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Regular-article-logo Wednesday, 26 June 2024

‘Bad loser’ Juergen Klopp slams Diego Simeone tactics

Defeat ends Jurgen Klopp’s proud record of never losing a two-legged European tie as Liverpool manager

Agencies Liverpool Published 12.03.20, 10:08 PM
Juergen Klopp

Juergen Klopp File picture

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone defended his side’s approach after dumping Liverpool out of the Champions League with a 3-2 victory after extra time at Anfield to progress to the quarter finals, winning 4-2 on aggregate.

The holders looked to have ended Atletico’s dogged resistance when Roberto Firmino put them ahead in the last-16 tie after Georginio Wijnaldum’s first-half header forced the second leg into an extra 30 minutes. However, Liverpool were made to rue a host of missed chances to kill the tie off in 90 minutes as Llorente twice curled home from outside the box before Alvaro Morata twisted the knife by breaking away to score in added time of extra time.

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Defeat ends Jurgen Klopp’s proud record of never losing a two-legged European tie as Liverpool manager and he took a swipe of Atletico’s defensive tactics. “The way they play, I don’t get it,” said Klopp. “They could play proper football but they stand deep and have counter-attacks.”

“I realise 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.

But Simeone basked in another famous European night for the side he has twice led to the final in his eight years in charge.

“We play to win, with the arms that we have,” said Simeone. “Respecting our identity, the characteristics of our players and exploiting the defects of our rivals.”

A packed Anfield played its part in trying to roar Liverpool onto another Champions League conquest. But it was the nearly 3,000 travelling fans in attendance, despite the fact games in Spain will be played behind closed doors for the next two weeks, that celebrated a stoic rearguard display from their side.

Emotional Neymar

In Paris, Paris St Germain players climbed up a Parc des Princes stand overlooking the street where thousands of fans waited for them after they qualified for the quarter finals in an empty stadium on Wednesday.

The French champions beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 to secure a 3-2 aggregative victory and erase memories of embarrassing last-16 exits against Barcelona and Manchester United in 2017 and 2019.

PSG needed to overturn a 2-1 defeat in the first leg, but Neymar’s 28th-minute header put them ahead on the night in the second leg. Juan Bernat then deflected in a Pablo Sarabia assist to make it 2-0.

Neymar burst into tears as his teammates cheered the flare-throwing fans from the top of the Auteuil stand.

“We have values and we have character,” said centre back Marquinhos, who captained the team in the absence of the injured Thiago Silva.

“We heard the fans, we saw them before the game, I had never seen that before.”

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