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3 things Jurgen Klopp must change from 1st leg against Atletico Madrid to win | Champions League 2019-20

  • What should Jurgen Klopp do differently in order to beat Atletico Madrid at Anfield?
Taha Memon
Modified 10 Mar 2020, 15:48 IST

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has never lost a two-legged tie in Europe as the manager of Liverpool Football Club. Since arriving at Anfield, the German has changed the fortunes of the club who were languishing in mediocrity, and he has taken them back to the days of dominance. However, the former Dortmund manager faces his biggest challenge yet in the form of Atletico Madrid at Anfield in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16.

After a 1-0 loss at the Wanda Metropolitano, the onus is on the home team to score at least one goal without conceding to avoid getting knocked out. The performance away in Spain left much to be desired from the defending European champions, and no one will know it more than Klopp, who has led this Liverpool team to three European finals.

Atletico Madrid stands in the way of a possible third consecutive Champions League final, and Klopp and Liverpool will be giving it their all at Anfield to win against Diego Simeone's determined side. Here, we take a look at three things which the manager should do to emerge victorious on Wednesday night -

1. Target the set-piece situation on both ends

A set-piece was Liverpool
A set-piece was Liverpool's undoing in the first leg

Before conceding to Atletico through a corner routine, Liverpool held the best record of defending from set-pieces in England, having conceded from only one set piece every 1200 minutes. After they got their early goal, the home team sat back and let Liverpool pass the ball around without letting them get a sight of goal.

Liverpool's defence has dealt with set-pieces immensely well and the same can be said about Atletico's. Simeone's team are renowned for their defensive prowess, and that is a strong factor when it comes to defending corners and free-kicks where the ball is whipped in the box. This season, the Reds have managed to get their fair share of goals from corners, and it is an area that they should look to exploit against their opponents on Wednesday night.

The home team need at least one goal to advance or take the game to extra-time, but they also need to be wary of not conceding. The likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez are always a threat from set-pieces, and the responsibility of coming up with something from dead ball situations will fall to them. Opposition centre-backs Stefan Savic and Felipe will need to be both attacked, and contained throughout the game.

It is hard to see Atletico score a goal from open play at Anfield given their usual style of play and Liverpool's strong defence in home European ties, so the game could well be decided through corners and indirect free-kicks. As such, this is an area that Klopp should be targeting.

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Published 10 Mar 2020, 15:48 IST
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