Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has labelled Jurgen Klopp as a ‘maestro’ following his half-time team talk against Atletico Madrid.
The Reds came out 3-2 winners at the Wanda Metropolitano after an eventful Champions League group match. Klopp’s men flew out of the blocks and were ahead within eight minutes.
Mo Salah got away from Yannick Carrasco and sent a left-footed effort towards goal. It beat Jan Oblak thanks to a slight touch off Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Naby Keita put Liverpool 2-0 up just five minutes later with a thunderous volley. But Atletico did not let their heads go down and Antoine Griezmann poked them level with 20 minutes gone.
Some nice work from Joao Felix then caused problems down the left. He played in Griezmann, who took a good touch before beating Alisson with a composed finish.
That was not the end of the drama as Griezmann was sent off for a high challenge on Roberto Firmino in the second half. Salah scored a penalty in the 78th minute, before Atletico had one overturned late on.
During a post-match interview on Liverpool’s official website, Alisson heaped praise on his manager.
“I believe the boss is a maestro in talking in the right moments, the right things,” the Brazilian said. “I think he brought us in the game again in the changing room and also our attitude changed a little bit in the second half. It is not easy when you are 2-0 up – I think it was before 15 minutes – and then you concede a goal and you know that it will be hard.
“We came here, we knew that it wouldn’t be easy to play against Atletico and the game shows it for everyone, for us and for everybody who watched the game.
“I’m happy that we could score the third goal and don’t concede anymore and control more the situations, but there is a gap to improve as well when we have one player more than them on the pitch. You must create more chances but, as I said, it is not easy when they park the bus in front of the goal. We are happy for the three points.”
When asked about Salah’s form, Alisson added: “I’m really happy for him, he’s a fantastic player. He’s showing on the pitch all the time, making really nice goals, not just easy goals.
“But he contributes a lot for the team as well – not only scoring but helping in the defensive phase, playing for the team. He is a hungry player, he’s a hungry striker.”
Pundits slam Simeone for Klopp snub
At full-time, Atletico boss Diego Simeone ran down the tunnel instead of embracing his fellow manager.
BT Sport pundit Peter Crouch has criticised the Argentine for his actions. “You’re so caught up in the game that you forget the VAR moments, the penalties, the sendings off, all the goals we had,” he said.
“There was so much drama and not even a handshake at the end of it!
“I’ve got to respect him so much as a manager, Simeone, but I just think during the game, winding the crowd up, winding the players up, I understand it.
“But then not shaking hands at the end, I just think he lets himself down.”