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3 things Jurgen Klopp got right in Atletico 2-3 Liverpool and 1 he got very wrong

Atletico Madrid 2-3 Liverpool was far from the perfect game but the Reds got the job done. Here are three things that went their way – and another that didn’t.

Klopp gets it wrong

Jurgen Klopp took a chance with his starting XI. He didn’t pick his best players but chose to keep the same team that tore apart Watford.

This was a vote for consistency as the boss hoped Liverpool could ride the wave of good form. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

Liverpool raced into a 2-0 lead but the flaws quickly became apparent. Atletico consistently cut through the Reds’ midfield, creating chances and getting two goals back before half-time. They could have had more.

The lack of Fabinho in the middle proved to be a mistake.

Klopp gets it right

The subs

Klopp fixed things. He took Naby Keita off before the restart, bringing on Fabinho in his stead. The difference was clear.

Liverpool were a lot more solid with the Brazilian keeping midfield secure. Atletico couldn’t get through at anything like the same rate as Fabinho won tackles, kept the ball excellently, and gave the Reds more shape.

My Revenge On Ben Foster

But it wasn’t the only good substitution. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was excellent when he got on, while Diogo Jota won a penalty. Joe Gomez, too, helped see out the game as a right-back.

The centre-backs

We weren’t 100% sure about going with Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk here. Both played on Saturday and will surely line up against Manchester United at the weekend. Resting them made some sense with both Gomez and Ibrahima Konate as options.

But again, Klopp was right. Liverpool needed their first-choice pairing to see out the 2-3 result vs Atletico. Matip, in particular, played a big role in this result.

Roberto Firmino

The other big decision facing Klopp was whether to stick with Firmino or put Jota back in. The boss has picked the latter more often than not this season.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Firmino didn’t exactly match his weekend heroics but he did put in the kind of performance Liverpool needed here.

The Brazilian had 54 touches as he linked with midfield – far more than any other forward on the pitch. He also harassed Atletico as well as anyone, attempting five tackles over the 90 minutes.

He was the right man for the job here and it’s another decision Klopp got right.

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