Jurgen Klopp explains why Liverpool were thrashed by Atalanta

  • Liverpool beaten 3-0 at home by Atalanta in first leg of Europa League quarter-final
  • Reds' chances of sending Jurgen Klopp off with European glory have dramatically dropped
  • Klopp attempts to explain why his side were on the end of such a hammering
Klopp's Liverpool were stunned at Anfield
Klopp's Liverpool were stunned at Anfield / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side's inability to deal with aggressive man-to-man marking over the pitch was a key reason behind their 3-0 loss at home to Atalanta.

The Reds' hopes of sending Klopp off in a blaze of European glory were dealt a significant blow with a huge defeat in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Former West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca gave Atalanta the lead just before half-time and then doubled their advantage on the other side of the break. Mario Pasalic, once on the books at Chelsea, rounded off the scoring in the final 10 minutes to seal a famous win for the Serie A side.

In his post-match press conference, Klopp bemoaned how Liverpool performed, but was also keen to praise Atalanta's display.

"We can make the shortest press conference of all time, it just was a really bad game, oh my God," he said. "So we started well, really well, and then didn't continue. I think even before they scored but we just lost the plot a little bit, like we were everywhere and nowhere.

"We played a bad game, we deserved to lose and we must feel that now. But the boys have exactly this night to feel bad about it and then we have to build up again for the Crystal Palace game [on Sunday], so that's how it is. You ask me probably about the game next Thursday but there is Crystal Palace in between. So, congratulations Atalanta, really well done."

Gianluca Scamacca
Atalanta ran riot on Thursday / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

When asked if there was a reason behind Liverpool's collapse, Klopp replied: "It's easy - Atalanta are causing many teams problems with the way they defend.

"Maybe I'm wrong but I cannot now remember situations where they outplayed us, it's just they won the ball and they went from there, so it's a good idea. You need a lot of tactical discipline to do what they did. They play that man-marking over the whole pitch - Ederson pressing whoever, Curtis [Jones] in our own box, stuff like that.

"That was the reason why they won the game, because in these moments you just want to win the ball. Man-marking is uncomfortable when you are not on top of your game. That's why so many teams play it again. But if you play, if you are in a better playing mood than we were tonight then you can cause massive problems - but we didn't. So that's the reason.

"They defended us and we didn't try it long enough to play, so then we just suffered from their way, the way they defended. That's pretty much the explanation, that's the one point."