Jurgen Klopp Blames Atletico Madrid Style Of Play For Champions League Defeat
Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid played the perfect game plan over the two legs of their Champions League last 16 tie with Liverpool, although not according to Jurgen Klopp.
The Spanish side won the first leg 1-0 and on Wednesday night dramatically knocked holders Liverpool out with a 3-2 win built on grit, determination and nous.
That however wasn't 'proper football' according to Klopp. "For the score to go 2-1 was not cool, it was a blow but it's not a big problem. The second goal was a bigger problem," the Liverpool boss told BT Sport.
"After the second goal the legs were a bit tired. Everything that looked really natural in the first 90 minutes became a bit stiff. The crosses did not have the same quality We wanted the first time crosses like for the first goal, which was brilliant and the boys forget to do that.
"I am completely happy with the performance. It's so difficult to play a side like this.
"I don't understand with the quality they have the football they play. They could play proper football but they stand deep and have counter attacks.
"We accept it of course but it doesn't feel right tonight. I realise I am a really bad loser, especially when the boys put such an effort in against world class players on the other side who defend with two rows of four."
"It's difficult to explain these goals, to be honest. The boys fought hard."- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 11, 2020
"We will come again, and go again. But for now, we are out."
A disappointed Jurgen Klopp is keen to not get too despondent despite the Reds losing hold of their European crown...
:microphone2: @TheDesKelly pic.twitter.com/6f74I8jlen
Simeone was asked about Klopp's comments and the Atleti boss was complimentary in his response, saying, "I respect his identity and the quality footballers they have. We try to exploit deficiencies in the opponent. That's what we do. And we try to win."
In truth Liverpool only had themselves to blame, and a bit of bad luck, in the first leg the Spanish side defended resolutely and denied the Premier League leaders chances, with Liverpool having no shots on target.
On Wednesday night Klopp's side had far more scoring opportunities, with 11 shots on target and 34 in total, and failed to take enough of them.
The loss brought an end to Liverpool's incredible 43 games without a loss at home in all competitions, as Marcos Llorente's double and Alvaro Morata's strike game Atleti a 3-2 win on the night.
Come the end of the season Liverpool fans will care more about winning the league than not winning the Champions League but right now it's still a proper blow to Klopp and the team.