Klopp has ‘nothing positive to say’ after Atalanta stun Liverpool on ‘really bad night’

Jason Soutar
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp embraces Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini after a match
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp embraces Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini after a match

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says “there is nothing positive to say” after his side were battered 3-0 by Atalanta in the Europa League.

The Reds were stunned by the Serie A outfit at Anfield on Thursday night and will need to put in their best performance of the season in the second leg next week.

Liverpool: Klopp flabbergasted by Atalanta performance

Former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca opened the scoring thanks to some poor goalkeeping from Caoimhin Kelleher before doubling Atalanta’s lead in the 60th minute.

Mohamed Salah had a goal disallowed for offside before Mario Pasalic gave Gian Piero Gasperini’s side a healthy three-goal lead ahead of the return leg in Bergamo.

Speaking after the shocking defeat, Reds boss Klopp showed no delusion in admitting the visitors “deserved to win” on a night with no positives for his side.

“Yeah unfortunately there is nothing really positive to say about the game,” Klopp told TNT Sports.

“The start was good. Darwin Nunez had a good moment but from that moment on it became a really bad game and there is nothing positive to say.

“I didn’t like our tactical positioning in possession. We gave them one situation by passing the ball there, then everyone was chasing another guy. We scored one that was offside but it was a bad game from us. Atalanta had a good game, scored three goals and deserved to win.

“I will watch this game on Monday. I know already that if we do a couple of things better, we will be better.

“Can we win it back? Yes, if we play good it is possible. Can we win 3-0? I have no idea. But this feels really bad and that’s important.

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“That was a bad performance and that’s how it is. That’s how we lost. It feels always in this moment that they are through but until we play, they are not.

“We haven’t had that that often so we have to show a reaction immediately on Sunday. In this moment it must feel bad. The lads must go home and sleep badly. But we must prepare for Crystal Palace.

“A lot of performances tonight were really ‘oops, wow, I didn’t know they could play like that.’ A lot of the players looked really alone in a lot of moments. It was really bad. We had our biggest chances in the end and didn’t use them.

“I know the boys can play better football but they didn’t do it tonight and we have to show a reaction on Sunday. I’m pretty sure they will do that.”

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk also spoke to TNT Sports, admitting his side struggled to deal with Atalanta’s “man-marking system”.

“Obviously it’s not great,” said the Dutchman. “A very, very disappointing evening. Too many individual mistakes and we got punished for it. It feels bad.

“With the man-marking system they do, we have to do much better. When we have the ball we have to do better and be much stronger. The spaces were open and they punished us immediately.

“A very disappointing night for all of us but we can’t dwell on it for too long. We need everyone to look forward to another big game. We have to switch back onto getting results.

“We were wide open. It’s more that we conceded the goals because we lost the ball in difficult areas. It hurts. But it can’t put us down. We have to react pretty quickly.

“It hurts of course. We haven’t lost here for a long time. But we shouldn’t take the credit away from them. They punished us for being sloppy in possession. We still had chances to score one or two and unfortunately we didn’t.

“If you don’t believe, there’s no point going to Italy. We have made it very hard for ourselves going there 3-0 down. But the way to bounce back is by winning the game on the weekend. We need everyone to switch it back on. Then we can focus on putting out at least four goals over there.”

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