Belfast Telegraph

Klopp sees positives despite Reds' penalty loss

 

By Brian James

Jurgen Klopp wasn't overly perturbed as Liverpool slipped to a penalty shoot-out defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup decider.

Trailing to Keidi Bare's first-half strike, the Reds levelled courtesy of a late spot-kick from Roberto Firmino, only for their opponents to take the honours when Jordan Henderson became the only player to miss from 12 yards.

Of more importance to Klopp is tomorrow's Champions League play-off draw, when his side - who defeated Bayern Munich on Tuesday - will discover the hurdle they must overcome to achieve group stage qualification.

"These games are always very important and you're playing at the top level, so it's very important how you prepare and what kind of state of mind you're in," he said.

"If you want to win, obviously you want to (draw) a smaller opponent, but we played against Bayern yesterday and we can play much better.

"We're very tired today and we want to make life as difficult as possible for our opponents. The only (bad) thing that happened here today was the goal we conceded.

"We had 20 shots on goal, and you've got to do something from that, but Atletico are a very strong team.

"If you get to a penalty shoot-out you want to win it, but that's not the important situation that we have today. The boys played really well, they were very good in their preparations and you couldn't have had a more difficult job than we did today against a team like Atletico, who get results, results, results.

"We had a lots of substitutions and were a bit tired from all the training, so it can't be easy. If you can do it better then great.

"In the first half, we had a few nice moments where we had some good crosses. It was really tight, but when we conceded we didn't think straight away and the formation wasn't 100 per cent. One lost challenge with a header shouldn't mean you go behind.

"In the second half, we played much better but the situation continued to be very difficult. We lost the penalty shoot-out, but I am not down and out about it.

"I'm really happy we still have one-and-a-half weeks and I'm happy that we don't have to play tomorrow!"

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