Champions League 2019-2020 Round of 16
Liverpool’s unbeaten run came to an end in Madrid against Atletico, 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Saul Niguez.
The running champions have been unbeatable in the Premier League dropping only two points since the beginning of the season. On the European stage, they have lost their second game of the season [at Napoli 2-0], and look in serious danger of an early exit. Will the energy spent on the Premier League cost them? Atletico Madrid did come with a plan they were able to execute and will be a tough opponent for the Reds at Anfield.
Coach Klopp on the loss:
“I have no problem with the result. If you are 1-0 down at half-time in a normal game, you would say, ‘OK, we change this and this and that’ and then we would give it a try”, started the coach.
“We will give it a try – 100 per cent – in the next game as well. I saw so many happy faces tonight from Atletico and all that stuff, I get that because it is a big win but it is not over yet and that’s the only thing I feel.
The atmosphere, I think it was difficult to deal with the atmosphere tonight – and I don’t say the header was because of that, we just misjudged it. The throw-in was because of that, they just didn’t see it or whatever. But a lot of our situations were after 30 minutes, I think three Atletico players were already really on the ground and not injured. The ref just needs to feel the game a little bit more, how I think”, complained Klopp.
A tough defense
“The concentration level of the Atletico defence was exceptional tonight, I have to say. Yes, they defend with a big heart, but the concentration level in this final third was really, really good. For us, we could have played better – we know that. We can hold the ball better.
Now imagine in the home game, we could score a goal whenever and then the atmosphere will help us as well because emotions are important. Tonight they were obviously completely on the side of Atletico. That’s why I say I’m really looking forward to the second leg.”
For Atletico de Madrid and his coach, it was a glorious night in the Spanish capital. Still much in play but they showed the world and especially English club how to get it done to beat Liverpool:
“We did a great job as a team. Liverpool are a very powerful side”, stated the Argentine coach.
“The fans and the team were one. We started very well and found a goal, and then we understood that we could defend well regardless of where the match took us. This is one of those nights that you never forget, beating the best team in the world,”