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Atalanta 0-1 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp’s European era ends in disappointment – Liverpool FC

Liverpool needed a miracle but it just wasn’t ever on the cards against Atalanta. Instead, Jurgen Klopp‘s tenure as Liverpool FC manager in Europe is over.

Atalanta 0-1 Liverpool

Atalanta progress 3-1 on aggregate

Europa League quarter final, second leg
Gewiss Stadium
April 18, 2024

Goals

Salah 07′ (pen)


The Reds went into the game in poor form, with just three wins in the last eight games in all competitions – and ultimately that continued despite a 1-0 win on the night.

Klopp made three changes to the side that started against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with Conor Bradley (injured), Wataru Endo and Darwin Nunez making way for Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dominik Szoboszlai and Cody Gakpo.

It was crucial to get the first goal and they did so thanks to a penalty that Mo Salah converted after just seven minutes.

BERGAMO, ITALY - Thursday, April 18, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah runs back with the ball after scoring the first goal from a penalty kick during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between BC Atalanta and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was good work from Alexander-Arnold to win the penalty, first with a sensational cross-field pass to Luis Diaz, then with the cross itself that was handled in the box.

Liverpool dominated possession and Alexander-Arnold in particular was influential, releasing Gakpo with a sensational pass on the half hour that almost led to a second goal.

Too often once in the final third there was an extra pass too many and a failure to take a shot.

Salah had a glorious chance on 39 minutes but he opted to try to lob the keeper and put it wide. It summed up how Liverpool cannot be clinical at the moment.

A handball from an Atalanta defender just before half time clearly denied Liverpool a goalscoring opportunity, but the ref and VAR opted not to show a red card.

Half time: Atalanta 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool continued their lack of ruthlessness, passing up more opportunities early in the second half.

Frustration kicked in as a familiar pattern from recent weeks continued.

Klopp made a triple sub after the hour in a bid to at least get the second goal, off came Salah and Luis Diaz for Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota.

BERGAMO, ITALY - Thursday, April 18, 2024: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between BC Atalanta and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jayden Danns came on for his European debut for the final 15 minutes as Klopp sought something different to salvage the tie and the European adventure.

Liverpool, though, had long run out of ideas and failed to create any clear cut chances. It’s now three consecutive games without scoring from open play.

Failure to progress to the semi final means Liverpool fans have just two home games left with Klopp in charge – and all hope for more silverware rest on Man City stumbling in the title race.

Now, three away league games in a week, starting with the trip to Fulham on Sunday.

TIA Man of the Match: Trent Alexander-Arnold


Referee: Francois Letexier

Atalanta: Musso; Djimsiti, Hien, Kolasinac; Zappacosta, De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners; Scamacca, Miranchuk

Subs: Carnesecchi, Rossi, Toloi, Holm, Pasalic, Toure, Lookman, De Ketelaere, Bakker, Adopo, Hateboer, Bonfanti

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Gomez 73′), Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson (Danns 79′), Mac Allister, Szoboszlai (Elliott 66′), Jones, Salah (Jota 66′), Gakpo, Diaz (Nunez 66′)

Subs not used: Kelleher, Quansah, Tsimikas, Endo, Gravenberch, McConnell, Clark

Next Match: Fulham (away, Sunday 21 April)

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