Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp remained positive despite seeing his side slip to a 2-1 defeat at Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday, labelling next month’s winner-takes-all clash with Napoli an Anfield “final”. Group C leaders Napoli, who travel to Liverpool on Dec. 11, are three points clear of the Premier League side, but a 1-0 win, or a victory by a two-goal margin or more, will see Klopp’s men reach the last 16 of the Champions League once more.
“Now we have to use Anfield one more time. We are calling Anfield right now, and we will see what happens,” Klopp said. “We need to create an atmosphere that is really special, Napoli are a very good side. We have to make a special night — 11th December we have a proper final at Anfield.”
Goals from Juan Bernat and Neymar set PSG on their way to a crucial victory that revives their own Champions League campaign, meaning they will reach the knockout stages with three points against Red Star Belgrade in their final match.
Liverpool rallied after James Milner’s penalty got them back in the contest, but an equaliser eluded them in the second half. Klopp was particularly frustrated with what he thought was gamesmanship tactics by PSG in the Parc des Princes and also said home midfielder Marco Verratti was fortunate to escape a red card for a challenge on Joe Gomez in the first half.
“The little hurdle was the 5000 interruptions tonight, but the referee still thinks he did everything right,” Klopp added. “I think two or three times we have been the fairest team (disciplinary record) in England, but tonight we looked like butchers.
“They were constantly down, which made the boys aggressive, which does not help. You could say it was smart (from PSG), but the referee let that happen. How many yellow cards did we have? Five or six? That is crazy.
“It’s a red card (Verratti), yes. But it is only a story if I say it, and then I look like a bad loser.”
Robertson frustrated by Neymar ‘playacting’
Liverpool were left frustrated by Paris St Germain striker Neymar during Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League loss but should have controlled their aggression better in the face of the Brazilian’s “playacting”, defender Andy Robertson has said. The Parc des Princes contest was marked by a number of interruptions with last season’s finalists Liverpool committing 20 fouls and picking up six yellow cards, but Robertson said the French side had indulged in gamesmanship.
“I suppose they were in the lead and they were looking to waste time. You can use gamesmanship, playacting, you can use it all really,” Robertson told Sky Sports. “I would like to know how much time they wasted… it was frustrating. But when you play against PSG you know it’s something you’re going to come up against especially with him (Neymar). It wasn’t something we quite dealt with tonight.
“It’s frustrating when he is falling like he is. It’s all part and parcel of his game and we needed to deal with that. We didn’t quite control our aggression.” Defeat left the English club’s hopes of reaching the last 16 hanging in the balance.
Liverpool are third in Group C on six points, two behind PSG and three behind Napoli, who they face at Anfield in the final round of matches on Dec. 11. Jurgen Klopp’s side need a 1-0 win, or a victory by a two-goal margin or more, to progress.
“It is at Anfield. I am sure we will have another special night, the fans can create a special atmosphere and hopefully get the result that we need,” Robertson said.