Jurgen Klopp insists he does not blame goalkeeper Adrian for his mistake which allowed Atletico Madrid to forge the comeback that ended Liverpool’s reign as European champions.
The Reds had just gone ahead 2-1 on aggregate after Roberto Firmino scored in extra time to add to Georginio Wijnaldum’s opener when Adrian fluffed a kick to Joao Felix which allowed Marcos Llorente to score.
Llorente scored again and Alvaro Morata, another substitute, added a third in the 120th minute but it was Atletico’s first goal which killed the hosts’ momentum.
“He’s a man and he knows that’s how it is. We will not blame him for a second – what you (the media) do, I don’t know, but stay respectful, that would be really nice,” said Klopp, who lost his first two-leged European tie since becoming Liverpool manager in the club’s first home European defeat since 2014.
“He did not want to do that, he saved us in so many moments when he played. Since he’s here, he had super performances.
“This goal didn’t help tonight but that’s how it is. I said, if you lose a game you always lose for some (different) reasons.”
By contrast Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak had a brilliant night, keeping his side in the game as they came under siege in the second half.
“I think everybody who saw the game tonight knows that it could have been different. I loved our first 90 or 95 minutes, however long it was,” added Klopp.
Having reached the final in the last two seasons, winning a sixth European Cup in the summer, this was a frustrating end to Liverpool’s brilliant run in the competition.
“For two-and-a-half years we had an exceptional ride in the Champions League, we had party after party after party in the Champions League pretty much,” said Klopp.
“And tonight was a party, everything was set, it was great – crowd exceptional, the stadium, everything showed up in the best way.
“The boys delivered a super game, fought hard, played well and scored wonderful goals.
“But we lost. That’s it. No impact on anything. Now we have more time to prepare the Premier League games.”
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