5 talking points from Liverpool’s 1-0 win against Atalanta

Here are five talking points from Liverpool’s 1-0 win against Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League. The Reds bowed out 3-1 on aggregate.

Klopp goes for it

Jurgen Klopp truly went for it here, naming what was essentially Liverpool's strongest XI from the off. There was some debate around that - would it be better to admit defeat at keep players fresh for a title charge?

But Klopp clearly believed a massive result was on the cards. No one got a rest here, with the boss even naming Liverpool's strongest back-four for only the 3rd time this season.

Brave or naive?

The Alexander-Arnold difference

What a difference Trent Alexander-Arnold makes. The Scouser returned to the starting XI for the first time in over two months here and suddenly Liverpool were splitting defences open again.

His passing range was magnificent and the Reds were able to move Atalanta about in ways they couldn't last week. Getting him back to full fitness is the only way Liverpool end the season successfully.

A clean-sheet, at least

Liverpool had their first-choice back-four out there in what was a rare occurrence. In what isn't a coincidence, they managed their first clean-sheet since early March.

It's been nine games without one, so at least that's a positive coming away from Bergamo. Of course, it does come with the caveat of Atalanta not actually needing to score.

Blunt attack

Yet again, Liverpool were absolutely blunt in front of goal. They did manage to score here but only from an early penalty.

The Reds started very well and had intensity. The big problem was they struggled badly to turn that intensity into attempts. Liverpool managed just 10 all game and quite remarkably, just two in the second half.

LUIS DIAZ of Liverpool, vs Atalanta

Luis Diaz Liverpool Fc looks dejected, UEFA Europa League 2023/2024 - Quarter-Final, Atalanta vs Liverpool Fc, Gewiss Stadium, April 18, 2024, Bergamo, Italy.

Both of those were headers from set-pieces and neither were anywhere close to scoring.

And the less said about Mohamed Salah's first-half chance the better. Just another shocking display going forward with little sign of turning around.

Klopp's final European game

And with that, Jurgen Klopp is finished in European competition with Liverpool. He's produced some of the club's greatest-ever European nights but unfortunately couldn't add to them here.

Everyone had dreams of his final European night coming in the final in Dublin, of course. Instead, Liverpool bow out with a whimper.

The only hope now is that the hurt turns into determination in the league. Liverpool can still provide Klopp the ultimate farewell in the Premier League - but they've got to sort themselves out fast.

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