Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has criticized Atletico Madrid’s style of football after the LaLiga giants knocked the defending champions out of this season’s UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Atletico, who had a 1-0 lead from the first leg, came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 after extra-time at Anfield in the return leg.
The win saw them progress into the quarter-final 4-2 on aggregate.
Georginio Wijnaldum scored late in the first half to put Liverpool 1-0 up and 1-1 on aggregate before Roberto Firmino, who interestingly scored his very first goal at Anfield this season, made it 2-0 in extra-time.
However, three minutes later Liverpool goalkeeper Adrián’s blunder handed Atletico a precious away goal, which was netted by Marcos Llorente.
The 25-year-old midfielder, nine minutes later, got on the score sheet again to put the score at 2-2.
And on the last kick of the game, Atletico’s star forward Álvaro Morata scored Atletico’s third of the night to seal a memorable victory at Anfield.
The Spanish side became the first team in as many as 43 games to defeat Liverpool in their backyard across competitions.
While it was Liverpool’s first European defeat at Anfield since 2014, it was also their first defeat in a two-legged European tie since Klopp took over in 2015.
And while Klopp accepted the defeat graciously, he criticized Atletico, saying they don’t play “proper soccer.”
“I am completely happy with the performance. It’s so difficult to play a side like this,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“I’m searching for the right words. I don’t understand the quality they have the football they play. They could play proper soccer but they stand deep and have counter-attacks.
“We accept it, of course, but it doesn’t feel right tonight. I realize 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.”
Klopp added: “We know in the past two years we had some lucky moments in the Champions League – you have to reach two finals – but today everything was against us in the decisive moments.”
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