The manager of Liverpool football club, Jurgen Klopp was not happy that he had to substitute Sadio Mane in the 46th minute of the UEFA Champions League match between his club and Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, November 3.
Atletico Madrid visited Anfield stadium to play the return leg of the UEFA Champions League group stage game and was left frustrated.
Liverpool destabilized their visitors by scoring two early goals courtesy of Diogo Jota in the 13th minute, and Sadio Mane in the 21st minute.
Unfortunately for Atletico Madrid, their quest to get back into the game ended disastrously as the club’s defender Felipe was shown the red card in the 36th minute.
Earlier in the game, Atletico’s Koke tripped Mane to stop his run and the Senegalese forward was not happy with the challenge and had to confront Koke. His action forced the referee to show him a yellow card in the 15th minute for dissent.
Afterward, Atletico Madrid tried to provoke Sadio Mane even more but the forward was able to keep his cool until the first half ended.
At the start of the second half, coach Jurgen Klopp decided not to take any chances. Hence, he had to substitute him for Firmino in the 46th minute.
The situation at Anfield was similar to what happened during the round of 16 stage of the UEFA Champions League 2019-2020 season. In the match which was between Real Madrid and Liverpool, Mane was targeted by Madrid players until coach Klopp had to substitute him at halftime.
Klopp said: “I think everyone in the stadium expected it. I thought it was the right thing to do and I hated it more than you can imagine.
“I was not worried that Sadio cannot handle his emotions – he was calm but the thing is the ball comes in the air for a headed challenge and the [Atletico] player goes down.
“We all saw what the Madrid players did, rolling around to try to equal the number of players again. I didn’t like it but it was the right thing to do.”
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid was almost a perfect match for Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool qualified for the second round of the Champions League with two games to spare after defeating Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Anfield on Wednesday.
The win at Anfield means that Liverpool defeated Atletico Madrid home and away this season just like how the Spanish club defeated Liverpool home and away last season.
But this time around, the win over Atletico Madrid came with a price – Roberto Firmino picked up an injury that might sideline him for a while.
“We have had an incredible schedule and even with controlling the game, we lost a player with injury, Bobby Firmino”, Jurgen Klopp said.
“I can imagine people wanted to see more goals but we created still many chances, we scored a goal that was disallowed, we had incredible chances in front of goal like, ‘wow, how could we miss them?’
“So I think the game was nearly perfect like we want to have it. We scored the goals in the right moments.
“They were much more on the front foot than they were in the home game, how they started. But we defended that well and then two incredible balls from Trent. Fantastic finishes as well, especially Sadio’s one. I think Diogo will expect from himself that he’d finish that off. But Sadio keeps the ball, passes to the outside, and is then greedy enough to get into the box and finish that situation off.
“Then with the red card, we don’t like that, we don’t want to play against 10 men. But then you have to be careful. They scored their goal and I don’t know exactly how it was offside, I didn’t understand it 100 percent. But in the end, it’s 2-0 and a great night.”
Liverpool won’t stop winning even though they have qualified for the next stage
Jurgen Klopp has stressed that his team would try to win their remaining group games even though they have already qualified from the group with 12 points in four games.
The German tactician noted that winning games in the Champions League earn the clubs a lot of money. Hence, his team would try to win the games for the money.
He said: “You earn a lot of money if you win Champions League games. Not me personally, it’s just for the club it’s important so that’s what we will do.
“Of course the first target is to get through the group and getting through the group with 12 points out of four matchdays is absolutely insane. But there are two more games to go and one is against Porto, a home game. We are Liverpool, what can we do? Let them play? Then going to Milan, I’ve never been there and we will show up there as well.
“When I saw the group I didn’t think we’d be through after four games but the boys did it and it’s well deserved.”
Liverpool’s last two UEFA Champions League group stage games are against Porto (November 24), and AC Milan (December 7).