Liverpool suffered a shock 2-0 home defeat to Atalanta on Wednesday night, which means they still have to do to qualify for the Champions League round of 16.
Reds coach Jürgen Klopp made five changes to his team in the group stage match of the Champions League, and he previously beat the Serie A team 5-0 in the opposite match.
Merseyside could not get close to its best of their night in an offensive fashion, while their opponents managed to beat them twice with goals from Josip Ilich and Robin Goossens in the second half.
Atalanta has managed to avenge their previous defeat to Liverpool, who are still top of their group with the knowledge that one victory in two games would mean they qualify for the knockout.
Despite it being a disappointing night, the German coach Klopp praised the young Nico Williams for his performance.
The 19-year-old right-back played the whole match and tried his best to join the attack with staggered speeds, but he underwent a rigorous check through Atalanta’s attack including technician Alejandro Gomez.
“The kids did really well, all of them. Niko did a good job, he defended a lot in the first half. Not alone, but he was really aggressive in these situations and he could sort the situations.” Klopp said, according to what was reported by the club’s official website.
Klopp showed superb management to the player in the wake of the Liverpool defeat by praising full-back Williams, who had, in fact, faced a difficult evening against Atalanta that seemed dangerous when he advanced quickly and directly.
Both goals the Reds conceded stemmed from the teenager’s position and was unable to come out fast enough to stop crosses in the penalty area.
The Welsh international looked far from his depth at times at the UEFA Champions League stage, but he is still a rising star learning his style of play and it would be a huge boost to know the coach supports him.
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