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‘Dirty 3 points’ – 4 key things from Klopp’s post-Atletico press conference

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There was a lot to digest for Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool’s rollercoaster 3-2 victory at Atletico Madrid, but the key was that a “dirty three points” were added to the tally.

Here are four key things from Klopp’s post-match press conference at Atletico Madrid:

 

1. Klopp would think twice about the lineup

It was far from smooth sailing in the Spanish capital and Klopp made just one change from the one that thumped Watford to the tune of 5-0, with Alisson in for Caoimhin Kelleher.

But with Liverpool showing some fatigue in various facets of the game, the boss wasn’t shy in saying he may not have chosen the same lineup if he had his time again – a thought he has had previously as he explained to This Is Anfield.

“Would I choose the same lineup again? Not sure,” Klopp told reporters.

“We had so many things to consider, who played where and I think in the end we had too many players on the pitch who played for their national team all the games and the last Premier League game.”

The likes of Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah all started at Watford and featured heavily for their country over the break.

 

2. “Dirty” points are important points

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, October 19, 2021: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates after the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 3 game between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. Liverpool won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It wasn’t straightforward and it was far from pretty, but Liverpool got the job done – a marker of any great team.

It’s not an easy place to visit with Atletico unbeaten at home in European competition for four years prior to the Reds’ visit, placing context on what was a mixed performance.

“The dirty three points are very often the most important and they were dirty tonight,” Klopp said.

“It was not our best football but we got them and that’s a big step.”

 

3. No hard feelings for no handshake

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, October 19, 2021: Club Atlético de Madrid's head coach Diego Simeone (L) embraces Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 3 game between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The full-time whistle came and the traditional handshake between managers was not possible as Diego Simeone ran up the tunnel, which he is known to regularly do at full-time.

Klopp wasn’t aware and simply waved him off as he stared down the tunnel, creating a talking point post-match.

But the manager was quick to stomp out the fire and was in fact disappointed with his own emotional reaction. Anfield in a couple of weeks’ time will see a handshake or two, though.

“I wanted to shake his hand but he was running off. I could have just turned around but I was as emotional as he was.

“I don’t think he did anything wrong. I am not overly happy with my reaction.

“But next time we see each other we will definitely shake hands. There was nothing between us.”

 

4. ‘Nothing to do with Naby’

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, October 19, 2021: Liverpool's Naby Keita scores the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 3 game between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Naby Keita was the casualty from the first half, with Fabinho taking his place at the start of the second but it was “nothing to do with Naby, we just had to defend the right side better.”

The manager wanted to make it clear that he has “already spoken” to his No. 8 and that “we did not play the second part of the first half because of Naby as he is in really good shape.”

His comments on Keita’s playing time suggest a start at Old Trafford is not in the reckoning and it could be that Curtis Jones will be back in contention to keep things fresh.

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