It was Adrián’s poor clearance that led to Atlético Madrid getting back into the game against Liverpool. Our boys were 2-0 up, 2-1 in the tie, thanks to Gini Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino. Anfield was confident of the team advancing to the next round of the Champions League and then the goalkeeper’s blunder occurred.
Jürgen Klopp admitted Madrid’s away goal changed the energy in the room but he was more than happy with his team’s performance. And he wasn’t about to throw Adrían under Diego Simeone’s bus after Liverpool’s 2-3 loss.
“He’s a man and he knows that’s how it is,” said Klopp.
“We will not blame him for a second – what you do, I don’t know, but stay respectful. That would be really nice because he didn’t want to do that. He saved us in so many moments when he played.
“Since he’s here, he’s had super performances. This goal didn’t help tonight but that’s how it is.
“I said, if you lose a game you always lose for some [different] reasons. Tonight, this was not the moment when we lost the game, but it had a big impact. We should not say it was not like this because it was obvious, but that’s it.
“We conceded more goals after that and we didn’t score the goals in other situations. We had plenty of reasons why we didn’t go through.
“How it is in life, especially when your job is in public, people judge you. But he’s a man, a grown man, and he will deal with that. We will help him with that but I don’t think he needs it, to be honest.”
Outfield players are making mistakes all over the pitch but it’s not often the consequences are as dire as those of a goalkeeper. On the surface, it was just a small, sad, unfortunate miss-kick from Adrían. Little did we know that a dark and enormous glacier of doom would grow out beneath it.
Adrían is sure to be inundated with negative press in the short term and that’s part of a player’s life. But, hopefully, Klopp has mitigated some of the froth by defending his keeper in front of the camera.