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Rafa Benitez delivers verdict on Liverpool's Champions League knife-edge tie with Atletico Madrid

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has delivered his verdict regarding the clash between the European champions and Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.

MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 19: Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match, round 16, played between Atletico de Madrid and Liverpool FC at Wanda Metropolitano stadium on February 19, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp’s English champions-elect sustained their first defeat since September following the 1-0 tactical masterclass from managerial counter-part Diego Simeone in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash upon the Reds’ return to the Wanda Metropolitano.

Saul Niguez’s early opener inside five minutes proved to be the match-winner as Liverpool failed to register a solitary shot on target for the first time since October 2018.

Benitez –  currently in charge of Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang – has backed his team to conjure up a response with the Spaniard knowing all too well what the ‘power of Anfield’ can do to the opposition.

The Champions League-winning manager told AS via The Boot Room: “Liverpool is a very powerful team.

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“Klopp is a coach who gives a lot of intensity to his teams.

“But in the first leg he met an Atlético who knew how to play his game, which is to work well in defence, not to give many options in attack.

“The second leg will be difficult for both teams.

“Anfield resonates a lot, that’s true. Liverpool is sure to generate many occasions, but Atlético knows how to defend and has a good backlash.

“Conclusion, anyone can pass.”

DALIAN, CHINA – AUGUST 19: Head coach Rafa Benitez of Dalian Yifang speaks to his players during the 2019 Chinese Football Association (CFA) Cup semi-final match between Dalian Yifang and Shanghai Shenhua at Dalian Sports Center Stadium on August 19, 2019 in Dalian, Liaoning Province of China. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images via Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

While Benitez is very-much keeping his cards to his chest, we believe that Liverpool that will get the job done.

Anfield has been here before against Spanish opposition and has gotten the better of opponents in the past.

Just look at Klopp’s European record, since his arrival in 2015, the German manager has won all 10 of his continental knockout matches and has reached the final in every European campaign he has contested with Liverpool.

Simeone vindicated the power of home advantage following the incredible atmosphere in the Spanish capital.

Anfield will be another level.

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