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Zidane's Real Madrid to-do list

Real Madrid

Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann disputes Jurgen Klopp analysis

Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann has rejected Jurgen Klopp's claim that Liverpool kept the Bundesliga side under control throughout their Champions League playoff first leg on Tuesday.

Liverpool won 2-1 in Germany as they edged toward a place in the Champions League group stage, and Klopp said afterwards that his side had kept Hoffenheim in "the spaces that we believe were not dangerous."

However, Nagelsmann suggested Klopp was trying to put a positive spin on a performance that saw Hoffenheim keep 59 percent of the possession, according to UEFA's statistics, as well as completing more passes with higher accuracy.

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Asked about Klopp's comments, the 30-year-old smiled and said: "No. I see it differently. We were in meaningful spaces often enough, but it's clear he has to say it. I'd also put it that way if it were the other way round.

"It's normal. You always defend your own team. It'd be weird if he were to say: 'Hoffenheim played perfect and did a super job and we were just s---.' He just has to put it that way."

Nagelsmann went on to give examples showing that Hoffenheim had the ball in "dangerous" areas but failed to take shots from within the box.

Julian Nagelsmann listed five examples of Hoffenheim entering threatening positions but failing to get shots away.

"First half, Sandro Wagner squares the ball to Andrej Kramaric, who is clear in front of Simon Mignolet, but where Lukas Rupp sadly stops the ball. That's not in the attempts on target stats, but I believe it's a dangerous space," Nagelsmann said, and then listed four further more opportunities.

"I've now named five huge chances. That should be enough. I even explained it now. Good stuff."

He then looked toward the translator, who struggled to follow Nagelsmann's words and then provided a brief translation.

Hoffenheim attacker Sandro Wagner, meanwhile, said he "was 0.0 percent disappointed" despite the defeat as he eyed a recovery in the second leg at Anfield.

"I think that we've played a good match," Wagner said. "We were just a bit unlucky going forward at times. You'll have those games, but I am very, very positive looking towards next week. We've shown a great match against a good opponent."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.


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