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Why Liverpool Lost In Madrid

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Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has claimed the hostile atmosphere at the Wanda
Metropolitano affected his Liverpool team ‒ and the
referee ‒ in a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in their
Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday.

“It
was like they could constantly go to the petrol station and we had to drive on
one tank,” the German manager said, “I don’t know if [Atletico
manager] Diego [Simeone] saw a lot of the game, because he was constantly
animating the crowd.

Simeone’s
Atletico tenure may come to its Champions League conclusion

“We
speak about Anfield and the power a stadium can have, and tonight we saw it.
They got a result, the stadium wasn’t here to see sensational football, they
got the result and so they are happy.”

The crowd
in Madrid also affected the official’s handling of the match, according to
Klopp.

“It
was difficult for the referee to deal with the atmosphere tonight,” he
added. “There were a lot of situations, I think after 30 minutes three
Atletico players were on the ground, they weren’t even injured. The ref needs
to feel the game a little bit more.”

However,
Klopp warned that Simeone’s side can expect a similar reception at Anfield for
the second leg in three weeks’ time.

“It’s
only 1-0, we’re not 5-0 down,” Klopp said. “We don’t think it will be
easy at our ground. For all Atletico fans who can get a ticket for the game,
welcome to Anfield.”

Simeone
was delighted with a performance that saw his side limit what he called
“the best team in the world” to not a single shot on target, despite
having 72% possession.

“El
Cholo” also pointed to the role of the fans, who had lined the streets
with flares to welcome the team on arrival before kick-off.

“In
the eight years I’ve been here it hasn’t often been at that level,”
Simeone said. “We started winning the game when the bus came around the
roundabout outside and we saw so many people. It’s not my best night, because
we haven’t won a trophy. But it’s emotional. There are nights you don’t forget,
the best team in the world came here and we won the game.”

Saul
Niguez scored the only goal of the game just four minutes in, pouncing after
Liverpool failed to deal with a corner.

“This
is the result of hard work, of never stopping believing, of keeping going, even
though no-one believes in us and everyone wants to bring us down,” he
said. “The atmosphere reminded me of the old nights at [the former Atleti
stadium] Calderon.”

Liverpool
left-back Andy Robertson said Atleti’s style of play and the early goal threw
them off-kilter.

“We gave them the best possible start and that gets the fans behind them,” Robertson told reporters. “Then they start falling over and getting under the skin a bit.



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