See you at Anfield

Sports | 20 Feb 2020

Jurgen Klopp expects a very different atmosphere at Anfield will help turn Liverpool's Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid around next month after a 1-0 first leg defeat in Spain.

Saul Niguez's early strike inflicted just Liverpool's second defeat of the season in all competitions with a senior team.

The holders were frustrated by the hosts' playacting and Polish referee Szymon Marciniak's performance as Atletico boss Diego Simeone whipped the Wanda Metropolitano crowd into a frenzy.

"Wow, that's energy!" Klopp said when asked about Simeone's touchline antics. "I don't think I have to do that much to be honest [in the second leg], I hope I can be focused a little bit more on the game.

"Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield! It's not over yet."

Klopp replaced Sadio Mane at half-time with the Senegalese at risk of being sent off as Atletico players surrounded Marciniak demanding a second yellow card for the winger just before the break.

"He was targeted, that was clear," said Klopp. "Sadio played a really good first half and the only thing they wanted is to make sure he gets a yellow card."

He added: "For me we didn't lose, it's only half-time, the score is 1-0 that's all. But you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere, that was obviously not easy."

The visitors were also riled by the celebrations of Simeone and some of his players at full-time.

"They've celebrated as if they've won the tie, so let's see," said left-back Andy Robertson. "We've got a couple of weeks, Premier League business to take care of, and then we're coming back to Anfield.

"We know our fans will be there, we'll be there, so it's up to them to come as well."

Liverpool were the victims of an old-fashioned Atletico masterclass. After Niguez's early strike, Atletico's defense kicked in, suffocating the champions and denying them a single shot on target.

"Tonight is one of those nights you don't forget," said Simeone. "We haven't gone through but we have beaten the best team in the world."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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