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Liverpool have no time to lick wounds after pain in Spain

Liverpool have no time to fret over their chastening Champions League defeat by Barcelona as they scramble to prevent their season from fizzling out without any silverware to show for it.

After the hammer blow of two late Lionel Messi goals at the Nou Camp, which gave Barcelona a 3-0 win in the first leg of the semi-final, Juergen Klopp's men must raise themselves for the challenge of Newcastle in the English Premier League on Sunday morning (Singapore time).

Despite already posting a club record points tally of 91 with two games left, a Liverpool defeat would give Manchester City the chance to retain the title at home to Leicester on Tuesday morning.

"They don't have to think about the next game against Barcelona, now we play Newcastle," said Klopp after the Barca bashing.

"That's all our focus. We go to the hotel, have a proper sleep, get up in the morning, fly home and then prepare for Newcastle. Whatever happens, these boys, I couldn't be more proud of them."

There was plenty for Klopp to be proud about in Catalonia despite a first defeat in 20 games.

Liverpool had more possession and shots on goal as they pressed and penned the Spanish champions back.

"I can work really well with this game. I will use this game to show the boys what is possible," added Klopp.

"It was brave performance that was very passionate, very lively and in a lot of moments creative and direct.

"There will be a moment when I can convince the boys again how important this game was for us for our development because I really think it was the best away game we played in the Champions League. That's a very important message for us."

Now into his fourth season in charge, Klopp has still to win a trophy with Liverpool.

But if his maturing side were denied by individual brilliance in Barcelona, it is the collective class of City, led by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola, that looks likely to deny them a much-desired title. - AFP