Five things Klopp got right as Liverpool book knockout place with Atletico win

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Liverpool enjoyed a dominant night in the Champions League on Wednesday, booking their place in the knockout stages with a comfortable 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp had made five changes to his side from the starting line-up that were held by Brighton on Saturday.

One of those new faces, Diogo Jota, opened the scoring 13 minutes in when he headed in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross from close range.

Sadio Mane doubled the Reds’ lead when he provided the finishing touch to another Alexander-Arnold cross, before Felipe was sent off for the visitors to end the game as a contest.

Here, Daily Star Sport looks at five things Klopp got right as Liverpool sealed their place in the knockout stages….

Starting Jota over Firmino

Arguably one of Klopp’s biggest selection decisions was to start Diogo Jota over Roberto Firmino in the false nine role.

And it paid off in fabulous fashion, with the Portuguese international’s pace causing the Atletico centre-backs no end of problems.

The highlight of Jota’s performance came after 13 minutes when he opened the scoring for the Reds.

Trent Alexander-Arnold swung in a cross, with Jota having ghosted between the Atletico defence before heading in from close range.

Who was your man of the match from Liverpool's win over Atletico Madrid? Let us know in the comments section…

Shoring up his defence

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The draw with Brighton on Saturday provoked concern among some that Liverpool had become less solid at the back.

As a result, Klopp made two changes to his defence, with Joel Matip replacing Ibrahima Konate and Kostas Tsmiakis coming in for Andy Robertson.

The experience of Matip helped to keep Liverpool solid, while Tsmiakis ensured that Kieran Trippier was fairly quiet going forward.

Klopp also brought Fabinho back into his midfield, with the Brazilian helping to fill in any gaps that appeared between the Liverpool defence and midfield.

Front foot football

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Liverpool are renowned as a team who want to play on the front foot and dominate the possession stats.

But they went up a gear in the first part of the clash against Atletico, with Liverpool leaving their visitors shellshocked.

Wave after wave of attack came in, with the Reds going two goals up before the 25 th minute, with Sadio Mane adding to Jota’s opener.

While Atletico began to get back into the game after that second goal, Liverpool kept them at arms-length and reasserted their dominance after Felipe’s red card.

Giving Oxlade-Chamberlain his chance

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Amid an injury crisis in Liverpool's midfield areas, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been pushing to be given another chance by Klopp.

He was given that chance on Wednesday night, being handed his first Champions League start of the season, and did not disappoint.

The Englishman was lively throughout and came close to scoring in the first-half, but saw his shot drag just wide of the post.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was also alert defensively and saved his side from conceding what would have been an almost certain goal 16 minutes in with a headed clearance.

Taking off Mane

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With Atletico down to 10 men, the Spanish side quite blatantly attempted to equal the contest by getting Sadio Mane sent off.

The Liverpool attacker had been booked in the 15th minute, with Atletico players rolling around in apparent pain whenever he committed a foul after Felipe's red card.

But Klopp stopped those efforts at the source at half-time when he brought on Roberto Firmino for the Senegal international.

It was a clever move from the German, ensuring that his side maintained their one-man advantage and with it their dominance over the game.

  • Champions League
  • Jurgen Klopp
  • Liverpool FC
  • Atletico Madrid FC

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