Jurgen Klopp was left to reflect on “a low point” for Liverpool after Atalanta inflicted one of the heaviest defeats of his reign in Thursday’s Europa League clash.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the Serie A side’s 3-0 romp compares to Klopp’s worst games with the club.

Low point

Gianluca Scamacca’s double and Mario Pasalic’s late strike gave Atalanta a 3-0 win in the first leg of their quarter-final, denting Klopp’s bid to add an eighth different trophy to his Anfield honours roll and end his reign with a showpiece final in Dublin.

Only Manchester City and Aston Villa have ever enjoyed bigger winning margins against Klopp’s Liverpool, across his 483 games since taking charge in October 2015.

City beat their perennial title rivals 5-0 on the way to the 2017-18 crown, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane scoring twice apiece, and then 4-0 in a futile attempt to stop Klopp’s men romping to their Covid-delayed 2019-20 win.

Villa beat a much-changed Liverpool side 5-0 in the Carabao Cup in December 2019 – a defence of Ki-Jana Hoever, Tony Gallacher, Sepp van den Berg and Morgan Boyes powerless to prevent Jonathan Kodjia scoring his only two goals of that season.

More memorably, Ollie Watkins’ hat-trick and a Jack Grealish brace set up a 7-2 league triumph against Klopp’s defending champions in October 2020.

Anfield nightmare

The common thread between those four hammerings is that they all took place away from Anfield, meaning Gian Piero Gasperini’s side inflicted a record-equalling home defeat on Klopp with Liverpool.

It is the 11th time his side have lost by three goals – a sixth 3-0, to go with four 4-1s and a 5-2 – but only the third at home.

City triumphed 4-1 in 2021, Ilkay Gundogan scoring twice, while last season’s Champions League challenge was effectively ended by that 5-2 defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie against Real Madrid. Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool an early 2-0 lead but Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema scored twice apiece in Real’s emphatic comeback.

City are also among the teams to inflict three-goal away defeats on Klopp’s side, a list that curiously includes Watford on two separate occasions along with Tottenham, Brighton and Wolves in the Premier League and Barcelona and Napoli in the Champions League.

Liverpool’s heaviest ever home defeat is only 6-0, against Sunderland in the First Division in April 1930.

Jurgen Klopp called Thursday’s 3-0 home defeat to Atalanta a “low point” in Liverpool’s season as their Europa League hopes were left hanging by a thread.

Liverpool looked flat throughout the quarter-final first leg and ended the night perhaps fortunate Atalanta had not taken one of the many late chances they had to add to a lead given to them by Gianluca Scamacca’s brace and a late Mario Pasalic goal.

Harvey Elliott hit the post in the first half and Mo Salah had a goal ruled out for offside in the second, but Liverpool lacked the spark needed to beat a well-organised Atalanta side, who will be confident of finishing the job next Thursday in Bergamo.

Before Klopp can think about that match, he must lift his players for Sunday’s visit of Crystal Palace in the tight battle at the top of the Premier League table.

“It was a really bad game, oh my God,” Klopp said after Liverpool’s first home defeat in nearly 14 months.

“We started well, really well and then didn’t continue. They broke, they scored and we just lost the plot a little bit. We were here and there in midfield, I didn’t recognise it.

“It was really strange but in football terms it was tactical discipline. There was a big chance for Darwin (Nunez) and then it was unlucky with Harvey, but they scored and we kept playing into their hands.

“We played a bad game and we we deserved to lose. We must feel that now but we have exactly this night to feel bad about it and then we have to build up for Palace.”

Klopp made six changes to his side following Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United, but his bid to freshen up the side failed, and their chances of ending the German’s reign with a showpiece final in Dublin have taken a huge hit.

“I believe it’s not the moment to talk about that,” Klopp said when asked if the tie was still alive. “I’m not in the mood to think about the game in a week’s time when we have another in between.

“Definitely we have to try, we want to win the game but now is not the moment to have a big mouth. We have to play a really good game.

“Where we are, this is probably a low point for us performance-wise so it should be possible to play a little bit better and we can play a lot better. But first and foremost it’s about Sunday now.”

The final whistle brought huge celebrations for Atalanta and their travelling fans. Gian Piero Gasperini said he wanted to enjoy the moment, but warned the job is only half done.

“Tonight was amazing,” he said through a translator. “I didn’t make any changes until 10 minutes to go and the only one change because it is hard to touch something about a team that held until the 90th minute in the best way.

“Such a victory, it’s OK to celebrate but we all know we ill have to conquer everything in seven days’ time in Bergamo because Liverpool is a really strong team and they can score goals quickly.

“We will have to play another very precise game in every aspect and repeat tonight’s game because everything remains to be played. But our advantage makes us hope for the best.”

Liverpool endured a humbling night after Atalanta left Anfield with a 3-0 victory that places the Serie A side on the brink of qualifying for the Europa League semi-finals.

Former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca struck in each half, the second goal made possible by a superb pass from Charles De Ketelaere, before Mario Pasalic added the third in the 84th minute.

Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League title challengers were completely outplayed by opponents positioned sixth in their domestic league and as a result have a mountain to climb in the second leg of their last eight tie.

West Ham were breached by two late goals as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat in their first leg at Bayer Leverkusen.

The Hammers had defended heroically for 83 minutes before goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was finally beaten by substitute Jonas Hoffman.

The second arrived in stoppage time when a second sub, Victor Boniface, headed home Hofmann’s cross to leave West Ham’s hopes of a third consecutive European semi-final looking slim.

Benfica took a step towards the reaching the last four after dispatching Marseille 2-1 in Lisbon through goals by Rafa Silva and Angel Di Maria.

The Portuguese champions were on target either side of the interval with David Neres involved in both strikes before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted what could be an important away goal with 23 minutes remaining.

Gianluca Mancini’s early goal was all that separated AC Milan and Roma in their all-Serie A tie at the San Siro.

Milan controlled most of the game but did not recover from Mancini’s effort with Olivier Giroud directing a short-range target on to the crossbar in the closing moments.

Aston Villa clawed a slender advantage from their Europa Conference League quarter-final against Lille after emerging with a 2-1 first-leg win at Villa Park.

Goals in either half from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn saw Villa lead their first European last-eight tie since 1998 and give boss Unai Emery victory in his 1,000th match as a manager.

Bafode Diakite’s late header gave the French side a lifeline just as it looked like they would head home frustrated by Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who had made a string of big saves.

Lacklustre Liverpool were stunned 3-0 by Atalanta in a Europa League quarter-final collapse that could prove to be Jurgen Klopp’s last European night at Anfield.

This competition offers the chance to bring the curtain down on his German’s reign with a European trophy on May 22, but their hopes of making the Dublin showpiece are in jeopardy.

Liverpool lacked creativity and coherence in the first leg of a quarter-final that Atalanta are in complete control of heading back to Bergamo thanks to Gianluca Scamacca’s brace and a late Mario Pasalic goal.

It represented the Reds’ first Anfield loss since falling to Real Madrid last February and compounded the Premier League hopefuls’ potentially costly 2-2 draw at bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

Harvey Elliott had hit the woodwork before Scamacca’s first-half shot squirmed past Caoimhin Kelleher, who was beaten again by the former West Ham striker after Liverpool had started the second half brightly.

Livid Klopp bellowed and waved his arms as he called on fans to lift the flat Anfield atmosphere, but this was Atalanta’s night and Pasalic wrapped up an unforgettable triumph for the visitors.

The warning signs had been there for Liverpool from the start.

Elliott appeared to be fouled but Atalanta were allowed to continue forward in the third minute, with the ball eventually falling for Pasalic to take a shot from six yards that Kelleher saved with his face.

Liverpool reacted with Darwin Nunez bursting through to test Juan Musso before Alexis Mac Allister lashed over as an open start continued.

Atalanta looked up for the fight, producing some lovely free-flowing moves, but the Reds were finding gaps, with Nunez scooping wide poorly when slipped through.

A lull in play was followed by a stunning Elliott effort from wide on the right of the box, with his curling strike clipping the underside of the bar and hitting the far post.

A similar, albeit more wayward, attempt by Curtis Jones followed before Atalanta silenced Anfield in the 38th minute.

Davide Zappacosta, the marauding former Chelsea defender, sent in a low cross for Scamacca to hit a first-time shot that squirmed past Kelleher in front of the flagless Kop.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men kept up the pressure before half-time and should have grabbed a second in stoppage time.

Marten de Roon won possession at the halfway line, leading to unmarshalled Teun Koopmeiners being sent through to be blocked by onrushing Kelleher.

There were some groans at the break, from which Liverpool returned with Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson and Dominik Szoboszlai.

The introductions brought an initial improvement and, after Virgil van Dijk headed over from a corner, Salah was blocked by De Roon before then being stopped by Musso.

Nunez lifted over and saw an unorthodox header caught as Liverpool continued to knock at the door, only to be hit by Atalanta again in the 61st minute.

An all too simple pass down the right to Charles De Ketelaere caught Liverpool napping, with Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez leaving Scamacca free in the middle to score with a measured first-time finish.

Atalanta were nearly celebrating a third just four minutes later but Koopmeiners could only strike across the face of goal.

Liverpool looked lost as they tried to pull one back, with their celebrations at reducing the deficit in the 79th minute shortlived as Salah strayed offside from Robertson’s pass.

Just four minutes later the mood darkened further as Szoboszlai’s mistake allowed Atalanta to break, with Scamacca slipping in Ederson to see a shot saved and Pasalic follow up in front of the away fans, leaving Liverpool a mountain to climb.

Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim has denied reaching a verbal agreement with Liverpool to succeed Jurgen Klopp as manager at Anfield.

Reports suggested the 39-year-old is in talks with the Premier League club with a view to taking over in the summer.

Amorim emphatically dismissed the speculation as he prepares for his side’s Primeira Liga match at Gil Vicente on Friday evening.

“This is the last time I am going to talk about my future,” he told a press conference.

“There was no interview and certainly no agreement.

“The only thing we all want here is to be champions with Sporting, nothing will change.

“I’m the Sporting coach and there was no interview or agreement with any club. I’m just focused, as always, on representing my club.”

Liverpool manager Klopp announced in January that he will leave Merseyside at the end of the season after almost nine years in the role.

Former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso was linked with the job before committing his future to Bayer Leverkusen, while Amorim and Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi also emerged as contenders.

Ex-Portugal midfielder Amorim is on course to lead Sporting to the second domestic title of his tenure after joining from divisional rivals Braga in 2020.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has not ruled out Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker being involved in Liverpool’s Europa League quarter-final against Atalanta on Thursday.

All three have been sidelined by injury since February but have returned to training and look set to contribute to Liverpool’s push for silverware over the closing weeks of the season.

Teenage midfielder Stefan Bajcetic, who has been out since September, is also back in training but is likely to have to wait a little longer for a first-team return.

“Obviously we didn’t rush it with the boys,” said Klopp. “That means they did a lot of training by themselves. Diogo and Trent worked as a group since two, three weeks and could do really proper training. It was very good yesterday.

“Stefan is different a little bit because he was out for much longer but is now training with us for longer as well. I think after the long spell he had without playing football it makes sense that we might give him a game in the under-21s and then let’s see how he deals with that.

“That’s not the plan with the other three guys. They are now back in training and now we have to see how we involve them, how we use them. That we need them is clear, but we need them in the best possible shape and we want to give them a kind of rhythm.

“It’s always a challenge to reintegrate the guys but, with the quality they have, obviously it should be a bit easier and we will use them in the next days and weeks. What it means for tomorrow, I didn’t make a decision yet.”

Liverpool’s injury problems have led to increased opportunities for their young players, many of whom have advanced their causes for further inclusion.

Klopp welcomed the availability of a bigger squad at a very busy time of the season, but he could be getting a knock on the door from 21-year-old midfielder Harvey Elliott if he does not get chances in the starting line-up.

“I want to be the player walking out, rather than coming on,” said Elliott. “That doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for coming on the pitch, I’m very grateful for every opportunity that I get in a Liverpool shirt, but for me it’s about kicking on for myself and cementing my spot in the team.

“I’m not a kid any more, I’m a man, I’m growing up quickly, I feel like I need to take responsibilities into my own hands. If that means knocking on the gaffer’s door, it’s going to have to happen. But, at the same time, I do need to wait for my opportunities, I do need to be patient.”

Atalanta sit sixth in the Serie A table and put out Sporting Lisbon in the previous round but have won only two of their last nine matches.

Pep Guardiola described playing the Bergamo-based side as like going to the dentist in 2019, and long-serving manager Gian Piero Gasperini remains in charge.

“There are now only great teams left in the competition,” said Klopp. “It’s really outstanding and we know what Atalanta are all about.

“Gasperini is doing an incredible job there for years and years and it’s difficult to play against Italian teams, always was. Tactically they’re super disciplined and super dangerous in a lot of areas, so we have to be at our best to get into the next round over these two legs.”

There will be no flags on the Kop on Thursday night as fans stage a protest against ticket price increases next season.

Klopp admitted to mixed feelings on the issue, saying: “I understand the concerns and the discussion definitely. It’s a tricky one from my point of view obviously to say.

“We want to have the people in the stadium, we want to make it available for everybody. There’s a lot of good things the club is doing, but I understand 100 per cent where the supporters are coming from and I’m pretty sure they will find a solution.

“What we should make sure is that nothing gets between us and the supporters.”

What the papers say

European giants Paris St Germain and Barcelona are interested in Liverpool winger Luis Diaz, who is worth around £75million, the Telegraph reports. The 27-year-old will still have three years on his contract at Anfield at the end of the season. Diaz has scored eight goals and had four assists in the Premier League this season.

Tottenham are joining Chelsea in the race for Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams, the Telegraph says. The 21-year-old, who has scored three goals to go with his eight assists in LaLiga, has a £42.8million release clause in his contract.

Manchester United have not yet agreed to a compensation deal for Dan Ashworth, who has agreed to move from Newcastle as sporting director, and the Guardian says it may take months before he can join the club.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Pedro Neto: Manchester City have been linked with the 24-year-old Wolves winger but the club will have to fight off suitors from the Saudi Pro League, according to TeamTalk.

Danilho Doekhi: Crystal Palace and Fulham have identified the 25-year-old Union Berlin defender as an option to bolster their defence, Football Insider reports.

Fans have criticised UEFA’s decision to allocate a “paltry” 50 per cent of tickets for the Europa League final in Dublin to supporters of the two teams involved.

The match in the Irish capital could yet be an all-English affair, with quarter-finalists Liverpool and West Ham on opposite sides of the draw.

Fans’ group Football Supporters Europe welcomed the fact that the 58 per cent allocation to the Champions League finalists at Wembley this summer was the highest in a decade, but called for a rethink for the continent’s second-tier competition finale on May 22.

“Football Supporters Europe (FSE) today shares its serious concern that the finalists’ allocations at the 2024 Europa League Final in Dublin will reach just 50% of the stadium’s total capacity on the day,” a statement from the group read.

“Further, FSE calls on UEFA and the local organisers to do right by the supporters and increase these allocations.

“A paltry 50 per cent of capacity for Europa League finalist clubs is, simply, not good enough and falls well short of FSE’s demand to provide at least 66 per cent of tickets for all European finals to supporters of the teams involved. Fans of competing teams need to be given clear priority over public sale options.

“Based on previous experiences, a higher allocation of tickets for general sale will significantly fuel black market ticket activity, exploiting fans’ loyalty in the process.”

UEFA confirmed on Tuesday morning that each of the finalists for the Europa League will receive 12,000 tickets for the match, where capacity at the Aviva Stadium will be 48,000.

The tickets allocated to the fans of the finalists will be the cheapest on offer at 40 euros (just over £34) each, with general sale tickets starting at 65 euros (£55.70) each.

The two teams reaching the Champions League final will receive 25,000 tickets each for Wembley, with those tickets also the cheapest available at £60.

UEFA has been approached for a response to FSE’s statement.

UEFA’s general secretary Theodore Theodoridis admitted last month that staging the Europa League final in Dublin could prove “extremely challenging” and revealed the 82,000-capacity Croke Park had been reserved as a potential fan zone.

At the time he made those comments, there was still the possibility of a final between Liverpool and Rangers, two clubs with large followings on the island of Ireland, but the Scottish side were knocked out in the last 16 by Benfica.

However, a number of challenging scenarios remain, not least an all-Premier League encounter in what would be Jurgen Klopp’s final match as Liverpool boss should the Reds make it.

What the papers say

West Ham will join Liverpool, Tottenham and AC Milan in the hunt for 26 -year-old Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo, according to the Guardian. The former Manchester City player will be a free agent in summer, but Fulham are hoping to retain his services.

Football Insider says Chelsea are trying to secure the signature of Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams for £43million. The 21-year-old Spain international has scored six goals and had 14 assists for Athletic in all competitions this season.

Former Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos is set to leave Real Madrid for rivals Atletico Madrid as he struggles for game time at the LaLiga leaders, the Sun reports. The 27-year-old Spain midfielder has played just 14 games for the Real Madrid in the league this season, mostly as a substitute.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mohamed Salah: The 31-year-old Liverpool striker is set to be targeted once again by Saudi Pro League clubs this summer with Al Ittihad reportedly set to offer £70million for the Egypt star, Talksport says.

Lucas Paqueta: French media outlet L’Equipe says Manchester City have agreed to terms with the 26-year-old West Ham midfielder.

Harvey Elliott still believes Liverpool can end Jurgen Klopp’s final campaign with the Premier League crown despite ceding control of the title race by slipping up at rivals Manchester United.

The Reds had control of a mammoth three-way title tussle after Manchester City and Arsenal fought out a forgettable goalless draw last weekend, but the dynamics changed at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Liverpool salvaged a 2-2 draw through Mohamed Salah’s spot-kick having failed to capitalise on their early dominance, with Luis Diaz’s effort all they had to show before Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo stunners.

“Jurgen’s cracking up” echoed around Old Trafford after a result that put Arsenal in the driving seat with seven matches remaining.

 

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Liverpool are level with them on 71 points but have a substantially worse goal difference, yet Elliott remains confident that they can end Klopp’s reign with his second Premier League title.

“We can’t be thinking about other teams and watching what they are doing and basing our games off them,” he said.

“We need to keep being selfish and keep getting three points on the board.

“We are in the best possible position to do it, we’ve got unbelievable fans behind us that will be backing us in each and every game until the end of the season. We have the team to do it, so who says we can’t?

“We just need to keep going and keep taking it game by game, making sure we are recovered both physically and mentally and keep going.

“It will be a tough finish but we just need to keep going.”

Elliott impressed off the bench at Old Trafford, where he won the penalty that allowed Salah to salvage a point in the 84th minute.

“It should have been all three,” the substitute told Liverpool’s website. “But I think at the same time we need to look at the game, and we were trailing.

“I think the boys showed unbelievable fight and courage to come back, to stay level-headed, stay in the game and get the equaliser.

“A point is better than nothing. We wanted the three points – there’s no doubt about that – but a point is better than losing.”

It was another pulsating meeting between the rivals, just three weeks on from United winning an FA Cup classic 4-3 at the end of extra-time.

Liverpool failed to take their chances that day, just as they did on Sunday having registered 28 shots.

On not being clinical enough at key stages of the game, Elliott said: “Absolutely. We had many opportunities.

“Whether it was the final pass or the finish, it just wasn’t there for us today but unfortunately that’s football. But the fight and desire to keep going until the final whistle was amazing.

“I think as a team, as a club with the fans as well backing us, in a stadium like this when it’s not easy at all, it’s a credit to everyone involved.

“We need to keep fighting because it’s going to be a very tough run now and we need to keep going.”

Manchester United conceded 28 shots for the second-successive Premier League game as they drew 2-2 with Liverpool on Sunday, echoing December’s meeting which somehow finished goalless.

Here, the PA news agency looks at United’s defensive record, with a focus on the clashes against their fiercest rivals.

Frustration for Liverpool

Liverpool have rained 62 shots on United’s goal in the league this season but have turned that into only two goals and two points as Erik ten Hag’s defence continue to defy statistical likelihood.

Jurgen Klopp’s side dominated December’s Anfield encounter with 34 shots to United’s six but only managed eight on target. Andre Onana saved well from Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz, but arguably the hosts’ best chance fell to famously-scoreless defender Joe Gomez in the closing stages.

Sunday brough a near repeat of that performance, Liverpool with 28 shots to United’s nine. Again, though, only seven were on target for a total of 15 out of 62 across the two games, scoring only twice with one of those being a Salah penalty.

Throw in another 25 Liverpool attempts in the recent FA Cup tie at Old Trafford – also a 2-2 draw over 90 minutes before United won 4-3 following extra-time – and Liverpool have taken 87 shots in three games against United this season without winning any of them.

Under fire

Having gone 3-2 up on Chelsea last Thursday when Alejandro Garnacho scored in the 67th minute, United allowed their opponents to have the final 10 shots of a madcap game and paid the price as Cole Palmer scored in the 10th and 11th minutes of stoppage-time to complete his hat-trick and win the game.

Liverpool then had 15 without reply in the first half on Sunday and two early in the second period, meaning United had conceded 27 unanswered shots before Bruno Fernandes snapped that streak in style by equalising from 40 yards.

The Old Trafford side have now faced 252 Premier League shots in 2024 – far more than any other club. Brentford (227), West Ham (218), Sheffield United (212) and Luton (209) are the only other teams to face over 200 in that time, with only the Hammers of that quartet currently outside the league’s bottom five.

Chelsea, like Liverpool, had 28 total attempts against Manchester United but followed up with only six against Sheffield United, the league’s bottom club with a similarly wide-open style.

Over the whole season, United have faced 553 shots – just seven fewer than the Blades’ league-high total.

Despite that, the 46 goals Onana has conceded is the sixth-lowest total for any top-flight club this season, behind the top four of Arsenal (24), Liverpool (30), Manchester City (31) and Tottenham (45) as well as Everton (42).

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saw Manchester United throw a spanner in the works of their bid to equal their arch-rivals’ record of 20 league titles, but he does not expect Erik ten Hag’s side to do them any favours when Arsenal come calling.

Klopp said he was “absolutely fine” with their situation after two dropped points in the title race after the 2-2 draw kept Arsenal top of the table on goal difference.

The Gunners are due at Old Trafford on the penultimate weekend of the season, but the Liverpool boss does not hold out much hope of a helping hand.

“Probably if we are still around then it would be great but Arsenal is a good football team and if they (United) play like they did today Arsenal will win that game, I’m 100 per cent sure,” said Klopp, whose side took just two points off United this season.

“I’m really sorry to say it, but we should have won both games and didn’t. That’s our fault.”

Mohamed Salah rescued a point with an 84th-minute penalty after the visitors failed to capitalise on their first-half dominance which brought only Luis Diaz’s opener.

A mistake by young centre-back Jarell Quansah allowed Bruno Fernandes to equalise with a lob over goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher from the centre-circle before Kobbie Mainoo put the home side ahead.

“The feelings are obviously mixed. I’m happy with a lot of parts of the game, being 1-0 up at Old Trafford and having a 15-0 shooting stat (in the first half) is incredible. We should and could have been calmer and clearer in moments,” added Klopp, who was left to rue failing to capitalise on their first-half dominance.

“It (league position) matters after 38 matchdays. People and our supporters as well will tell us now we need to better our goal difference and go for that – that would be the dumbest thing we could do.

“We are who we are and we are how we are and that’s why we are in the race. I’m absolutely fine with that.

“We are fine with our situation. I wish we had more points, but I’m absolutely fine and over the moon actually that these boys brought us into that situation.

“The same boys who missed today a few chances are the boys who brought us 71 points.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was equally happy with how his side responded after being outplayed for large parts of the game.

“First half we lost the duels and our decision-making in the half spaces, we weren’t quick enough,” he said.

“We encouraged the team at half-time to win those duels. We didn’t take advantage in the first half and the second half we did.

“We needed a moment in the game to punish a mistake of Liverpool, but that got us back in the game.

“It (their second goal) was a very good team goal, a goal from out of the game plan, so I’m very proud the team could transfer this in the way we did to get the ball to the far-side half-space and then switch and then that finish was brilliant.”

Ten Hag also had praise for 19-year-old centre-back Willy Kambwala on only his second Premier League start.

“The decision? Old soldiers die and new have to come in. Already a long time he has been training with us and his progress is amazing during training, we didn’t have any doubt,” he added.

“We were convinced he could do the job, I’m very pleased he could do the performance. It’s another signal and message for Manchester United has high potential.

“If you have more players available, especially in the backline where we have had 27 combinations over the course of the season, the future will be very good.”

However, Ten Hag was not happy his side capitulated late on for the third successive game.

“It’s very disappointing when you put yourselves three times in the week in a winning position just before the end of the game, but then drop points,” he said.

“We have all seen some poor decisions. All three games had poor decisions and not every time the same players.

“We have to improve. The sooner the better.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saw Manchester United throw a spanner in the works of their bid to equal their arch-rivals’ record of 20 league titles but he does not expect Erik ten Hag’s side to do them any favours when Arsenal come calling.

Klopp said he was “absolutely fine” with their situation after two dropped points in the title race after the 2-2 draw kept Arsenal top of the table on goal difference.

The Gunners are due at Old Trafford on the penultimate weekend of the season, but the Liverpool boss does not hold out much hope of a helping hand.

“Probably if we are still around then it would be great but Arsenal is a good football team and if they (United) play like they did today Arsenal will win that game, I’m 100 per cent sure,” said Klopp, whose side took just two points off United this season.

“I’m really sorry to say it, but we should have won both games and didn’t. That’s our fault.”

Mohamed Salah rescued a point with an 84th-minute penalty after the visitors failed to capitalise on their first-half dominance which brought only Luis Diaz’s opener.

A mistake by young centre-back Jarell Quansah allowed Bruno Fernandes to equalise with a lob over goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher from the centre-circle before Kobbie Mainoo put the home side ahead.

“The feelings are obviously mixed. I’m happy with a lot of parts of the game, being 1-0 up at Old Trafford and having a 15-0 shooting stat (in the first half) is incredible. We should and could have been calmer and clearer in moments,” added Klopp, who was left to rue failing to capitalise on their first-half dominance.

“It (league position) matters after 38 matchdays. People and our supporters as well will tell us now we need to better our goal difference and go for that – that would be the dumbest thing we could do.

“We are who we are and we are how we are and that’s why we are in the race. I’m absolutely fine with that.

“We are fine with our situation. I wish we had more points, but I’m absolutely fine and over the moon actually that these boys brought us into that situation.

“The same boys who missed today a few chances are the boys who brought us 71 points.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was equally happy with how his side responded after being outplayed for large parts of the game.

“First half we lost the duels and our decision-making in the half spaces, we weren’t quick enough,” he said.

“We encouraged the team at half-time to win those duels. We didn’t take advantage in the first half and the second half we did.

“We needed a moment in the game to punish a mistake of Liverpool, but that got us back in the game.

“It (their second goal) was a very good team goal, a goal from out of the game plan, so I’m very proud the team could transfer this in the way we did to get the ball to the far-side half-space and then switch and then that finish was brilliant.”

Ten Hag also had praise for 19-year-old centre-back Willy Kambwala on only his second Premier League start.

“The decision? Old soldiers die and new have to come in. Already a long time he has been training with us and his progress is amazing during training, we didn’t have any doubt,” he added.

“We were convinced he could do the job, I’m very pleased he could do the performance. It’s another signal and message for Manchester United has high potential.

“If you have more players available, especially in the backline where we have had 27 combinations over the course of the season, the future will be very good.”

However, Ten Hag was not happy his side capitulated late on for the third successive game.

“It’s very disappointing when you put yourselves three times in the week in a winning position just before the end of the game, but then drop points,” he said.

“We have all seen some poor decisions. All three games had poor decisions and not every time the same players.

“We have to improve. The sooner the better.”

Manchester United dented bitter rivals Liverpool’s title hopes as Mohamed Salah’s late spot-kick salvaged a 2-2 draw in Jurgen Klopp’s final trip to Old Trafford.

Three weeks on from Erik ten Hag’s men edging an FA Cup classic at the end of extra-time, this age-old rivalry resumed in a similarly chaotic clash in the Premier League on Sunday.

Luis Diaz put dominant Liverpool into a deserved half-time lead against stumbling United, only for Bruno Fernandes’s 45-yard jaw dropper and a magnificent Kobbie Mainoo effort to turn the match on its head.

Salah levelled with a late penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka brought down Harvey Elliott, but the Reds could not eke out a winner as Ten Hag’s men successfully put a spanner in their old foes’ title charge.

It was the 27th point Klopp’s comeback kings have won from a losing position but may not be enough, putting them level with leaders Arsenal on 71 points but substantially behind on goal difference.

Liverpool will be praying a costly Old Trafford draw does not go onto cost them the title like it did five years ago.

Erik ten Hag has urged his Manchester United players to “bring big games over the line” ahead of their Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.

United have dropped five points from winning positions in their last two games, with the most recent missed opportunity coming against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Cole Palmer scored twice deep in second half added-time as the Blues stole all three points in a dramatic 4-3 victory over ten Hag’s outfit.

Mason Mount thought he had found the winner with his strike in the sixth minute of stoppage time against Brentford, but Kristoffer Ajer equalised three minutes later in a 1-1 draw last Saturday at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Ten Hag admitted his side need to start getting over the line when leading games, seeking inspiration from previous victories over the league’s best.

“We can play to a very high standard. We can compete with the best and beat the best in the Premier League and when you can do that, you can also do it across Europe,” he said.

“We need to learn how to bring big games over the line, Saturday was an example.

“We have to step up, make better decisions individually and as a team.”

Thursday’s defeat in west London ended an unbeaten Premier League run against Chelsea which started in 2017.

Ten Hag wants his players to use the defeat as fuel going into their clash against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

He added: “We will see on Sunday (how to beat Liverpool).

“But I have to say first I have to deal with this, but we can’t deal with this long. We have to recover very quick. We have to turn this around.

“We will be in a positive mood. We will be looking forward. We have to take energy but we will be mad, angry. From anger you can take a lot of energy and that is how we have to do it.”

Marcus Rashford came off the bench at Stamford Bridge, but failed to have an impact on the night.

Ten Hag revealed the forward is as motivated as ever to help the team.

He said: “I think lately his form is progressing and so the time will always be right. I think he has a big motivation because he wants to be successful with us.

“He wants to score goals, but he wants to win trophies and contribute and we still have a chance in the FA Cup.

“He wants to fight for a Champions League spot and the Euros are coming so I will say his motivation should be high.

“And the form, that is a moment and he can change the momentum always. Before Brentford, he scored three goals in three games.”

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