Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that his side must take the chances they create against Atletico Madrid, a key failure of their last defeat at the home of the La Liga club.
The Reds return to the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday in matchday three of Champions League Group B. They have enjoyed a strong start to the group phase, winning both matches.
However, the trip to Madrid could prove the toughest match of the six on paper.
Atletico won 1-0 the last time the two sides faced off there in February 2020. Saul Niguez – now on loan at Chelsea – scored the only goal of the game early on.
Liverpool consequently dominated possession as Atletico sat back and protected their advantage. While they had chances, Liverpool could not convert and went to Anfield a goal down.
“If you win both games against Atletico in that group, then it’s likely you go through. That was clear from the beginning,” Klopp told his pre-match press conference (via Twitter).
“We lost both games last time though, so let’s see. I am a positive person, but I’m not that positive to think we have this in our pocket.
“It’s a tough place to go. Last time we went there, they got an early goal, we had a lot of possession but not good enough chances because we played not really well that night.”
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Liverpool turned the last 16 tie around at Anfield to lead 2-1. However, errors from back-up goalkeeper Adrian helped Atletico come back and win 3-2.
Still, the defeat at Anfield proved to be Liverpool’s last match before the first coronavirus lockdown in England.
“We learned a lot,” Klopp added. “The second leg was toughest game in the most difficult circumstances I ever played football. We played an outstanding match, but it was the last one for a long, long time.
“It didn’t feel that important that night so the world is in a better place, not safe but a better place. They have changed some players but are not a weaker animal.”
Klopp offers Jones, Liverpool update
Liverpool’s week only gets tougher after Atletico, with Manchester United to come at Old Trafford on Sunday.
However, Klopp confirmed that he hopes to have Curtis Jones back in his ranks by then.
The midfielder suffered a knock with England Under-21s during the international break, of which the Reds boss was highly critical.
“Curtis was only with us in the warming up [on Monday], but will stay here before making the final step. Hopefully he is ready for United,” Klopp said.