Jurgen Klopp has been told he should have taken Atletico Madrid’s Champions League victory over his Liverpool side with more grace.
That’s according to Ray Parlour, who felt Klopp’s comments, in which he criticised Atletico’s style of play, smacked of sour grapes.
Liverpool’s reign as European champions came to an end at the hands of Atletico Madrid as a 3-2 home defeat saw them exit 4-2 on aggregate after extra time.
In a tale of two goalkeepers, the LaLiga side’s Jan Oblak showed why he is one of the world’s best by single-handedly holding the visitors at bay in the second half as shots rained down on his goal with the tie level on aggregate at 1-1 after Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener.
By contrast Adrian, the goalkeeper who did not have a club in the summer and who was standing in for the injured Alisson Becker, had a shocking nine minutes in extra time with his error leading to Marcos Llorente’s goal after Roberto Firmino’s first at Anfield since April had put Liverpool ahead in the tie for the first time.
Asked if the defeat was hard to take, Klopp said: “Oh yes absolutely, I’m searching for the right words.
“For the score to go 2-1 was not cool, it was a blow but it’s not a big problem. The second goal was a bigger problem.
“After the second goal the legs were a bit tired. Everything that looked really natural in the first 90 minutes became a bit stiff. The crosses did not have the same quality We wanted the first time crosses like for the first goal, which was brilliant and the boys forget to do that.
“I am completely happy with the performance. It’s so difficult to play a side like this.
“I don’t understand with the quality they have the football they play.
‘When I see players like [Marcos] Llorente, Koke, Saul Niguez… they could play proper football but they stand deep in their own half and have counter-attacks but they beat us so we accept that and congratulate them.”
Klopp added: “We accept it of course but it doesn’t feel right tonight. I realise I am a really bad loser, especially when the boys put such an effort in against world class players on the other side who defend with two rows of four. They didn’t even have counter-attacks in the 90 minutes.
“We know in the last two years we had some lucky moments in the Champions League, you have to, to reach two finals, but today it was everything was against us in the decisive moments.
“I’m really proud of the boys.”
“I’m surprised he’s had a go at the way they play. How does he think they’re going to play?” the former Arsenal star said. “They’re not going to come out and play open football at Anfield when they’ve got a 1-0 lead, you’ve got to sit off a little bit. What do you expect them to do?
“Some people will set up their teams differently in different situations; maybe at home they were a little more expansive, but away from home Diego Simeone has always set his teams up like that, hard to beat, get everyone behind the ball.
“And they got through! I know they’ve got good quality as well, but they got the job done!
“Liverpool had so many chances, too. Liverpool should really have gone through with the chances they had.
“But Atletico got the job done.”