Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp bemoaned his side's inability to find a nerve-settling second goal against Augsburg after they squeezed through their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday.
They went into the match at 0-0 after the goalless first leg and James Milner put the hosts 1-0 up at Anfield from the penalty spot after five minutes, but Liverpool's failure to score again made for a tense affair.
Augsburg's Kostas Stafylidis nearly put Augsburg through on away goals late on, and Klopp admitted after the match that his side have a "problem" with their goalscoring, per the Mirror's David Maddock:
If you don't decide a game early enough it can be like this. For 70 minutes we couldn't see their plan, but then they could change the strikers and play the long ball. The free kick at the end was the biggest challenge for us.
We only had the one problem, we didn't score often enough. You can see that we deserved to win the game, but we forgot to make this decisive goal, and it is our problem at the moment.
Liverpool had their chances to make it a much more comfortable night against Augsburg—who currently lie 13th in the Bundesliga.
Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino all had excellent opportunities to extend their lead, but none of them could find the net.
See highlights of the clash below:
Liverpool have their League Cup final clash with Manchester City on Sunday and Klopp would undoubtedly have liked a more comfortable night on Thursday so he could have taken some key players off early in preparation for Wembley.
However, the German manager said beforehand it was never that simple, per BT Sport Football:
BT Sport Football @btsportfootball
And here's the interview... With Klopp joking his plan is to be "6-0 up after five minutes!" #UEL #LFC https://t.co/bQeYoEvZ1K2/25/2016, 5:56:21 PM
And so it proved. Milner's early penalty settled Liverpool down slightly, but they still knew throughout the clash that an equaliser from Augsburg would send them crashing out of the competition.
The Bundesliga side nearly got one too. Stafylidis' late free-kick whistled beyond the post, while Raul Bobadilla and Caiuby also had decent chances in the match.
It was a nerve-jangling close for Liverpool fans as Augsburg swept forward in the five minutes of stoppage time, as illustrated by Bleacher Report UK:
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
Liverpool fans right now. https://t.co/3dxd9UDyxM2/25/2016, 7:44:50 PM
And while the hosts were able to see out a vital victory and confirm their spot in the last 16, it was an unnecessarily gruelling encounter with Sunday's final looming.
Per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones, the Sky Blues look to be favourites for the clash:
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Liverpool will have to be much more clinical if they are to secure the first silverware of Klopp's reign, as City will undoubtedly prove tougher opponents than Augsburg.