Marcos Llorente’s brace, combined with Alvaro Morata’s late strike, inflicted a 3-2 home defeat which saw the Reds exit 4-2 on aggregate after extra time.
In a tale of two goalkeepers, the LaLiga side’s Jan Oblak showed why he is one of the world’s best by single-handedly holding the visitors at bay in the second half as shots rained down on his goal with the tie level on aggregate at 1-1 after Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener.
By contrast Adrian, the goalkeeper who did not have a club in the summer and who was standing in for the injured Alisson Becker, had a shocking nine minutes in extra time with his error leading to Llorente’s goal after Roberto Firmino’s first at Anfield since April had put Liverpool ahead in the tie for the first time.
The Spaniard then seemed slow to react to Llorente’s long-range effort, which left Jurgen Klopp’s side needing two goals in the final 15 minutes.
For once Anfield could not deliver one of its famous comebacks as Klopp lost his first two-legged tie as Liverpool manager at the 11th attempt, with Morata adding a third in the 120th minute.
Klopp told BT Sport: “I’m searching for the right words to be honest. We scored the second goal five minutes too late, we scored in extra time and not in the 90 minutes. The 90 minutes were exceptional.”
He was also struggling to figure out how his side had conceded three times.
“We shouldn’t have conceded these kinds of goals,” he added. “It’s difficult to explain these goals to be honest.
“They beat us so that’s how it is. We have to accept this. It doesn’t feel right tonight, I realise I am a really bad loser. Especially when the boys put in such an effort in the game.
“I want to say thank you to everybody for this incredible ride in the Champions League.”