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Klopp reminded of "the most difficult circumstances" ahead of Atletico tie


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Liverpool return to the site of their last Champions League triumph this week, but for Jurgen Klopp the tie with Atletico rekindles other memories. 

The Reds are back at the Wanda Metropolitano for the first of back-to-back group games with Diego Simeone's side.

Tuesday night's game will be the first time the teams will have met since an eery night on Merseyside 19-months ago.

Atletico's 3-2 win at Anfield came on a night shrouded in concern about impending lockdown in the UK and across Europe.

That game was one of only two in the Champions League that week played out in front of a full house. As much as for the result, the game is mostly remembered for Klopp chastising fans for wanting to shake hands as the players re-emerged for the second half.

"It's a tough place to go, we know that," Klopp said of the Wanda, "Last time when we played there we got an early goal, and after that we got a lot of possession, but not enough - or good enough chances - because we played not really well that night.

"We learned a lot between the two games. [The] second game was an exceptionally good game in the most difficult circumstances I ever played football.

"We played an outstanding match, but it was the last one for a long, long time. We lost it - that was not nice - but it was not really important that night. It didn't feel important anymore that night.

"So now, the world's in a better place again - not safe, but in a better place - so hopefully we can use the things we learned from the two games we played against them, even though they've changed a lot since then. They play a different system, changed a lot of players, so we face a different - but not a weaker - animal.

Come December, Diego Simeone will mark a decade in charge of Atletico Madrid.

In that time, he's won a pair of La Liga titles, just as many Europa Leagues and reached two Champions League finals.

Klopp said he's full of admiration for Simeone's record at the Rojiblancos, if not - perhaps - the way he's gone about it.

"Look, Diego Simeone is doing absolutely everything right," said the Liverpool boss, "He is the current Spanish champion. He is at Atletico for... I don't know exactly, for a long, long time.

"[He's been] very successful there, has a bunch of world class players, keeps them on their toes. They fight with all their lives - that says a lot about the quality of Diego.

"So I couldn't respect more what they do. Do I like it? Not too much.

"But that's normal, because I prefer a different kind of football - but that's me. Other coaches prefer others styles of football.

"Nobody has to like it, it just has to be successful. And that's what Atletico is for sure."

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Atletico Madrid Champions League Diego Simeone Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

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