Liverpool’s dreams of defending the Champions League title came crashing down on Wednesday night as Atlético Madrid escaped from Anfield with a 3-2 win after extra-time to steer themselves through to the last eight.
The Reds dominated possession and even held a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino, but a late flurry of strikes from Atlético, some Adrian errors and 1,000,000 saves from Jan Oblak ultimately proved too much to handle.
Speaking after the game (via the club’s official website), Jürgen Klopp was understandably disappointed by the result. Here’s what he had to say.
On the Performance & Result
“I think everybody who saw the game tonight knows that it could have been different. I loved our first 90 or 95 minutes, however long it was.
“Our first, main mistake tonight was that we scored the second goal too late; we scored in extra-time and not in the 90 minutes, so that was our fault. Adrian1OblakWho is older?
“When you see a team like Atlético packed with world-class players in their positions and they play the way they play, it is the most difficult thing to do, to face, that’s how it is.”
Atlético bagged their first goal of the game following a poor clearance from goalkeeper Adrián, whose sloppy pass eventually gifted Marcos Llorente a crucial goal.
“Tonight of course, that pass was not really helpful. Adrian is a super player, I love the boy, but it is in this moment the wrong decision, or he didn’t hit the ball right. I don’t know.
“Is it then necessary they score the goal? No, but when they finished the situation off Adrián is still on the way back and not in the right positioning, so it was a bit easy to finish that situation off, I would say. In that moment, usually conceding a goal is part of football and should not have a massive influence, but in this moment the momentum changed.”
On the Impact of the Result on the Season
“Nothing, no impact. Come on, we tried everything. For two-and-a-half years we had an exceptional ride in the Champions League, we had party after party after party in the Champions League pretty much. And tonight was a party, everything was set, it was great – crowd exceptional, the stadium, everything showed up in the best way.
“The boys delivered a super game, fought hard, played well and scored wonderful goals. But we lost. That’s it. No impact on anything. Now we have more time to prepare the Premier League games, we will see how the season will go on – nobody knows that in the moment exactly, obviously.
“So from now on we will watch the Champions League instead of being part of it. But everybody knows we will come again and go again. Thank you to everybody who helped us on that ride. But now it’s over, I cannot change that anymore. But there will be no impact.”
On Atlético’s Tactics & Being a ‘Bad Loser’
“I am completely happy with the performance,” Klopp added (via the Liverpool Echo). “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.
“If I would say all the things that was on my mind I would come across as the worst loser in the world. So I’d better stop. But the way the play… I just don’t get it. I don’t get it. Why? You should know already, if not then you didn’t see the game.”