‘We lost plot against Milan,’ says Jürgen Klopp after Liverpool’s pulsating win

Jürgen Klopp said Liverpool’s Champions League return in front of a capacity Anfield crowd was everything he had hoped for except for his team “losing the plot” and allowing Milan back into a pulsating tie.

Liverpool dominated from the start at Anfield only to find themselves 2-1 down at the interval as the Italian side, through Ante Rebic and Brahim Díaz, punished sloppy defending . Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson, with his first Champions League goal in seven years, restored the hosts’ advantage in the second half as Liverpool thrived on a European atmosphere at Anfield for the first time since March 2020.

“It was nearly 100% what I hoped for,” Klopp said. “It was a brilliant game, very exciting and very entertaining with 10-15 minutes where we lost a little bit of the plot.

“We were not compact any more and got carried away with our own football. We complicated matters. Our defensive line was too deep, the midfield was not closing the gaps any more and so they could pass through us and score a few goals. But we adapted at half-time and played again really good football, scored two wonderful goals.

“Definitely everyone can see now with Milan, who came from pot four – that’s funny, the quality that is in this group. It is obvious we need each point in this group to get through.”

Klopp handed a surprise start to Divock Origi, his first for Liverpool since January, and the striker – who scored in their Champions League final win in 2019 – repaid his manager’s faith with a fine assist for Salah’s second-half equaliser.

“Divock is a great guy,” Klopp said. “In 10 years’ time when we look back he will be a Liverpool legend but he is too young to be considered a legend now and needs to play football. I thought he would maybe leave in the summer but the football world is a crazy place and people forget how good he is.

“It is really difficult to get in this team and I have to decide who to pick and who to bring on. Divock did nothing wrong, he trained well, and sometimes you still don’t make it into the squad. But for tonight he was the right player to do it. He was not injured, he suffered cramps and that is normal. I am really happy I could give him the opportunity and he used it.”