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
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.”
2. “Dirty” points are important points
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
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’
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.