful first-leg performance against Real Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp’s side trail 3-1 heading into the second leg at Anfield, which devoid of fans will not be able to provide the backdrop for another potential comeback like the one famously fashioned against Barcelona two years ago.

Robertson believes the task that awaits them on Wednesday is equal to that which faced them after losing 3-0 to Lionel Messi-inspired opponents in the Nou Camp, when supporters played their part in the 4-0 home win.

“They are both as hard, and are different but same in their own way,” said the Scotland captain.

“Barcelona that night was obviously an incredible night and wouldn’t have been possible without fans in there.

“The fans made us feel 10 feet tall and believe even more. We felt before that game we could overturn it.

“Walking out in front of 55,000 other people who believed gave that extra five or 10 percent which makes a huge difference. Unfortunately tomorrow night we won’t have that.

“We are coming up against the team that is the most experienced in this tournament and won it the most times in the short history and long history. They are a fantastic team full of quality.

“It’s a big task for us and isn’t the same as the Barcelona game. We can’t rely on the fact we came back in that game that we are going to come back in this one.

“People have maybe written us off but we believe we can put in a better performance than last week and that’s the only way to give us a fighting chance.

“We believe we can win the game. If we do that it gives us a fighting chance; let’s see if it’s enough on the night. Fingers crossed it will be.

“Our determination is to take our chances, keep a clean sheet and make it as uncomfortable for them as possible.

“It needs to be a close-to-perfect game. We’ve done it in the past but we can’t rely on that. It’s up to us to create a Champions League night at Anfield without the fans.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 1, 2020: Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0 to win the group and progress to the Round of 16. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp does not believe it is possible for his players to perform as badly as they did in Madrid last week, where they were lucky to get in at half-time only 2-0 down after a first half in which every player was off their game.

Mohamed Salah’s 26th goal in 44 Champions League matches for the club briefly gave them hope before more bad defending allowed Vinicius Junior to score his second of the night.

“It was [a feeling] of disappointment, of course it was – nobody hid away from that, the performance wasn’t on the level it should be,” added Robertson.

“We gave away three cheap goals, that probably could have been avoided and we got an away goal which was the only bonus of that night.

“We have given ourselves a chance, we are still in the tie, we are still in the competition.

“We need to be better at everything we do tomorrow night. We need to put pressure on an unbelievable, experienced team and try to make it uncomfortable for them.

“If we can do that and take chances, let’s see where it can take us.”