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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Jurgen Klopp wants anger from returning players as Liverpool eye Atalanta response

Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool’s returning players to bring more anger and aggression to his squad, with the Reds looking to bounce back from Thursday’s 3-0 defeat to Atalanta when they face Crystal Palace.

Liverpool’s Europa League hopes are hanging by a thread after Atalanta earned a stunning 3-0 win at Anfield in the first leg of the teams’ quarter-final tie, with Gianluca Scamacca scoring twice.

Klopp made six changes to his starting XI for that match as he balances a Premier League title bid with a push for European silverware, but there was no place in the lineup for either Diogo Jota or Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Read our other Liverpool news stories here:
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Liverpool 0-3 Atalanta: Reds facing Europa League exit after stunning collapse
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Jota came on in the latter stages with Liverpool desperately chasing a goal, having been out of action for almost two months after suffering a knee injury in a 4-1 win at Brentford.

Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, was an unused substitute after a similar spell on the sidelines, though Klopp has revealed he is slightly behind Jota in his recovery.

Asked about the status of his returning players ahead of Sunday’s visit of Palace, Klopp said: “There was no chance to play Trent against Atalanta.

“He was on the bench because we were allowed to put 23 players in the squad. He had two training sessions.

“Diogo didn’t have many more really, but the information from the medical department was he is a step ahead, so he could play a little bit longer.

“There is no pressure [to rotate], it is just the situation. My job is not the easiest job in the world, not the most difficult either, but you need to make sure that you get your players together on the pitch and that it works out somehow.

“With different lineups we have played really good football this year, but we didn’t. So that’s the reason why we lost. That can be the headline; ‘It didn’t work out’. Then it’s absolutely fine and right.

“But we need them all and we need them all aggressive, fit, going for it, a bit angry, full of desire. Not so much dealing with your own situation, like, ‘I’ve got no rhythm, I didn’t play for ages’.

“You have to try to avoid that. Diogo was absolutely fine for 20 minutes, it helped him a lot and now we will see what we can do from there.”

With Liverpool surrendering top spot in the Premier League table last Sunday following a 2-2 draw with Manchester United, the pressure is on to ensure a negative week does not get any worse.

Klopp has no doubt Liverpool will produce an improved display against Oliver Glasner’s side, saying: “We have to show a reaction, definitely, 100 per cent, that is clear.

“I will think about that. It is not the first time in my life that I lost a football game, unfortunately, but we will show a reaction, I can promise that.”

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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