Jurgen Klopp’s Atletico Madrid accusation after Liverpool book Champions League KO spot

Liverpool are into the Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare after a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid in a bad-tempered affair at Anfield on Wednesday night

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Liverpool v Atletico Madrid: Match in pictures

Jurgen Klopp accused Atletico Madrid of trying to get his Liverpool players sent off, on a night when he said he “hated” taking Sadio Mane off to protect him.

The Spanish side were reduced to 10 men in the first half, when Felipe was dismissed for a crude challenge and then some even cruder dissent to referee Danny Makkelie.

Mane had already been booked, and after a challenge just before the break one Atletico player went down holding his head, leaving Klopp to insist:

“I think everybody in the stadium predicted I would take Sadio off and thought it was the right thing to do and I hated doing it.

“Sadio played an incredible game, I wasn’t worried he wouldn’t manage his emotions because he is very calm.

“But the ball is in the air, no contact and a player goes down holding his head – we all saw what the Atletico players did trying to get the numbers equal against and I didn’t like it, I really didn’t like it at all.”

Klopp wasn’t happy with what he saw from Atletico


AFP via Getty Images)

There was some bad blood between the two teams, with Atletico players completely losing their heads, and Klopp explained he declined to shake their manager Diego Simeone’s hand, though he said that wasn’t a problem.

It left Liverpool to qualify as group winners with two games to spare, after their 25th game without defeat in all competitions – an all time club record, tied with the great team of 1982.

Klopp does has the chance to damage Atletico in the final two games as he could leave all his best stars out against their rivals for the final qualifying place, Porto and Milan.

But he insisted he would not do that: “The only one difference is we are now qualified – forget that.

“I never played in the San Siro, before and i’m really excited about that.

“Can you imagine that. The whole world is coming to watch the game and can you imagine offering a half cooked dish?

“We go for it , we want to win football games, you play the game you love it, so show it.”

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