Liverpool’s Europa League dream hanging by a thread after Anfield horror show

Liverpool's Europa League dream hanging by a thread after Anfield horror show

Liverpool's Europa League dream hanging by a thread after Anfield horror show

The Reds produced one of the worst performances of the Jurgen Klopp era, losing 3 - 0 at home to Italian side Atalanta, to give themselves a mountain to climb to progress in the competition.

  • Jurgen Klopp makes six changes from the team that drew with United on Sunday
  • Gomez, Tsimika, Konate, Elliott, Jones, and Gakpo all start
  • Jota, Alexander-Arnold, and Bajcetic are all on the bench for the first time in two months
  • Liverpool start slowly once again, lacking energy and rhythm
  • Anfield is subdued, with fans protesting about ticket price increases
  • Harvey Elliott hits the post and crossbar with an excellent curling effort from the edge of the box
  • Liverpool go behind to Gianluca Scamacca's goal on 38 minutes
  • HALF-TIME - Liverpool 0 - 1 Atalanta
  • Klopp makes 5 changes in the second half, bringing on Salah, Szoboszlai, Diaz, Jota, and Robertson
  • Reds fail to improve after the break, conceding two more goals
  • Mo Salah has a late effort ruled out for offside
  • FULL-TIME - Liverpool 0 - 3 Atalanta

Match Summary

Liverpool suffered a shock home defeat, the first in over a year, on a bitterly disappointing night at Anfield, to leave their dreams of winning the Europa League in Jurgen Klopp's final season hanging by a thread.

With the Reds looking to bounce back from the weekend's disappointing draw at Old Trafford, and with the spectacle of another European night at Anfield, the Reds were expected to comfortably beat Atalanta - who currently sit sixth in Serie A - but it was the Italian side who produced an excellent display, to outwit, outrun and outplay Liverpool.

Such was the disparity in the performances, that you would have thought it was Liverpool who were the weaker team, with every single Atalanta player working their socks off, while the majority of Liverpool's players produced below-par performances.  Even Alexis Mac Allister, who has been the Premier League's best midfielder for the past 6 weeks, looked jaded and ineffectual, as Atalanta's plan to manmark Liverpool left the Reds struggling to find space or complete passes.

When the team news broke an hour before kick-off, a few eyebrows were raised by the number of changes that Jurgen Klopp made, and sadly for the Reds manager, only Elliott and Gakpo had any positive impact on the game, with Gomez, Konate, and Tsimikas having a nightmare in the Reds defence.  Indeed, Tsimikas's performance was so poor that it is difficult to award him even 1/10 in our player ratings.

Speaking after the match, Jurgen Klopp could not hide his disappointment,

"Yeah unfortunately there is nothing really positive to say about the game. The start was good. Darwin Nunez had a good moment but from that moment on it became a really bad game and there is nothing positive to say."

"I didn't like our tactical positioning in possession. We gave them one situation by passing the ball there, then everyone was chasing another guy. We scored one that was offside but it was a bad game from us. Atalanta had a good game, scored three goals, and deserved to win.”

Supporters will of course point to memorable comebacks in Liverpool's recent history, not least the Champions League Final in 2005, or the Semi-Finals of the Champions League against Barcelona, however, it will take something very special next week in Bergamo if the Reds are to keep their European dreams alive.

Liverpool vs Atalanta match stats (Europa League Quarter-Final first leg)

Possession
Liverpool 70% - 30% Atalanta

Total Shots
Liverpool 19 - 11 Atalanta

Shots on Target
Liverpool 5 - 7 Atalanta

Corners
Liverpool 4 - 2 Atalanta

Fouls
Liverpool 7 - 16  Atalanta

Man of the Match

Gianluca Scamacca- 8/10 - Who would have thought the ex-West Ham player could finish so well....

What's Next

Liverpool are back in Premier Action on Sunday, when they face Crystal Palace at Anfield.  Kick-off is 14:00 GMT.

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... About The Author ...

Peter Farrell :: LFC - Back On Our Perch Author and Editor

Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 552

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Adrian F.

    Wasn’t able to watch or listen to the match due to work commitments. Seeing the result I kind of sad for Klop.
    No team of players can constantly put in a major performance, and every now and them it just doesn’t click. Today was one of those days.
    Am I disappointed, yes. Am I down trodden, no. The guys will rise again.

    1. Peter Farrell

      Hi Adrian. Thanks for your comment. I agree the lads will come back stronger and learn from their mistakes.

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