‘Welcome To Anfield’, Klopp Warns Atletico

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects a very different atmosphere at Anfield will help turn his side’s Champions League last 16 tie with Atletico Madrid around after a 1-0 first leg defeat in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.

Saul Niguez’s early strike inflicted just Liverpool’s second defeat of the season in all competitions with a senior team.

The holders were frustrated by the hosts’ playacting and Polish referee Szymon Marciniak’s performance as Atletico boss Diego Simeone whipped the Wanda Metropolitano crowd into a frenzy.

“Wow, that’s energy!” Klopp told BT Sport when asked about Simeone’s touchline antics.

“I don’t think I have to do that much to be honest (in the second leg), I hope I can be focused a little bit more on the game.

“Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield! It’s not over yet.”

Klopp replaced Sadio Mane at half-time with the Senegalese at risk of being sent-off as Atletico players surrounded Marciniak demanding a second yellow card for the African player of the year just before the break.

“He was targeted that was clear,” added Klopp.

“Sadio played a really good first half and they only thing they wanted is to make sure he gets a yellow card.

“For me we didn’t lose, it’s only half-time, the score is 1-0 that’s all. But you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere, that was obviously not easy.”

The visitors were also riled by the celebrations of Simeone and some of his players at full-time after they secured a victory that could kickstart at faltering season.

“They’ve celebrated as if they’ve won the tie after the game, so let’s see,” said left-back Andy Robertson.

“We’ve got a couple of weeks, Premier League business to take care of, and then we’re coming back to Anfield.

“We know our fans will be there, we’ll be there, so it’s up to them to come as well.”

Robertson Upbeat Despite Liverpool’s Loss At Man City

Liverpool’s Scottish defender Andrew Robertson (R) crosses the ball for Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (L) to head home Liverpool’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Liverpool in Manchester on January 3, 2019. Manchester City won the game 2-1. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson says a first Premier League defeat of the season at the hands of rivals Manchester City will not be decisive in the title race.

A narrow 2-1 loss at the Etihad on Thursday ended the Reds’ 20-match unbeaten league start and cut their lead at the top of the table to four points.

“It doesn’t change anything. It is just the same if we had won,” said the Scotland captain.

“It would have been nice to be 10 points clear of them and nine points above Tottenham but we wouldn’t have won it (the title).

“We have not lost it. They’re obviously delighted (seeing) their reaction at the end but they’ve not won it either.”

Fellow defender Virgil Van Dijk said Liverpool are capable of bouncing back from defeat and remain calm as they seek to end a 29-year wait for the title.

“Disappointed that we lost, that is really obvious, (but) we’re four points clear, that is the main thing,” said the Dutch player.

“Obviously the media has been making this game as big as ever but for us it was just another very important Premier League game.

“We knew it was going to be a very tough season and there will be ups and downs. Here there was obviously a down but we have to keep going, keep bouncing back and that is something we are definitely going to do.”

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