Cape Town - TSG
1899 Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann was forced to admit that his
side was not ready for the Champions League following their play-off
loss to Liverpool.
The Bundesliga side suffered a 6-3 aggregate defeat following their 4-2 reverse at Anfield on Wednesday.
Emre Can (10, 21), Mohamed Salah (18), and Roberto Firmino (63) were
all on target for the Reds, as goals from Marc Uth (28) and Sandro
Wagner (79) proved inconsequential.
Speaking after the game, the young German manager told his club's
official website that his side under-performed against their Premier
League opponents, putting in a "sloppy performance".
He said: "It hurts, because we have lost a game that meant so much.
"From an analytical point of view I have to say we played poorly.
"We started the first half really badly and left far too many gaps.
Then everything got away from us really quickly. We didn’t set ourselves
up well enough and our plan went of the window.
"We missed the chance to put on a performance like those we showed last year to give us this opportunity.
"It was a rare sloppy performance from us."
Nagelsmann added: "We cannot change the result and we’ll now have to
forget about the Champions League. It’s not worth getting shedding tears
"Liverpool are a tough side to beat, and we didn’t stand a chance today."
He concluded: "We now look to the Bundesliga and Friday’s Europa
League draw. We saw today that we lack that little bit of quality to
reach the Champions League. But we have grown a lot following these two
Goalscorers Uth and Wanger added their point of view with the former
saying: "We were outplayed in the first 20 minutes and quickly conceded
"I could hardly believe it and it meant it became almost impossible
to salvage the tie. However, we kept our spirits up. We came here to win
and knew it wouldn’t be easy but we gave it everything. We just have to
forget about the game and concentrate on the Bundesliga."
Wagner explained: "We had a lot to do but we started the game confidently.
"But we then went to sleep for about twenty minutes, and I am lost for words as to why, I cannot explain it.
"We worked for a year to reach the Champions League. It hurts right now because everything was over after 20 minutes.
"We would have loved to have played in the Champions League of course
but we can be very excited about the Europa League and are looking
forward to that challenge. Congratulations to Liverpool, they deserved
to win today."