Following Liverpool’s frustrating loss to Atlético Madrid on Tuesday, Jürgen Klopp’s players will each have a sliver of their mind focused on the reverse fixture at Anfield on March 11th. Madrid scored an early freak goal and did superbly well at destroying any inspiration that Liverpool hoped to take advantage of throughout the rest of the match.
Diego Simeone has his team drilled in a low block and counter attack program. They were nearly impenetrable on Wednesday night and Liverpool were having a difficult time finding the blips of open space that would vanish just as quickly as they’d appeared. Madrid scored early and made it very difficult for Liverpool to do their thing.
But as Virgil Van Dijk reminds us, Anfield awaits Simeone’s team in a few weeks’ time and Liverpool will be prepared to overturn to 1-0 loss in Spain.
“It’s going to be a difficult game first and foremost,” said Van Dijk. “But we should be confident.
“We can’t let this defeat bring us down in any way at all. We’re never happy with losing.
“It’s been a while, as well, but we’ve got to keep going and we have to believe in ourselves like we always do.”
While Liverpool have dominated the Premier League this season, the team’s struggles have been plentiful in the Champions League. But the European campaign is a different beast. A 1-0 deficit is not a great worry in a tie that will conclude under the lights of Anfield. Liverpool have overcome far greater point spreads in the past at the foot of the Kop.
Pressure to advance will obviously be centered on Klopp’s team leading up to the March 11th fixture but Van Dijk and the boys have proven time and again that they refuse to carry the weight. In the meantime, onward to West Ham.