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Toni Kroos details which two Liverpool players Real Madrid targeted

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Toni Kroos has detailed the Real Madrid gameplan he believes should have seen Liverpool beaten by an even greater margin in their Champions League showdown.

Kroos was a constant danger as the Reds were defeated 3-1 in their quarter-final first leg at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Tuesday night.

Real boss Zinedine Zidane revealed afterwards his players were under instruction to hit the spaces behind Liverpool's full-backs whenever possible.

And Kroos has explained how the Spaniards also sought to expose the inexperience of Reds' centre-back duo Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips.

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“Lots of things went well in the first half," he said. "We came out very motivated and even concentrated in our gameplan and it went well.

"We tried to attack them very early because we knew they have had to change some players because they have injured players at the back.

"We thought that’s going to be a good chance to win the ball very early. And of course when we have the ball, our idea was to keep the ball, keep the possession and play forward.

"I think all of this went well especially when we lost the ball, we got the back ball very fast. I think this was one key for this for this great first half.”

A long ball from Kroos created the first goal for Vinicius Junior, while a searching pass from the German prompted an error from Trent Alexander-Arnold for Marco Asensio to net Real's second goal.

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And Kroos added: "It’s normal to try to figure out in your rival some points where you can attack them.

"But it’s not only because they had to change some defenders. We also didn't want them getting the ball too easily to their forward players because all of us know what quality they have.

"One idea of course was to attack the defenders so that they cannot go easily to the front where they have most of their qualities.

"There's no question we deserved the victory. The second half was a little bit different with more possession for Liverpool but we still had the clear chances. The result is okay, but it was more than possible to score four or five.

"But there are always two legs. All the things can happen, we know that. We will have to defend there and also attack to try to get through."

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Liverpool face a difficult task in next Wednesday's return at an empty Anfield having only twice before overturned a first-leg deficit of two goals or greater - and never having lost the initial meeting 3-1.

And Kroos believes Real are now reaping the rewards of adapting better at playing in front of no supporters.

"Now we are getting used to it a little bit," he said. "It's more than a year playing without fans and I always said the team that adapts well or the best is going to win.

"For Liverpool it's different to play with no fans, but for us also. We don't even play in our own stadium!

"But we have adapted well now and will try the same next week in Liverpool."

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