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Jürgen Klopp | Atlético approach, Mané substitution, Henderson update

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

6:40 AM - 19 Feb 2020



Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has he is not at all disappointed with his side after the 1-0 defeat at Atlético Madrid last night, which leaves their Champions League defence up in the air ahead of the return leg.

Saúl Ñíguez scored the only goal of the game after just four minutes at the Wanda Metropolitano to seal a narrow win for Diego Simeone's side, with the last-16 second leg to come in three weeks' time on March 11th.

The visitors enjoyed 73% of possession in the game, but couldn't find a way through the La Liga outfit's defence.

Jurgen Klopp refused to be drawn on blaming officials or anyone else for the defeat.

"We lost the game and I don't want to talk in the first moments about the ref or decisions or stuff like this. Atletico scored the goal, it was not directly the situation – it was a throw-in, then became a corner and then it was a goal.

"Would I have loved to have got the throw-in? Yes, but that's how it is. It made our lives not easier tonight because Atletico were here to squeeze a result out of this game. Coming here and having 70 percent possession is exceptional, our build-up was outstanding against a high-press team; it was, for me, next level, to be honest – it was the best we did for a long time.

"Counter-press was exceptional, the intensity of the game and how we could go was absolutely how it should be, put the opponent under pressure in the last third, but we were not clear enough. We had not enough clear-cut chances. We had chances, not enough but that's normal, I would say.

The German boss also spoke about not being upset with his players after the game, with the end product on attacks his only issue.

"I am not disappointed about how we played, I saw much worse games in my life. It was absolutely OK. How I said, we were not good enough in the last third, that's it.

"I didn't expect that we would have around about 70 percent possession. I actually thought we would have a little bit more of the game, but we are not surprised.

"1-0 and you are not in the best moment, you try to defend it with all you have and that's what they did. That's absolutely OK, I respect that a lot, but of course it is only 1-0. We are not 5-0 down or whatever."

Star forwards Sadio Mané and Mo Salah were both withdrawn from the action by Jurgen Klopp during the game, and the manager explained his logic for those decisions after the game.

"It is obviously part of football. I don't like that. Obviously, the plan tonight was get Sadio out of the game with a yellow card.

"I was afraid his opponent would go down now even if Sadio takes a deep breath or whatever and I didn't want to have that situation, so that's why we took him off. Mo was just a tactical change, that's all. We wanted to change a little bit and that's what we did."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was taken off after 80 minutes with a hamstring issue and replaced by James Milner - Jurgen Klopp gave an update on his situation in his post-match press conference.

"Hendo felt his hamstring, unfortunately. We have to wait. He was not too concerned but enough to go off obviously."

Speaking to BT Sport in the aftermath of Tuesday's defeat, Klopp promised a return-leg in Anfield that will match the intensity created by the Madrid supporters.

"I don't think I have to do it that much," he noted in comparison to Diego Simeone's rousing of the Atletico supporters mid-match. "Our people will be ready.

"Welcome to Anfield, it is not over yet."

Next up for the Premier League leaders is a home tie against West Ham United next Monday night.



Read more about

Atletico Madrid Champions League Diego Simeone Jordan Henderson Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Off The Ball Soccer

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