Jurgen Klopp accepts lack of threat cost Liverpool dear in European exit

By Sports Desk April 18, 2024

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepted their lack of goal threat failed to put enough pressure on Atalanta to help turn their Europa League quarter-final back in their favour.

Mohamed Salah’s seventh-minute penalty had raised hopes of a Barcelona 2019-style comeback but the Egypt international missed a relatively straightforward lob to make it 2-0 towards the end of the first half and they faded badly after the break as they exited the competition 3-1 on aggregate.

That meant for only the third time in the 21st century, England have no teams in the semi-finals of the Champions League or Europa League/UEFA Cup.

“We didn’t lose the tie tonight, we lost it at home,” Klopp said after a 3-0 first-leg defeat proved decisive.

“It’s very easy to congratulate Atalanta because they deserved to go through. When you win a tie against us 3-1 in especially this way you deserve it absolutely.

“But I loved our game, especially the start. I loved the commitment, desire and power we developed in this game but it was clear we had better score from time to time otherwise it could be tricky over 90 minutes.

“The second goal could have helped a little bit. We have to create a little bit more than we did in the first half as it’s clear you need a result to help destabilise the opponent.

“If you have a second goal it’s a tricky one as the next goal is extra time but we didn’t get to that point and we will never really know how that would have looked.

“Disappointed we didn’t go through but not frustrated or angry. If you don’t deserve it, it’s all good.”

Salah has looked well short of his clinical best since returning from almost two months out with a hamstring problem.

Even though he has scored six in 11 game since he came back two of those have been penalties and he is squandering more chances he would normally be expected to take.

“I’m not particularly concerned. That’s what strikers do. That’s how it it is. We have to go through it, he has to go through it,” added Klopp.

“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 has has missed chances like that.

“I won’t make a big story of it. I’m not particularly concerned.”

Related items

  • Liverpool confirm Slot as Klopp's replacement Liverpool confirm Slot as Klopp's replacement

    Liverpool have confirmed Arne Slot will succeed Jurgen Klopp as their new head coach. 

    Klopp's glorious nine-year spell with the Reds came to an end on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Wolves, after which the German sang Slot's name to the Anfield crowd.

    Slot had previously confirmed he would be taking over, and Liverpool have now formally announced the news.

    The Dutchman will officially take charge from June 1, subject to receiving a work permit.

    Slot leaves the Netherlands after three highly successful seasons with Feyenoord, during which he led them to the league title in 2023 and was named Eredivisie Manager of the Year on two occasions.

    More recently, he led the Rotterdam giants to KNVB Cup glory in April, overseeing a 1-0 win over NEC Nijmegen in the final of that competition.

    Feyenoord rounded off their Eredivisie campaign with a 4-0 victory over neighbours Excelsior on Sunday, as they finished second, seven points adrift of runaway champions PSV.

  • Leverkusen star Wirtz named Bundesliga Player of the Year Leverkusen star Wirtz named Bundesliga Player of the Year

    Florian Wirtz played a starring role for Bayer Leverkusen this season and has been named the Bundesliga Player of the Year.

    Wirtz scored 11 goals and provided a further 11 assists on the way to helping Leverkusen win their first-ever top-flight title.

    The forward was pivotal in Leverkusen’s title charge as they became the first German team to complete an unbeaten season.

    Only Victor Boniface has scored more goals than Wirtz this campaign, netting 14 times, while his tally of 11 assists is second only to Alejandro Grimaldo (13) across the Bundesliga.

    Wirtz came off the bench to score a hat-trick in Leverkusen’s 5-0 win over Werder Bremen in April which clinched the title with five games remaining.

    The Bundesliga champions still have the German Cup final on Saturday against Kaiserslautern, which follows the Europa League final against Atalanta on Wednesday.

    Wirtz played a critical role in helping Leverkusen reach their third European final, having been involved in eight goals in the Europa League this season (four goals, four assists), the most of any player in the team.

    He has also created 28 chances from open play in the competition, a tally only five players can better in a Europa League campaign, most recently Amin Younes for Ajax in 2016-17 (30).

    In all competitions, Leverkusen’s unbeaten run stretches to 51 matches, as they aim to finish an unbeaten season with a treble.

  • Kane injury doubt for England Euro 2024 squad Kane injury doubt for England Euro 2024 squad

    Harry Kane may be a doubt for England’s Euro 2024 squad as he continues to struggle with a back problem.

    Gareth Southgate is due to name his preliminary squad for Euro 2024 on Tuesday, ahead of upcoming friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland. 

    The England captain missed the final two Bundesliga games of the season after going off towards the end of Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.

    Thomas Tuchel confirmed prior to their final match against Hoffenheim that Kane was back in England to undergo treatment.

    When later asked again about the nature of the striker’s injury, Tuchel admitted that Kane had been struggling for a couple of weeks.

    "In Madrid, it was borderline. We tried injections and treatments. The back has completely closed.

    "It has gotten worse and kept breaking out in small, everyday movements. There's no chance he's even training."

    Kane scored 36 league goals in his debut campaign for Bayern, though due to the injury, he finished five adrift of Robert Lewandowski’s single-season goal record of 41, set in 2019-20.

    The final announcement of Southgate's 26-man squad will be revealed on June 7, ahead of the tournament opener against Serbia on June 16.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.