EPL

Klopp not encouraged by United's first-half flop against Atalanta

By Sports Desk October 22, 2021

Jurgen Klopp dismissed suggestions Manchester United's languid first-half showing against Atalanta on Wednesday would be encouraging for Liverpool.

United fell two goals behind against Atalanta after just 29 minutes – the earliest they have been two down in the Champions League at Old Trafford since October 2012.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo scored in his third straight European game to cap a remarkable turnaround as the Red Devils came from behind to win.

Ahead of Liverpool's trip to United, who have won just one of the last 10 top-flight meetings with the Reds, Klopp insisted United's performance was not as bad as some made out.

"I was watching the game and there was not one second where I was rubbing my hands together," Klopp responded at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"There was no reason for it if you watched the game, Atalanta caused United some problems but even then United had three clear chances in the first half.

"With the quality they have, they can cause any team problems and the second half was a demonstration of United going for it - I am preparing the team for a tough game against a really tough opponent.

"United versus Liverpool is a massive game. Man United are not overly happy with their results but they are able to do incredible stuff. We will focus on ourselves."

Liverpool are on an 18-game unbeaten run – the longest current streak in England's top four tiers – and have scored three-plus goals in each of their last five top-flight away games.

The Reds, following their 4-2 win at Old Trafford in May, could make it back-to-back away league wins against United for the first time since January 2002.

However, Klopp remains without midfielder Thiago Alcantara for the trip as the Spain international remains out with a calf injury, though Curtis Jones may return.

"What's clear is that Curtis will train today with us the full session, that's the plan," Klopp told Liverpool's official website.

"And Thiago not. So, these are the two things I know for the moment," before adding to reporters later: "Thiago is running, which is a good sign. Maybe he's back before the international break, but we will see."

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