At long last: Klopp may be quietly satisfied with one part of Liverpool’s night despite Europa exit

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Liverpool’s Europa League campaign has ended with a sobering anti-climax as they were eliminated by Atalanta in the quarter-finals tonight.

The Reds won the second leg in Bergamo but it wasn’t enough to take them through after they left themselves too much to do in losing 0-3 at Anfield last week, and the second half performance in Italy was that of a flat and tired team.

However, once the disappointment of the result subsides, Jurgen Klopp may be privately pleased with one aspect of his side’s 1-0 victory at the Gewiss Stadium.

It meant that Liverpool kept their first clean sheet in 10 matches since they won by the same scoreline – in far more joyous circumstances – away to Nottingham Forest on 2 March.

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On a personal level, Alisson Becker will be quietly satisfied with managing a shutout in just his second game back from injury, and he was credited with two saves in ensuring that Liverpool didn’t concede in Bergamo.

He also produced one exquisite stop during the first half when reacting sharply to keep the ball out of his net after Virgil van Dijk inadvertently skewed it, although any goal from that passage of play would’ve been disallowed as there was an offside in the build-up.

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In the overall context, the 1-0 scoreline will be of no comfort to the Reds as their hopes of reaching the final in Dublin were ended, although those were effectively extinguished by their turgid performance in the first leg a week ago.

If Liverpool were to bow out of Europe, at least they did it by winning and keeping a clean sheet. That offers something to build upon for our final six matches of the season, all of which will be in the Premier League, in which we’re still in the title race despite a couple of recent setbacks.

Let’s go all-out to give Klopp one last trophy next month!

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