Liverpool FC News Recap: Klopp confusion, Van Dijk belief & Figo fantasy

Liverpool's difficult week hit peak agony on Thursday evening when the Reds fell to a 3-0 defeat to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final. 

It was a disastrous performance from Liverpool and one that left Jurgen Klopp confused, although captain Virgil van Dijk still believes the Reds can turn things around in Bergamo next week.

Here is your Liverpool FC news recap from Friday 12 April.


JURGEN KLOPP CONFUSED BY 'STRANGE' TACTIC IN ATALANTA DEFEAT

Jurgen Klopp says he didn’t recognise a tactic from his Liverpool players in the defeat at home to Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday. He described it as ‘really strange’ to see.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool vs Atalanta

Football - UEFA Europa League - Quarter-Final 1st Leg - Liverpool FC v BC Atalanta LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Liverpool s manager Jürgen Klopp before the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda LIVERPOOL Anfield MERSEYSIDE ENGLAND PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2024-04-11-Liverpool_Atalanta-15

Liverpool were horrendous at Anfield and fell to an embarrassing defeat against Atalanta in their first home loss for over a year - and it’s one that leaves their Europa League dream in tatters.

The German talked after the defeat in a press conference, where he tried to explain just how bad the performance was. At one point, Klopp talked about a tactic he kept seeing that even he didn’t recognise.

"We just lost the plot a little bit," said Klopp. "We were everywhere and nowhere. The midfield was spread like that [arms out wide], so right midfielder left side, left midfielder right side. I didn’t recognise any of it - so that was really strange.

"So in football terms, that’s tactical discipline."

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VIRGIL VAN DIJK STILL BELIEVES IN DREAM TURNAROUND

Virgil van Dijk highlighted the areas in which Liverpool were 'punished' against Atalanta on Thursday, but insists his side believe an unlikely comeback is still possible.

Liverpool vs Atalanta

Liverpool FC v Atalanta: Quarter-Final First Leg - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Alexis Mac Allister, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson of Liverpool looks dejected during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Quarter-Final first leg match between Liverpool FC and Atalanta at Anfield on April 11, 2024 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool Anfield England United Kingdom PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xRichardxSellers/Sportsphoto/APLx 13971901

A combination of complacency, sloppy individual errors and questionable tactics left the Reds stunned by their clinical Italian opponents, with captain Van Dijk conceding he and his teammates weren't 'strong' enough on the night.

"With the man-marking system they do, we have to do much better and when we have the ball, have to keep the ball longer and be stronger,” he told TNT Sports.

"We’ll hurt tonight and from tomorrow we have to switch it back on to get a result."

Liverpool travel to Bergamo for the second leg next week and Van Dijk's teammates will need to share his belief in a truly remarkable comeback.

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LUIS FIGO ALMOST JOINED LIVERPOOL IN 2005

Former Ballon d'Or winner and Portugal icon Luis Figo has revealed that he almost joined Liverpool in 2005, blaming the Reds for dragging their heels over a potential transfer.

February 26, 2024, Madrid, Madrid, SPAIN: Luis Figo attends during the announcement of nominees for the Laureus Madrid Awards 2024 held at the Casa de Correos of the Community of Madrid on February 26, 2024, in Madrid, Spain. Madrid SPAIN - ZUMAa181 20240226_zaa_a181_010 Copyright: xOscarxJ.xBarrosox

Figo won the Ballon d'Or in 2000 for his brilliant performances with both Barcelona and then Real Madrid, winning four La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey crowns and the Champions League during his time in Spain.

The talented winger was much loved at the Santiago Bernabeu despite making the controversial move from Clasico rivals Barca at the start of the 2000/01 season, eventually calling time on his days in the Spanish capital in 2005.

The Portuguese legend has now revealed that he almost joined Liverpool after making the decision to leave Real Madrid in the mid-noughties, but the Reds' ponderous approach saw him choose a switch to Inter instead.

Speaking to GOAL recently, Figo admitted: "Yes, it was a possibility at that time [joining Liverpool]. It was close, I was negotiating with Rafa [Benitez], but in the end it didn’t happen for different reasons.

"Liverpool at the time were struggling and not making a decision on whether to sign me, so I decided not to go there."

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LIVERPOOL 'MONITORING' EXCITING LA LIGA GOALKEEPER

Liverpool will have to fend off interest from title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal this summer should they make a move for Villarreal goalkeeper Filip Jorgensen.

ESP: FC Barcelona, Barca Villarreal CF. La Liga EA Sports match. Date 22 Filip Jorgensen of Villarreal CF during the La Liga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF played at Lluis Companys Stadium on January 27, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain. kpng Copyright: xSergioxRuizx/xPRESSINPHOTOx PS_240127_116

According to Graeme Bailey and HITC, Liverpool are one of five Premier League sides who are keen on signing 21-year-old Villarreal prodigy Jorgensen, with the Reds having watched him closely during his stellar breakout season.

The Denmark U21 international has started all but one La Liga game for Villarreal this season, impressing with his displays for the mid-table side.

The Reds are said to be keen on the 6'3 ace, although they will have to fend off interest from title rivals Arsenal and Manchester City, as well as fellow Premier League sides Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United.

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