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Jurgen Klopp praises youngster Neco Williams despite Liverpool defeat

Liverpool FC v Atalanta BC: Group D - UEFA Champions League
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp praises youngster Neco Williams despite Liverpool defeat

Liverpool suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat at home to Italian side Atalanta on Wednesday night, meaning they still have work to do to qualify for the last-16 of the Champions League.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp made five changes to his team for the Champions League group stage tie and they previously beat the Serie A outfit 5-0 in the reverse fixture.

The Merseyside club were unable to get anywhere near their best on their night in an attacking sense, while their opponents caught them out twice with goals from Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens in the second-half.

Atalanta managed to avenge their previous defeat to Liverpool, who still sit top of their group knowing one win from two games will mean they qualify for the knockouts.

Despite it being a disappointing night, German boss Klopp did applaud youngster Neco Williams for his performance.

 

The 19-year-old right-back played the entire game and tried his best to join the attack with overlapping runs, but he was given a stern examination by the Atalanta attack including by technician Alejandro Gomez.

“The kids did really well, all of them. Neco did well, first half he defended very often. Not on his own, but he was really aggressive in these situations and could sort the situations,” Klopp said, as quoted by the club’s official website.

Liverpool FC v Atalanta BC: Group D - UEFA Champions League

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

TBR’s View:

Klopp has shown great man-management in the wake of Liverpool’s defeat by praising full-back Williams, who in truth had a difficult evening against an Atalanta side that looked dangerous when they got forward with pace and directness.

Both the goals that the Reds conceded originated from the teenager’s position and he was unable to get out quick enough to stop crosses into the box.

The Wales international did look a little out of his depth at times on the Champions League stage, but he’s still a rising star learning his game and it will be a big boost to know the manager supports him.

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