Jürgen Klopp's press conference after Liverpool 0-3 Atalanta

ReactionJürgen Klopp's press conference after Liverpool 0-3 Atalanta

By James Carroll and Glenn Price at Anfield


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Read Jürgen Klopp's assessment after Liverpool's 3-0 defeat at home to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie on Thursday night.

The Reds were beaten at Anfield by two goals from Gianluca Scamacca and a late Mario Pasalic finish, leaving them with a significant deficit to overturn in next week's return fixture at Stadio di Bergamo.

On his reaction to Liverpool's performance...

We can make the shortest press conference of all time, it just was a really bad game, oh my God. So we started well, really well, and then didn't continue. I think even before they scored but we just lost the plot a little bit, like we were everywhere and nowhere. [The] midfield was spread like that, right midfielder left side, left midfielder, striker... I didn't recognise that, that was really strange. In football terms that's tactical discipline. But anyhow we had a big chance I think from Darwin [Nunez] and then unlucky with Harvey [Elliott]. Then they scored the goal and then we kept playing into their hands, to be honest. A really good example [of] how it could have looked is the goal we scored because that's [the] striker wide, full-back underlap in a massive space, arrives, has all the time in the world, passes the ball and Mo [Salah] scores the goal. It was then offside but that's one thing. We should have had these situations more often.

[We] didn't use the man-marking besides that, I would say, a lot. Then Diogo [Jota] came on, we cannot use him now just because we think now he's the solution or whatever. He needs time as well but he came on and just [had] no bad experience or whatever in the whole game for weeks and months, so just happy to play – and you could see that changed a lot. We played a bad game, we deserved to lose and we must feel that now. But the boys have exactly this night to feel bad about it and then we have to build up again for the Crystal Palace game, so that's how it is. You ask me probably about the game next Thursday but there is Crystal Palace in between. So, congratulations Atalanta, really well done.

On whether there was a reason for his side's display...

It's easy – Atalanta are causing many teams problems with the way they defend. Maybe I'm wrong but I cannot now remember situations where they outplayed us, it's just they won the ball and they went from there, so it's a good idea. You need a lot of tactical discipline to do what they did. They play that man-marking over the whole pitch – Ederson pressing whoever, Curtis [Jones] in our own box, stuff like that. That was the reason why they won the game, because in these moments you just want to win the ball. Man-marking is uncomfortable when you are not on top of your game. That's why so many teams play it again. But if you play, if you are in a better playing mood than we were tonight then you can cause massive problems – but we didn't. So that's the reason. They defended us and we didn't try it long enough to play, so then we just suffered from their way, the way they defended. That's pretty much the explanation, that's the one point.

On making six changes to the starting line-up and three substitutions at half-time...

That's how it is. You lose the game then your changes are questionable. I get that, 100 per cent. For the reasons I did it I would do exactly the same way again, but as I said, if you want to be good in the rest of the season then we have to make changes. We have to. We didn't take off the three 'worst' players. That's probably what people make of it and how the boys looked at half-time. Nobody wants to [come off]. Curtis came back from injury, you could see good moments and then, again, it was the most important training session he had now since he is back. Forty-five minutes, going over the point constantly. Harvey was alright, Kosti [Tsimikas] not a lot of rhythm, so then you think, 'OK, come on, give the game a chance...' but, by the way, we lost the second half 2-0 and the first half 1-0, so I don't know which one was better. It's just how it is. It's absolutely fine. I am responsible for this result first and foremost, I know that, but the decision I would probably take the same.

On whether he believes the tie is still alive...

I believe that it's not the moment to talk about that. What I can say already [is] I am not in the mood to think now about a game which is in a week's time when we have another one in between. What we definitely will [do is] try and for that we have to play really good. We try to win the game there and then we will see what we can do from there but it's now not the moment for having a big mouth and just telling them what we will do there. We have to play a really good game when we arrive, but this was probably a low point for us performance-wise tonight, I would say, for a long time, so I think it should be possible to play a little bit better – and if we can play a little bit better then we can play much better as well. But, first and foremost, Sunday. That is much more important now.



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.