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Klopp Looking Forward to Rematch at Anfield

Jürgen Klopp refused to rule out Liverpool's chances of overcoming their first-leg deficit after Thursday night's injury-time defeat at El Madrigal.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Liverpool's games have contained a lot of late dramatics under Jürgen Klopp. The historically bonkers 4-3 turnaround win over Borussia Dortmund at Anfield aside, matches against Norwich, Southampton and Newcastle have all been decided late despite early leads. The downside is that the latter two results have seen the delayed drama and change in momentum work to the Reds' disadvantage.

That was the case again on Thursday, as a disciplined and professional performance against a dangerous European top side was undone in injury time. Fans and pundits will undoubtedly be looking for someone to blame, rightly or not, for the failure to see out the result, but Klopp is having none of it:

"If you think after this game you should figure out the different mistakes we made before the goal, do it. I will not help you, I’m not interested in goals.

"I’ve managed 16 years, how many mistakes do you think I’ve seen before goals? Unbelievable mistakes!

"I don’t think about things like this, it happened, it was not too smart to be honest. That’s a counter-attack, where’s the left-back, where’s whoever? [There are] a lot of things we can ask but it makes no sense, that’s development, that’s what we have to do.

"In this moment, it happened, accept it, don’t be worried about it."

Picking the left-back as an example in an attempt to avoid placing blame perhaps isn't the optimal choice, as Alberto Moreno: left-back was caught wildly out of position attempting to close down the ball in central midfield, opening up space for assist-maker Denis Suárez to run into, and then failed to track the run of eventual goal scorer Adrián López. Klopp referred to it as "a little bit of youth" coming into the players minds, and Moreno is indeed a poster-child for youthful exuberance of the kind that nearly won the game for the Reds minutes before it contributed to them losing it.

Never one to get too caught up in singular results, Klopp wisely cited the upcoming second leg at Anfield as a reason to stay positive:

"It was a professional performance and that was OK. It is the first leg and my first thinking when everybody was celebrating around me was ‘sorry, but it’s not over – you have to come to Anfield too’. We will be ready. (...)

"I know and saw a lot of things that showed we can [win the second leg]. It doesn’t mean that we will, but with the help of Anfield we can do a lot.

"Please don’t compare everything with Dortmund, but things are possible and 1-0 is not the biggest result in the world. (...)

"[It will be] a completely different game. We’re looking forward to Anfield."

Given this team's propensity for drama and big occasions under the German, fans should absolutely be looking forward to the return leg as well. With the Reds heading into a European semi-final and being only two wins away from a return to the promised land of the Champion's League, one would expect Anfield to deliver vintage atmosphere in what will be Liverpool's final European home game of the season.

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