The England international insists it was “necessary” for the Spanish outfit to try and stifle the Reds at Anfield in order to progress
Kieran Tripper has responded to Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of Atletico Madrid’s preferred style of play in the Champions League, insisting Diego Simeone’s “plan” worked perfectly against Liverpool.
Atletico arrived at Anfield for the second leg of their last-16 encounter defending a narrow 1-0 advantage from the first leg at Wanda Metropolitano.
Simeone set his side up to frustrate Liverpool once again, but Jurgen Klopp’s men forced the tie into extra-time thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum’s 43rd-minute header.
The Reds doubled their advantage through Roberto Firmino in the early stages of the extra-time period, but an Adrian mistake gifted Marcos Llorente Atletico’s crucial away goal.
Llorente then added a second before substitute Alvaro Morata rounded off a stunning comeback, as the reigning European champions exited the competition in the first knockout stage after a 4-2 aggregate defeat.
Klopp bemoaned Atletico’s defensive tactics in his post-match interview, insisting the Spanish outfit have enough quality within their ranks to play a more expansive brand of football.
However, Trippier is adamant that Simeone’s approach was the best way for Atletico to overcome a Liverpool team boasting a formidable home record and bags of attacking riches.
“If you go there and go toe-to-toe with Liverpool, you’re going to get beat 6-0. I don’t know what people expect,” the Atletico full-back told the Mirror.
“You see pundits complaining because we did defend, but did they expect us to go there and play attacking football, especially with Liverpool playing the way that they’re playing at the moment? You need to go there with a plan and we did that.
“We did have to defend, but the most important thing is that we got the win.”
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Trippier added on how Atletico bided their time before capitalising on Liverpool’s loss of energy in the latter stages of the contest: “We knew they would blow up because of the amount of pressure they’d applied and the amount of energy they’d put into the game.
“We knew they’d slow down. It took us over 100 minutes, but we won 3-2. People can complain as much as they want, but we thought it was necessary for that type of game.
“As I’ve got older it has stopped bothering me. Liverpool didn’t put their chances away and we beat them in both legs. It worked and that’s what football is about.”