Jürgen Klopp on win over Atletico, Trent's assists, Firmino injury and more

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on win over Atletico, Trent's assists, Firmino injury and more

Published 3rd November 2021

Jürgen Klopp hailed a 'pretty special' achievement from his Liverpool side after they secured a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League on matchday four by beating Atletico Madrid 2-0 on Wednesday.

First-half goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane against the reigning Spanish champions confirmed the Reds' status as winners of Group B with two fixtures remaining. 

Jota opened the scoring at Anfield in minute 21 from a fine cross by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who then set up Mane's finish a short while later. 

Felipe was sent off for the visitors 10 minutes prior to half-time as Klopp's men went on to maintain their 100 per cent record in the Champions League this season. 

Read on for a full transcript of the boss' post-match press conference... 

On whether the result and situation in the group 'could not have gone any better'...

If Bobby Firmino wouldn't have gone off with a hamstring injury that would have been much better. But from pretty much all other points of view, it was a good performance, it's an incredible group stage so far. I wouldn't have expected that obviously when I saw the draw – nobody would have expected that. Doing that is pretty special. But for tonight, job done but we all know there are two games to go and we will try everything to win them as well. That's how it is.

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On the sending-off of Felipe... 

So, I didn't see in the first place that it was a red card. For me, it was a yellow card. And I saw it back and then you see that the foot is high and hits his Achilles, so it's a decision [of] the referee. I think of the law it's a red card. So do I want the other team going one man down? No, not at all. I think we were the better side already against 11 but with an intense schedule we have, I think it is very important that you control the game after that a lot, and we did that. We scored still a goal, a wonderful goal, we had massive chances. So the goal we scored is an incredible situation – what a pass by Joel Matip, dribbling and stuff like this – and then it's for an inch offside, but good football. Then I think with Kostas with at least two crosses which we could've, should've finished off. At the second post we had another chance after Mo dribbling, all these kind of things. I don't think it changed too much but, of course, it's a different game. In November, we try to get through games pretty mature and still it didn't work out – Bobby got injured and that's not good.

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On what he made of Alexander-Arnold's performance... 

He's a good player obviously and he has a pretty impressive right foot and his awareness is outstanding. When he's on top of his game, he's outstanding, that's how it is. But how we set up the first goal with the triangle with Hendo, Mo on that side, in the end Trent has all of the space and time in the world to put the cross in. Second goal, obviously Sadio with his incredible skill set, just physically so strong, technically so good, getting rid of the defender, passing the ball to Hendo, Hendo outside and then getting through the gap, so that's good football. And in the end, Trent can cross as good as he wants, if there's no receiver in the middle then they don't look that good, so it's a nice mix.

On substituting Mane at half-time…

Probably everybody in the stadium expected I would do it, each journalist expected I would do it and I thought it was the right thing to do. I hated it more than you can imagine because Sadio played an incredible game, but then what's the decision? I was not worried that Sadio cannot handle his emotions, he was calm. The thing is, the ball comes in the air, you go in for a heading challenge and the other player is going down... we all saw what some Madrid players did, rolling over more and more in all the situations to equal the number of players again. I didn't like it, but I think it was the right thing to do. 

On not shaking hands with Diego Simeone…

It's absolutely no problem at all. I know Diego doesn't like these kind of things and I am not the biggest handshaker on the planet and want to annoy people with my handshaking. He doesn't like it and I didn't go over, but that doesn't change my respect for him and the work he is doing.

On whether he substituted Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to preserve him…

Yes, exactly. That was it and obviously Taki is in a really good moment, as everybody could see when he came on, so we had that chance. Oxlade had a few games, but not too many, so we didn't want to push him through that game. We have the next one on Sunday, we need all the boys, so that was the reason. He's fine. 

On how Liverpool will line up in their final two group matches having already secured top spot…

The team we line up depends on the situation we are in around the game. Who was how in the game before, who is the next opponent. That was always [the case], it's not now just for these games, that's how it is. We changed five times tonight because we don't consider the Madrid game more important than the West Ham game, for example, so you have to make changes even when players might not like it in a specific moment. The Porto game, there is only one difference: we are already qualified. Forget that because we already qualified but all the rest is exactly like it was before. It is a Champions League game, the next one is at home, the game after that is at the San Siro and I've never played there, so I'm really excited about that. We will play at home [against Porto] and play real football. Can you imagine we play Porto at home, the crowd is really coming from all over the world to watch the games and then you offer, I don't know, a half-cooked dish? That is pretty not much how it will be. We go for it, we want to win football games, that's all. Sometimes you can qualify for something, sometimes not, it is still the same thing – you play a game, you want to win it, show it.

Published 3rd November 2021