Liverpool continued their excellent Champions League form on Tuesday when they went to Italy and dismantled Atalanta with five unanswered goals. The main man of the night was Diogo Jota, who picked up a hat trick that he made look positively simple. He wasn’t the only player who impressed on the day.
Klopp put out an unexpected starting XI, but whatever alchemy he uses to figure these things out worked perfectly. The defense kept Atalanta at bay while the offensive cut through them with ease.
The boss was pleased as well, having plenty of praise to go around for his players.
“We defended Atalanta on an incredibly high level and played ourselves top football and scored the goals,” Klopp said. “That’s how it looks. We scored five goals, could have scored maybe two or three more, I don’t know. But Alisson had to make three world-class saves as well. So, you see how big the threat is if you let them do what they are good in. The overall performance of my team tonight was really good, that’s why we won the game.”
About the young Rhys Williams: “Starting with Rhys – exceptional. I cannot imagine being 19 years old and playing my second adult professional football game in the Champions League against Muriel and Zapata, or most of the time against Zapata. It’s incredible.”
He had plenty to say about the other defenders, “But everybody has to step up now because Robbo and Trent and Joe, they are now in charge. Whoever plays with them – if it’s Joel it’s different – but if one of the younger ones plays with them, they are the most experienced and they have to demand and command the things in that line.”
Now the Reds need to bring this solid defense to their performances in the Premier League.