Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool couldn't have had a more difficult job to beat Atletico Madrid

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said he was not too disappointed by the Reds' first pre-season defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena in the Audi Cup final on Wednesday due to the difficulties of playing twice in 24 hours.

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool couldn't have had a more difficult job to beat Atletico Madrid
(Picture: Getty Images - Andrew Powell)

Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp says that he was not too disappointed with his side's Audi Cup final defeat to Atletico Madrid on penalties because they "couldn't have had a more difficult job." 

Having beaten hosts Bayern Munich 3-0 the night before, the Reds fell in the final to Diego Simeone's Atleti in Munich.

Keidi Bare broke the deadlock after 33 minutes when he headed in after Danny Ward's terrific close-range save before Roberto Firmino levelled late on from the penalty spot after Divock Origi went down.

In the shoot-out, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was the only one to miss as the La Liga side won 5-4 to claim the pre-season competition's crown.

Yet despite falling to defeat, the club's first of the summer, Klopp says he is not "absolutely down and out" due to the circumstances.

Liverpool squad "very tired" after Audi Cup exertions

Klopp acknowledged that "if you get to a penalty shootout you want to win it" but insisted that it was "not the important situation" that Liverpool faced against their Spanish opposition.

"The boys played really well, they were very good in their preparations and you couldn't have had a more difficult job that we did today against a team like Atletico, who get results, results, results," he added.

The Reds boss highlighted that Liverpool "had a lot of substitutions" and "were a bit tired from all the training" in Germany, declaring that it could not be "easy."

He continued: "If you can do it better then great. In the first-half, we had a few nice moments where we had some good crosses. It was really tight, but when we conceded we didn't think straight away and the formation wasn't 100 per-cent."

Klopp said that "one last challenge with a header" should not have meant that Liverpool fell behind, but praised his side for playing "much better" in the second-half although the situation remained "very difficult", adding that he was "not absolutely down and out" about losing on penalties.

The German coach admitted that, after two games in two days against testing opponents, Liverpool are "very tired" having wanted "to make life as difficult as possible" for Atleti.

He said that the "only" negative of Liverpool's performance was the goal they conceded, explaining: "We had 20 shots on goal, and you've got to do something from that, but Atletico are a very strong team. For many players, this is a real experience."

Klopp declared it a difficult situation to ask his players "to play a game they shouldn't be playing", though said that "many things were really good about this" and that "everything went really well" even though "with one or two players things didn't work out too well."

"But I'm really happy we still have one-and-a-half weeks [until the start of the Premier League season] and I'm happy that we don't have to play tomorrow," Klopp joked.

Reds "want to be better than last year", says Klopp as season draws nearer

Liverpool now have just one final friendly after their pre-season training camp in Germany, facing Athletic Bilbao in Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Asked what Liverpool take away from their time in Klopp's homeland, he replied: "We've really trained hard, the boys have been great about it and done everything I've expected from them. We've had a very intensive programme, so that's why I am very, very happy with it."

The manager said that Liverpool's performance was lacking in "freshness" but reiterated that they still have over a week until the first game at Watford that they "need to prepare for."

But Klopp called himself "satisfied" with his side's preparations, adding: "It's very easy. Next season we want to be as good as we can possibly be. We want to be better than last year, which isn't easy, but we don't set any limits to ourselves."

In the week after their trip to Vicarage Road, Liverpool will also face the first-leg of their Champions League play-off round as they seek to book their place in the competition's group stages.

The Merseyside team learned that they will take on one of Nice, Hoffenheim, Young BoysSteaua București or İstanbul Başakşehir over two legs, and Klopp believes Liverpool's display against Bayern shows that they are capable of beating anyone.

He insisted that qualifiers "are always very important" and are always played "at the top level", stating that it is therefore "very important how you prepare and what kind of state of mind you're in."

Klopp said: "If you want to win, obviously you want to [draw] a smaller opponent, but we played against Bayern yesterday and we can play much better."

Liverpool FC