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“I will do it again” – Klopp defends his decision in Liverpool’s 2-0 loss to Atalanta

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Jurgen Klopp has defended his decision to rotate the team against Atalanta on Wednesday

Speaking in the post-match interview on Wednesday (h/t Liverpool Echo), Jurgen Klopp defended his decision to rotate his side in their 2-0 loss at Anfield to Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

The Liverpool boss rested a handful of first-team starters as the Reds welcomed Italian side Atalanta to Anfield. The Liverpool boss made four changes in one go in the 61st minute, which saw Diogo Jota, Fabinho, Andy Robertson, and Roberton Firmino all come on just a minute after Atalanta took the lead.

The team conceded again just three minutes after the substitutions, as the Reds succumbed to their first European defeat this season. Klopp made 5 changes to the team that beat Leicester City 3-0 at the weekend.

Atalanta beat Liverpool by two goals to nil as Klopp's substitutes could not make an impact. (GETTY Images) Atalanta vs Liverpool

Atalanta beat Liverpool by two goals to nil as Klopp’s substitutes could not make an impact. (GETTY Images)

Fingers were pointed at Klopp’s decision to rotate the side but the Reds boss stood by his decision and said that he would do it again.

“We made five changes and it was very important to us that we did that,” said Klopp. In the end, it didn’t work out and that’s part of the deal. You never know before (what will happen). And anyway I would do it again.”

We beat Atalanta 5-0 in Bergamo in the reverse fixture earlier this month, but the 2-0 loss to the Italian side prompted Klopp to question the decision-making by the team.

“…The opponent defended good and were aggressive. We didn’t use the specific things of their defending. They were man-marking, and you have to move players around and open gaps and pass the ball there. We used it in Bergamo really well. It’s all about decision-making and tonight our decision-making wasn’t so good.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Diogo Jota of Liverpool is challenged by Marten de Roon of Atalanta B.C. during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and Atalanta BC at Anfield on November 25, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jon Super - Pool/Getty Images)

Liverpool won the reverse fixture 5-0 in Bergamo but found Atalanta impossible to break down at Anfield. (GETTY Images)

Klopp is not wrong to stand by his decision to rotate the squad, as the first-team cannot always be expected to play thrice a week. The Reds also play 9 games next month and such a fixture-list can take its toll on the best of teams.

The Reds travel to the Amex this Saturday to take on Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League. Klopp’s men are second in the table, trailing leaders Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference.

We can expect a stronger team to play against Brighton. However, with the way the fixture-list is lined up for us, nothing can be said for certain.