Jürgen Klopp insisted this would not go down in the Book of Liverpool’s Best Nights but that it might be included in the Book of Liverpool’s Most Important Nights after his side scored a late penalty to clinch a dramatic win at Atlético Madrid.
“The dirty points are often the most important, and they were dirty tonight,” he said. “That wasn’t our best football but it was an important step.”
Liverpool’s manager said his team had “completely mismanaged” a 2-0 lead secured inside 13 minutes, complaining that they had then given away “two cheap goals” to allow Atlético back into the game and start to overrun the visitors before a red card for Antoine Griezmann changed everything. He also admitted that he would not select the same starting XI again, conceding that he had included too many footballers who had played a lot during the international break.”
Klopp also apologised for waving at Diego Simeone, the Atlético manager, as he dashed down the tunnel without shaking hands at full‑time. “I want to shake his hand. He’s emotional and I’m not too pleased with my reaction to be honest. The next time we see each other we will shake hands definitely.”
When it came to the penalties that decided this match, Liverpool scored theirs, Mo Salah becoming the first player in the club’s history to score in nine consecutive games after Mario Hermoso pushed Diego Jota. Atlético had theirs ruled out by the VAR as Luis Suárez waited to take it, the referee deciding upon revising the move that José María Giménez had gone to ground too easily.
“It hurts a lot,” the Atlético defender Felipe said. “We work hard to win and there’s refereeing that goes against us. To give the Hermoso penalty, he was very quick. For us he looked, he looked, he went, he looked again.”
Klopp, though, said the decisions were correct. “It is not a penalty in my view. It was clear what they were looking for,” he insisted of the potential Atlético spot-kick. When it came to Griezmann’s sending-off for a challenge on Roberto Firmino, he said: “Yes it’s accidental, but he kicked him in the face. This was a real fight. We saw that tonight and we will see it again in two weeks’ time.”