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Klopp says he “wasn’t angry” at his team’s shaky first half performance in Champions League tie

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The 2019 UEFA Champions League winners opened their campaign with an impressive performance, coming from behind to beat AC Milan 3-2 at Anfield.

The win was a crucial one, considering the cut-throat competition in group B, particularly after Atletico Madrid and Porto shared the spoils after a goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he kept his calm towards his players at half-time last night, despite a missed penalty and conceding two goals in two minutes to throw away the lead before the break

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“I wasn’t angry,” Klopp said in his post-match interview.

“We saw it coming and tried to get the message across but it didn’t work out because of the outstanding atmosphere in the stadium.

“We started complicating it. We showed the boys some things at half-time and we organized things.”

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The Reds right back Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the scoresheet when his low cross was deflected into the net by Milan defender Fikayo Tomori.

Skipper Mohamed Salah wasted the chance to double the lead from the spot as his penalty was saved by goalkeeper Maignan.

Liverpool were punished for this through as a quick-fire double with Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz on target for AC Milan before the break.

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Klopp’s dressing room talk seemed to be bearing results after his side was quick to respond in the second half, Salah making amends for his 12-yard miss and setting the game back in balance just 3 minutes into the second half.

Jordan Henderson then drove a loose ball into the back of the net from outside the area, giving Liverpool an important win in their opening game of the competition.

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AC Milan

Top-four finish would be a turning point for AC Milan, says Pioli

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Top-four finish would be a turning point for AC Milan, says Pioli

AC Milan’s final game of the Serie A season against Atalanta on Sunday can mark a turning point for the club as they look to end a long wait for Champions League qualification, manager Stefano Pioli said on Saturday.

The seven-times European champions have not featured in Europe’s most prestigious club competition since 2013-14, but head into the final weekend with their fate in their own hands.

Milan are third, level on points with fourth-placed Napoli and one point ahead of Juventus in fifth, and a win in Bergamo would guarantee them a top-four finish.

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“The final standings will deliver the verdict. We have spoken for the whole year about matches that mark a turning point, and tomorrow will be one. The team is motivated and will be ready to give their all,” Pioli told a news conference.

“Evaluations can be made at the end of the season. Tomorrow is too important, where we are today counts for nothing. Today we would deservedly be in the Champions League, but all that counts is where we are tomorrow night.”

Milan started the season strongly and were top of the table until mid-February, but a dip in form has left them at risk dropping to fifth place.

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Napoli and Juventus face mid-table Hellas Verona and Bologna, while the Rossoneri face second-placed Atalanta.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, guaranteed a top-four finish, are unbeaten in their last three meetings with Milan and thrashed them 5-0 in Bergamo in December, 2019.

“We have shown that we are a strong team. We are facing Atalanta, who have deservedly qualified for the Champions League, but we have the quality to join them there,” Pioli said.

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“Atalanta are a strong team, last year we were not yet at their level. Now we have closed the gap a lot and tomorrow we have the chance to show that.”

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