Liverpool’s defence of their Champions League crown was brought to an end following Atletico Madrid’s 3-2 (AET) victory at Anfield on Wednesday – and Jurgen Klopp has specifically lauded three of Diego Simeone’s players.
The Reds won the tie in normal to time through Georginio Wijnaldum’s first-half header before Roberto Firmino handed his team the ascendancy with his first Anfield goal of the season five minutes into extra time.
Liverpool were in total control before goalkeeper Adrian made a costly error after gifting Atletico possession before Marcos Llorente punished the hosts with the crucial away goal.
The former Real Madrid prodigy then scored another to completely turn the tie on its head before Alvaro Morata completed the comeback to break Liverpool hearts.
After the match, Klopp credited his team’s spirited performance and revealed that the missed chances in normal time ultimately cost the team.
The German manager did also credit three Atletico players whom Klopp deemed as ‘outstanding’.
Speaking with BT Sport, he said: “When I see players like Koke, saul, Llorente, the players they had, they can play proper football.”
“They stay deep in their own half and have counter-attacks. They beat us, that’s how it is and we have to accept that”.
What RTK has to say
A cruel blow considering how well Liverpool played for 90 minutes and how Klopp’s team approached the task at hand.
Somehow Simeone’s side survived a second-half onslaught from the rampant Reds.
Jan Oblak was absolutely magnificent and was ultimately the hero on the night.
To Atletico’s credit, they are blessed with an array of talent and a manager who tactically is one of the best of his time.
We may be out of Europe, but this isn’t the time for doom and gloom. The team gave everything and we’ve had champagne on ice for the past 30 years so there will still be plenty to celebrate come May.