Liverpool suffered their second defeat of the UEFA Champions League with a 1-0 loss to Atletico. Jurgen Klopp seemed unphased by the result pointing out that Atletico would not have their 12th man to rally behind them on the return leg at Anfield pointing out that the supporters played a crucial factor in bolstering Atletico’s confidence.
Saul Niguez bolstered Atletico into an early lead scoring the first and only goal of the match in just 4 minutes of play giving the host side their 1-0 victory.
This is just the second game this season in which Liverpool left the opposing goal untested ass they were unable to get any shots on target.
Even so, Jurgen Klopp believes that the awaiting reception at Anfield will be all his side need to overcome Atletico and progress forward in the Champions League as Liverpool look to defend their title.
“Atletico fans who can a get ticket… ‘welcome to Anfield’,” Jurgen Klopp went on to say.
“Emotions are important. Tonight they were obviously completely on the side of Atletico, but I am really looking forward to the second leg.”
“We speak from time to time about the power of Anfield and the power a stadium can have and tonight you saw that.”
“It’s half-time, we’re 1-0 down, but we wouldn’t give up at half-time so why would we give up now. And, even better, the second half will be played in a different stadium, our stadium.”
“Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield! It’s not over yet.”
Jurgen Klopp was forced to substitute Sadio Mane after an encounter with Atletico’s Simi Vrsaljko that had Atletico players rushing around referee Szymon Marciniak looking to have the African Player of the Year sent off.
Realising that Atletico would not stop in their quest to see the footballer sent off the pitch, Klopp was forced to substitute him at half time going. When asked about the reason behind the substitution Klopp responded:
“It’s part of football and I don’t like it, but obviously the plan tonight was to get Sadio out of the game with a yellow card and then a possible second.”
“I was a little afraid his opponent would go down even if Sadio only even takes a deep breath (near him).”
“I didn’t want to have that situation so that’s why I took him off.”
Liverpool suffered another blow as captain Jordan Henderson was forced off the pitch due to a hamstring injury with just 10 minutes left in the game.
“Hendo felt his hamstring, unfortunately. We have to wait. He was not too concerned but enough to go off obviously.” Klopp reported.
With one more chance against Atletico left, we will wait to see if the added advantage of having the 12th man in their corner as their opponents come to Anfield will be enough to ensure that Liverpool are not knocked out of the UEFA Champions League