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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Liverpool should rest players at Atalanta to prioritise Premier League, says Carragher

Liverpool should abandon hope of winning the Europa League following their chastening quarter-final first-leg loss to Atalanta and prioritise the Premier League title race, believes former defender Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool entered Thursday’s meeting with Gian Piero Gasperini’s men as favourites to win Europe’s secondary club competition, but they were stunned as La Dea left Anfield as 3-0 victors.

Former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca scored twice before Mario Pasalic tapped in a late third, leaving Liverpool’s hopes of reaching the last four hanging by a thread.

Read our other sports news stories here:
Grand National Tips: 2024 Runners and Predictions
Liverpool 0-3 Atalanta: Reds facing Europa League exit after stunning collapse
Everton: Premier League docks Toffees two points over PSR as club plans appeal

While many supporters had circled the Europa League final – scheduled for May 22 in Dublin – as the perfect way to end Jurgen Klopp’s storied reign, Carragher believes the Reds should throw in the towel.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Carragher said Klopp should rest his big names for next week’s trip to Bergamo to ensure their title push doesn’t falter.

“Awful result and performance from Liverpool,” Carragher wrote.

“The only consolation about getting beaten so heavily is Jurgen should play a full second string in the second leg and go all in for the league!”

Carragher’s former team-mate Stephen Warnock, meanwhile, described the Reds’ performance as their worst since Klopp took charge in 2015.

“Atalanta dominated Liverpool. They created so many chances,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Liverpool were poor. They were arguably the worst I have ever seen them under Klopp.

“They looked like a team that has played 56 games in a season and you could just see tired minds and tired bodies. But take nothing away from Atalanta, they were magnificent.

“It was one of the best opposition performances I have seen at Anfield. I have been to some European nights and seen Liverpool outdone by opposition teams. That was hugely impressive.

“To come here and play the way they did and take the game to them, it was outstanding.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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