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Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool were distracted by coronavirus crisis ahead of Atletico Madrid second leg

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's preparation for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash with Atletico Madrid was disrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, the Reds suffered a 3-2 defeat at Anfield to crash out of Europe's leading competition in the first knockout round.

Liverpool went 2-0 up on the night to move into pole position to progress, only for Atletico to score three goals in extra time.

And Klopp admits the build-up to the match was disrupted by the escalating coronavirus situation.

The Premier League was put on hold - initially until the beginning of April - two days after Atletico's triumph.

"It is two weeks ago, but it feels like it is ages ago that we played Atletico," Klopp told Liverpool's official website.

“I remember that we all knew about the situation with coronavirus around the world but we were still ‘in our tunnel’, if you want, and until then it didn’t really arrive in our mind in England.

“We played the Bournemouth game on Saturday, we won it, and Sunday [Manchester] City lost, so the information for us was ‘two wins to go’.

“But then on Monday morning, I woke up and heard about the situation in Madrid, that they would close the schools and universities from Wednesday, so it was really strange to prepare for that game, to be honest.

“I usually don’t struggle with things around me. I can build barriers right and left when I prepare for a game, but in that moment it was really difficult.

“Wednesday we had the game, I loved the game, I loved what I saw from the boys, it was a really, really good performance other than the result – we didn’t score enough, we conceded too many, that’s all clear, but between these two main pieces of information it was a brilliant game!

“Thursday [we were] off and then Friday when we arrived it was already clear this is not a session. Yes, we trained, but it was more of a meeting. 

“We had a lot of things to talk about, a lot of things to think about, things I never thought about in my life before. 

“Nobody knew exactly – and nobody knows exactly – how it will go on, so the only way we could do it was to organise it as good as possible for the boys and make sure everything is sorted as much as we can sort it in our little spaces, in the little area where we are responsible.”

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