Jurgen Klopp responds to question over Mohamed Salah's dipping form

  • Salah scored as Liverpool beat Atalanta but exited Europa League
  • The Reds star performed poorly overall and was substituted before the end
  • Jurgen Klopp defended his player, insisting it is not "a big story"
Mohamed Salah had a poor game against Atalanta, despite scoring the only goal
Mohamed Salah had a poor game against Atalanta, despite scoring the only goal / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Jurgen Klopp is "not particularly concerned" about Mohamed Salah's form after a disappointing performance as Liverpool exited the Europa League at the hands of Atalanta on Thursday night.

Liverpool were left needing to erase and overturn a 3-0 aggregate deficit from the first leg if they were to give Klopp the chance to end his time at the club with a European trophy next month.

But after Salah converted an early penalty in Bergamo to cut into Atalanta's lead and give the Reds hope of mounting a similar comeback to the one that saw them reach the 2019 Champions League final at Barcelona's expense, he and the rest of the team were lacklustre.

Toiling under the pressure of fatigue and injuries, Liverpool appeared to be something of a spent force as they tried and failed to create consistent chances. Salah spurned one of the best opportunities of the night, skewing a relatively straightforward lob wide of the target, and was then withdrawn by Klopp with a chunk of the game left to play, when Liverpool were still chasing goals.

Mohamed Salah, Sead Kolasinac
Salah was out of sorts in Italy this week / Timothy Rogers/GettyImages

"I'm not particularly concerned," the manager commented afterwards. "That's what strikers do. That's how it is. We have to go through it, he has to go through it. He is one of most experienced players in the squad. That's pretty much all.

"It's not that Mo didn't miss chances before in his life, that's part of the game. The penalty was super convincing, a super penalty then the next chance that was unlucky, but it's not the first time he has missed chances like that. I won't make a big story of it. I'm not particularly concerned."

Salah has 37 goals and assists in 38 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool this season. But his form in the first half of the season was halted by a hamstring injury suffered at the Africa Cup of Nations, aggravated upon returning to action in mid-February and forcing him to miss the Carabao Cup final.

The Egyptian has managed only two goal contributions in five Premier League games since recovering, of which Liverpool have won only two. They have also been knocked out of both the FA Cup and Europa League in that time, cutting hopes of a quadruple to a double at most.