Liverpool Beaten At Home By Atalanta
Written by darling on November 26, 2020
Liverpool wasted a chance to book their place in the Champions League last 16 as Atalanta earned a shock 2-0 win at Anfield on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side could have guaranteed qualification from Group D with a victory, but they produced a poor display that was deservedly punished by the impressive Italians.
Two goals in four minutes from Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens in the second half gave Atalanta a memorable victory that ended Liverpool’s 100-per cent record in this year’s tournament.
Liverpool had thrashed Atalanta 5-0 in Italy at the start of the November to make it three wins from their first three group games.
But for the first time since Virgil van Dijk was lost to a serious knee injury at Everton in October, the Reds looked vulnerable at the back in a rare Anfield defeat.
Beaten for the first time in nine games in all competitions since Van Dijk was sidelined, Klopp’s group leaders still have their Champions League destiny in their own hands.
Early qualification would have allowed Klopp to rest players for the final two group matches amid a hectic schedule.
Instead, Liverpool host Ajax next week with work still to do before their final game against FC Midtjylland.
Atalanta’s victory moved them to level with Ajax and within two points of Liverpool.
Liverpool’s injury list remains long, with Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Trent Alexander-Arnold all unavailable.
Klopp named a makeshift defence featuring only Joel Matip from Saturday’s win over Leicester as Neco Williams, Rhys Williams and Kostas Tsimikas started.
Even so, this was a sloppy showing from the Premier League champions.