The Reds may have been beaten by Atletico Madrid and knocked out of another competition, but they remain hugely respected by pundits
Michael Owen believes Liverpool are still the best team in Europe despite being knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday night by Atletico Madrid.
Last year’s winners were beaten 1-0 away from home in the first leg and took the tie to extra time at Anfield after Georgino Wijnaldum struck in the 43rd minute.
Roberto Firmino then put the Reds in front in the 94th minute only for Marcos Llorente to score twice in the space of nine minutes for the visitors.
Alvaro Morata would then seal a 3-2 win on the night for Atletico with a goal in the final minute as Diego Simeone’s side triumphed 4-2 on aggregate.
The results caps off a difficult few weeks for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who saw their unbeaten run in the Premier League ended by Watford before they were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea.
But despite those recent setbacks, the side remain the best in Europe, according to the club’s former forward Owen.
“Liverpool are out now but there’s no question whatsoever that every single big team around Europe has just breathed a huge sigh of relief,” Owen said on BT Sport.
“Liverpool are out and I’ve got no doubts that they’re the best team in Europe. Yes, they’ve been beaten over two legs but they’re still the best team in Europe and they were absolutely outstanding for 90 minutes I thought tonight.
“The difference probably between the two sides was the goalkeepers.
“The Madrid players will sit in there dressing room, look at each other and say ‘How good were that team we’ve just beaten? We’ve never played anything like that’.
“They literally blew them away for 90 minutes but perseverance, hanging in there, and anything can happen in football.”
While Liverpool’s Champions League defence is now over, the club are poised to seal the Premier League title imminently with the Reds 25 points clear of second-place Manchester City.
With nine league games remaining this season, Klopp’s side are on course to tally over 100 points having dropped just five points across their 29 matches so far.