Jurgen Klopp’s Dublin farewell cancelled as hollow victory fails to mask Liverpool’s Salah problem

It is over for Jurgen Klopp in Europe with LIverpool
It is over for Jurgen Klopp in Europe with LIverpool - AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

Liverpool’s end of an era party in Dublin is off.

There will be no ordering a treble in the Irish capital for Jurgen Klopp. He may yet end the season with a double, but a terrible week means it is the fans who are downing the shots. Liverpool, sadly, failed to deliver enough of them to keep European dreams intact.

A narrow second leg win over Atalanta was not enough to prevent all the hopes of a romantic Klopp farewell to Uefa competition evaporating amid the blue smoke in Bergamo, the full-time firework display heralding the Italian side’s greatest scalp.

Liverpool’s victory was hollow rather than heroic despite the promise of Mohamed Salah’s seventh minute penalty.

“We didn’t lose tonight. We lost it at home,” Klopp accurately summed it up.

“I am disappointed we didn’t go through, not angry.”

The damage of the shocking 3-0 defeat at Anfield was already done. The spirit of that Barcelona comeback could not be invoked. Not even the return of Divock Origi himself would have re-energised a strikeforce which has lost its spark at the worst time.

That’s the immediate concern now, with Liverpool joining Arsenal and Manchester City licking wounds after European competition.

In keeping with the recent trend, Liverpool’s front three lacked dynamism and creativity.

They will need to rediscover some before the trip to Fulham this weekend, or a major setback in their season will be the beginning of the end of it.

Atalanta were worth their success over the two legs but there was no escaping the sense of a wasted opportunity for Klopp, especially when considering further chances wasted by Salah and Luis Diaz when, briefly, Liverpool looked like they would make the seemingly impossible happen in the first half.

The early spot-kick offered the platform to make the evening more nervous for the hosts than it ultimately proved, especially when Trent Alexander-Arnold was purring on his first start for two months.

Liverpool’s best work was straight after the first whistle. The longer the game progressed, the more their challenge fizzled out. Now they must ensure the same is not true of their season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Quarter-Final second leg match between Atalanta and Liverpool FC at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on April 18, 2024 in Bergamo, Italy
Trent Alexander-Arnold could not unlock the Atalanta defence after LIverpool's first goal - Getty Images/Andrew Powell

Klopp said pre-match he didn’t know what inspirational words he would offer his players. He made a big enough statement with a team selection which screamed, ‘I got it badly wrong last week.’

After the tweaks which backfired in the first leg, the starting XI was as strong as available, given Darwin Nunez’s form has dipped with the same speed as Wataru Endo’s energy levels.

Alexander-Arnold’s return added a world class element to unlock a man-to-man marking system which meant Atalanta had more worries in the first 10 minutes than the entire ninety at Anfield.

It felt like a template was set with the full-back’s superb diagonals, and ability to assume different positions. So long as Liverpool could keep him on the pitch, everything seemed possible.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – Jurgen Klopp's Dublin farewell cancelled as hollow victory fails to mask Liverpool's Salah problem
Trent Alexander-Arnold fizzed through two magnificent passes from deep to open up Atalanta's defence - Getty Images/John Powell

“We saw Trent Alexander-Arnold and as long as he was fresh he set the tempo and direction of the game. Then he was running out of gas,” Klopp lamented.

This lack of match sharpness meant he would be withdrawn with 15 minutes left. As he made his slow exit around the pitch, Liverpool’s ideas had departed with him.

Where his team mates often look frenzied and panicky, Alexander-Arnold began with an elegance and poise so lacking in recent games. Just once he was too casual, nearly losing possession on the edge of his penalty area. He consistently looked a more likely game-changer in Atalanta territory, however.

From a more orthodox position as a marauding wing back, Alexander-Arnold helped give Liverpool their ideal start, his cross met with an instant penalty appeal as it struck Sead Kolasinac’s arm. The referee did not hesitate and Salah scored. The Barcelona comparisons would end there. They ought not have.

Diaz was denied by keeper Juan Musso and Salah opted for a clever lobbed finish when one-on-one with the keeper. A confident Salah would have been celebrating before the ball hit the net. This time he was wide, still shaking his head two minutes later.

This was symptomatic of Salah since his return from a hamstring issue, searching for his best. His presence alone was enough to make Atalanta defenders’ knees wobble, but given freedom to roam he too often failed to use possession in profitable areas, the first touch not there, or passes not quite finding their target.

Mohamed Salah reacts during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg football match between Atalanta BC and Liverpool FC at the Atleti Azzurri d'Italia Stadium in Bergamo, on April 18, 2024.
His penalty aside, Mo Salah is lacking his usual clincal eye for goal - Getty Images/Isabella Bonotto

“I am not concerned,” Klopp said, defending his star attacker.

“That’s what strikers go through. It is not that Mo didn’t miss chances before in his life. That is part of the game. I don’t make a bigger story out of it.”

Klopp was extracting the positives of a performance much better than the previous two more than the dire consequences of the tie’s outcome.

“We were flying into this game. We had desire and power,” he said.

“But it was clear we had to score from time to time.”

And there’s the rub as Klopp immediately referenced ‘focusing on the league’.

Liverpool have six games left to give the football poets the final chapter they crave. Sadly, not even Salah’s pen could write the perfect sonnet this time.

Liverpool win in Italy but crash out of Europe: as it happened

10:27 PM BST

Jurgen Klopp speaking to TNT

10:27 PM BST

Still going in France

Atalanta are still awaiting who they will play in the semi-finals. Marseille and Benfica are still level 2-2 on aggregate and there just five minutes remaining of extra time in France.

10:19 PM BST

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock on BBC Radio 5 Live

Liverpool created enough opportunities in the first half and if they had taken one more it would have changed how Atalanta approached the second half.

But Liverpool were poor in the second half and Atalanta were aggressive in their press. The second half was a reflection of what we saw at Anfield.

They had energy and desire to go get the ball, ultimately they did what they had to do on the night - frustrate Liverpool.

10:15 PM BST

Virgil van Dijk speaking to TNT

10:14 PM BST

Atalanta celebrate progression through to the semi-finals

Atalanta celebrate beating Liverpool in the quarter-finals
Atalanta celebrate beating Liverpool 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals - Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters
Atalanta celebrates in front of their fans
Atalanta are into the semi-finals - Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters
Atalanta pose for a team photo
Atalanta will play either Benfica or Marseille in the semi-finals - Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

10:08 PM BST

Your reaction

  • Bertie Barking: Well played Atalanta. Liverpool will need to move some players on and make a couple of good signings. That’s football.

  • Ian Raw: Well that was about the poorest, least imaginative, least aggressive Liverpool I have seen in a long time. Looked like Scottish long ball football at times. Well done Atalanta - you had us under control at all times.

  • J Baucher: Many congratulations Atalanta. I hope they go on to win the competition. We are carrying too many. Curtis Jones should be nowhere near a Liverpool team. He is awful.

  • Peter Jarman: Liverpool have forgotten that you go forward and aim at the goal not spend the game passing back and the goalkeeper getting more touches than the forwards.

  • John Spencer: Hate to say it but this is end of the Klopp era, it was fun while it lasted but we have no game plan, I think Klopp realises that and is getting out.

10:03 PM BST

Four English clubs out this week

10:02 PM BST


Atalanta, Bayer Leverkusen and Roma have booked their places in the semi-finals. Marseille and Benfica have gone to extra time. Here is what the semi-final line-ups look like:

Atalanta vs Marseille or Benfica

Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma

09:58 PM BST

Around the grounds

Atalanta have beaten Liverpool 3-1 on aggregate. Meanwhile at the London Stadium West Ham are out after losing 3-1 on aggregate to Bayer Leverkusen after a 1-1 draw on the night. Roma are through after beating AC Milan 3-1 on aggregate. Marseille and Benfica are going to extra time as it is 2-2 on aggregate.

09:54 PM BST

Full time

There is the full-time whistle and Atalanta have knocked out Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s men win 1-0 on the night but Atalanta win 3-1 on aggregate. The damage was done last week at Anfield.

09:52 PM BST

90+2 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Mac Allister sends in the free-kick and, with his back to goal, Nunez flicks it goalwards but it is a simple save for Musso.

09:51 PM BST

90+1 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Zappacosta is booked for a blatant, constant pull on Jota as the Liverpool forward drove forward.

09:50 PM BST

90 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

There will be three minutes of added time.

09:48 PM BST

88 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

By the way Liverpool are playing it around the back you would think they were ahead in the tie.

09:46 PM BST

86 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Elliott sends in a cross from the right, which is deflected and Musso takes an easy catch.

09:44 PM BST

85 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

It is all too slow at the moment from Liverpool. They need to speed up play. They have just five minutes plus added time left to find two goals.

09:39 PM BST

79 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

One final change for Jurgen Klopp as he brings on Jayden Danns for Robertson.

Atalanta are making a change as Lookman replaces Miranchuk.

Just over 10 minutes of normal time left.

09:37 PM BST

77 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

That is a nasty challenge from Koopmeiners on Mac Allister and rightly so the Atalanta midfielder is booked.

09:34 PM BST

74 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Atalanta are making their first two changes of the night as De Ketelaere and Pasalic come on for Scamacca and Ederson.

09:32 PM BST

72 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Liverpool are making their fourth change as Gomez replaces Alexander-Arnold.

It is just not quite clicking for Liverpool at the moment and time is running away from them.

09:30 PM BST

70 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

20 minutes to in Bergamo and Liverpool still trail by two goals on aggregate.

09:28 PM BST

68 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Zappacosta pulls it back to Scamacca on the edge of the box but his first-time effort is blazed over the bar.

09:26 PM BST

66 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Here comes a triple change for Liverpool. Jota, Nunez and Elliott come on for Diaz, Salah and Szoboszlai.

Liverpool make multiple substitutions
Jurgen Klopp (far left) makes a triple change just past the hour mark - Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

09:26 PM BST

65 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Atalanta waste a good chance. Miranchuk had an easy pass to Koopmeiners on the left-hand side of the box but the pass is over-hit.

09:25 PM BST

64 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Liverpool need to make a few changes here and they are coming. Jota about to come on.

09:21 PM BST

60 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Koopmeiners, on the turn, shoots from the edge of the box but it is a fairly simple save for Alisson.

09:18 PM BST

58 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Alexander-Arnold finds van Dijk at the back post but the header is straight into the hands of Musso. Not enough power on the header.

09:18 PM BST

57 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Liverpool have a free-kick in a good position after Kolasinac fouls Szoboszlai. The free-kick is fairly central, around 35 yards out...

09:17 PM BST

56 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Alexander-Arnold lifts a delightful ball over the top to Gakpo. He cannot quickly get it under control, but he finds Szoboszlai in the box. He plays it back to Gakpo, who flicks it Salah. The Egyptian’s effort is saved but the offside flag was up as Salah was clearly offside. In the initial phase had Gakpo got that under control he would have had a simple one-on-one.

09:12 PM BST

52 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Liverpool have a corner after a marauding run forward by Alexander-Arnold. His delivery though is dealt with by Atalanta.

09:12 PM BST

51 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Nearly chaos at the back for Atalanta. Liverpool play the ball over the top and Musso comes rushing out of his goal as he has done on a few occasions tonight. The ball spins past him but Atalanta just about clear away.

09:10 PM BST

50 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Chance for Atalanta. Zappacosta sends in a cross from the right. Miranchuk messes up the first chance but it falls at the feet of Ederson, whose shot is saved by Alisson. That was a real opportunity for the home side.

09:09 PM BST

48 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Atalanta have the first corner of the second half after Liverpool felt they should have had a free-kick in the build-up for a foul on Mac Allister.

They play the corner short but the delivery is way over-hit and Liverpool have a throw-in.

09:05 PM BST

Second half

We are back under way in Bergamo. Back in 2019 on that famous night at Anfield Liverpool were 1-0 up at half-time against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals. We all know how that game finished. Liverpool fans will be hoping for a repeat in the next 45 minutes.

08:53 PM BST

HT scores

All four games in the Europa League quarter-finals are at half-time. Here are the latest scores at the break:

Atalanta 0-1 Liverpool (3-1 agg)

Roma 2-0 AC Milan (3-0 agg)

West Ham 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen (1-2 agg)

Marseille 0-0 Benfica (1-2 agg)

08:47 PM BST


Referee François Letexier blows his whistle and that is it for the first half. Liverpool lead 1-0 on the night but still trail 3-1 on aggregate.

08:45 PM BST

45 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.

08:45 PM BST

44 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick goes straight into the wall. Liverpool recycle it and first, Mac Allister has a shot blocked, then it falls to Alexander-Arnold but his effort is terrible and sails over the bar.

08:43 PM BST

42 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Hien is booked for a handball as Salah lifted the ball forward towards Diaz. The Liverpool players want a straight red as they believe it denied a goal-scoring chance.

Diaz has also been booked, seemingly for dissent. Alexander-Arnold has the ball in his hands, just inside 30 yards out.

08:42 PM BST

41 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Koopmeiners thinks he has scored for Atalanta but the offside flag is up. The Liverpool defensive line pushed up and caught the Dutch midfielder offside.

08:40 PM BST

39 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Huge miss from Salah. Gakpo sends the Egyptian through one-on-one with Musso, who is off his line. Salah spots it and tries to lift it over him, but his effort goes wide. Salah should have done better there and should have buried that chance.

Mo Salah reacts after missing a chance
Mo Salah (pictured) could not double his tally for the night - Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters

08:36 PM BST

35 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Aston Villa are through to the Europa Conference League semi-finals, having beaten Lille 4-3 on penalties.

08:32 PM BST

31 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Liverpool lift a ball over the top and it looks like Salah is going to be one-on-one with Musso but the Atalanta goalkeeper is quick to come miles off his line to clear.

Moments later Gakpo is sent through. He checks back and finds Salah on the edge of the box. He nearly finds Diaz with a cute pass into the box but it is cut out.

Salah’s free role is causing Atalanta problems, but he is yet to use good possession well enough. All a bit too hectic from Liverpool since that perfect start.

08:29 PM BST

28 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Miranchuk’s effort with is left foot just inside the Liverpool box goes wide of the far post.

Aleksei Miranchuk shoots towards goal
Aleksei Miranchuk (right) drags an effort wide - Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

08:24 PM BST

24 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

For as long as Alexander-Arnold is on the pitch, Liverpool have a chance. Need to make the most of it before he tires after so long out.

08:23 PM BST

23 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Over in France the Conference League game between Lille and Aston Villa has gone to penalties.

08:22 PM BST

22 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Alexander-Arnold lifts a cross with his left to the far post, Jones cushions a header to Salah, whose first touch is not great and Atalanta can clear.

08:21 PM BST

21 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Alexander-Arnold lifts a ball forward towards Szoboszlai, who cannot quite get it under his control and it runs through to Musso.

Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai reaches for the ball
Dominik Szoboszlai (pictured) just could not quite get on the end of Trent Alexander-Arnold's ball - Isabella Bonotto/Getty Images

08:20 PM BST

20 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Diaz gives the ball away so poorly inside the Liverpool half which gifts Atalanta possession. Scamacca plays the ball through from just outside the box to the on-running Miranchuk but he cannot keep control of his first touch and it runs through to Alisson.

08:17 PM BST

16 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

There has been a goal at the London Stadium where West Ham have got the opening goal of the second leg through Michail Antonio. Bayer Leverkusen lead 2-1 on aggregate.

08:13 PM BST

12 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

So close for Diaz. Gakpo’s lovely first-time flick finds Diaz inside the box but Musso is off his line quickly again to smother the shot.

Juan Musso saves from Luis Diaz
Luis Diaz (left) came close to getting a second for Liverpool - Isabella Bonotto/Getty Images

Moments later Szoboszlai has an effort from distance which Musso saves.

08:10 PM BST

9 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 1 (3-1 agg)

Salah nearly finds Szoboszlai with a through ball but Musso is off his line quickly to collect the ball.

08:08 PM BST

GOAL! Salah scores from the spot

Exactly the start Liverpool needed. Salah slams it home into the bottom right-hand corner, sending Musso the wrong way.

Alexander-Arnold has already shown he is the man to break the man-marking system. Dream start for Liverpool.

08:06 PM BST

VAR checking

There was a VAR check but the decision stands. Salah to take...

08:06 PM BST

Penalty Liverpool

Just five minutes gone and Liverpool have a penalty. Alexander-Arnold sends in a cross from the right which hits Ruggeri’s hand and the referee points straight to the spot.

08:04 PM BST

2 minutes: Atalanta 0 Liverpool 0 (3-0 agg)

Play has been stopped as Van Dijk has hurt his hand so he is receiving some medical treatment. It looks like he may have dislocated his finger but he is fine to continue.

If Klopp told his players to get their fingers out after the first leg, not sure that was what he had in mind. Van Dijk needing some early treatment for a dislocated digit (is that the technical term?)

08:00 PM BST


We are under way in Bergamo. Can Liverpool turn it around to make it another special European night or will it be Atalanta booking their place in the semi-finals?

07:56 PM BST

Kick-off fast approaching

Both sides have emerged from the tunnel at Gewiss Stadium and we are just moments away from kick-off in Bergamo.

07:54 PM BST

Reminder of the team news

Atalanta: Musso, Gjimshiti, Hien, Kolasinac, Zappacosta, De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri, Koopmeiners, Al. Miranchuk, Scamacca.

Substitutes: Carnesecchi, Rossi, Toloi, Holm, Pasalic, Toure, Lookman, De Ketelaere, Bakker, Adopo, Hateboer, Bonfanti.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Diaz.

Substitutes: Adrian, Kelleher, Gomez, Endo, Nunez, Elliott, Jota, Tsimikas, Gravenberch, Clark, Danns, Quansah.

07:51 PM BST

Jurgen Klopp speaking to TNT

“We didn’t do ourselves a favour in the first leg. We just need to try and win the football game and get ahead and then we’ll see how much time is left. We’ll have to be good in all departments because they are a well-drilled unit and they are used to defending a result and that is probably what they’ll do today. We have to nothing to lose and they pretty much have nothing to win from here. If we get back in the game it will be a bit nervy for them. We have to use it.

“We don’t have a real advantage but there are some between the lines and that is what we have to try. We have to play a really good football game. We don’t have to score twice in the first 10 minutes, but we should not concede in that time. We need a complete performance. We’re here to give it a proper try.”

07:47 PM BST

Liverpool gearing up

07:44 PM BST

Live from Bergamo

Maybe there is something in the air. Maybe it is because of the demise of Manchester City which was heartily celebrated in certain Bergamo establishments last night. Or maybe it is because Klopp has picked a stronger side. But there has been a growing confidence Liverpool will pull this off as the day has progressed. The first 30 minutes will demonstrate if it is misplaced. In an unscientific straw poll, the Atalanta-supporting taxi driver who drove me to last night’s press conference fears a Liverpool comeback, but the Atalanta-loving pizza waitress who served my delicious lunch is certain her side will be in the semi-final.

07:41 PM BST

Aston Villa score crucial goal

Matty Cash’s deflected strike has brought Aston Villa level 3-3 on aggregate. The referee has just blown his whistle at the end of normal time and they are heading for extra time in Lille.

07:39 PM BST

Liverpool getting ready

07:36 PM BST

Home side gearing up

07:29 PM BST

Fancy a flutter?

Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at these free bets and betting offers.

07:23 PM BST

Can West Ham end Leverkusen’s unbeaten run?

At the London Stadium West Ham are hoping to overturn a 2-0 deficit against newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen, who are still unbeaten this season. You can follow the action from the London Stadium here.

07:20 PM BST

Aston Villa heading out?

In the Europa Conference League Aston Villa are over in France taking on Lille. Aston Villa held a 2-1 lead going into the second leg, but Lille are currently 2-0 up in the second leg and as it stands Villa are going out as they are 3-2 down on aggregate. There are 15 minutes left of normal time and you can follow all the live action here.

07:18 PM BST

Captain Virgil

07:08 PM BST

Liverpool arriving

07:04 PM BST

The two sides in black and white...

Atalanta XI: Musso, Gjimshiti, Hien, Kolasinac, Zappacosta, De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri, Koopmeiners, Al. Miranchuk, Scamacca.

Subs: Carnesecchi, Rossi, Toloi, Holm, Pasalic, Toure, Lookman, De Ketelaere, Bakker, Adopo, Hateboer, Bonfanti.

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Diaz.

Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Gomez, Endo, Nunez, Elliott, Jota, Tsimikas, Gravenberch, Clark, Danns, Quansah.

07:01 PM BST

Atalanta starting XI

Ready for some melodrama?

06:57 PM BST

Carra’s view...

06:57 PM BST

Last night in Europe for Liverpool legends?

By John Horstmann

With Klopp leaving in the summer, a mini-revolution is likely to take place at Liverpool, with Michael Edwards – who was key to Liverpool’s success under Klopp in his various roles at the club between 2011 and 2022 – returning as chief football executive of FSG.

Edwards is known for using advanced data models to make football decisions, including player recruitment and outgoings. He is also known to prefer investing in younger talents, with more experienced players rarely handed lucrative long-term contracts.

With that in mind, tonight could also be the last European match for some of Liverpool’s older star players – Mohamed Salah, in particular.

After penning a three-year deal in 2022, which made him the highest paid player in Liverpool’s history, the forward’s contract expires in 2025.

While Salah, who turns 32 in June, remains Liverpool’s most potent attacker, Edwards may argue that the club is best off cashing in on him this summer, rather than handing him a new deal that would keep him in Merseyside until his mid-30s or risk him leaving for free at the end of next season.

Telegraph Sport reported in 2023 that teams in Saudi Arabia, including Al-Ittihad, were willing to splash more than £150 million on Salah last summer – a sum that may be deemed too high for Liverpool to turn down – should another such offer arrive.

Were Klopp to stay on as manager, he might have pushed for Salah to receive a new deal and stay at the club. But with Edwards in charge and a new manager arriving, this is far less certain.

06:55 PM BST

‘Gakpo has looked sharper’

No surprise Darwin Nunez has been left out given his recent form. Cody Gakpo has looked sharper. Klopp’s message is surely to score the first goal and prey on nerves. Suspect Klopp would be happy for his side to be ahead after an hour and then launch a cavalry charge if and when necessary.

It should also be said that Klopp’s line-up screams of how he got his selection wrong in the first leg. Had it been so strong a week ago, perhaps his side would not be trying to complete another miracle.

06:52 PM BST

Liverpool starting XI

06:51 PM BST

‘Liverpool historians will be fretful’

What links Red Star Belgrade’s Rajko Mitić Stadium, Poland’s Miejski Łódź Stadium and Atalanta’s Gewiss Stadium?

Hopefully absolutely nothing by the end of the night.

Liverpool historians will be fretful, however, that tonight’s venue will be an addition to a future question on the TV show ‘Only Connect’ - the final European destinations for legendary Kop bosses.

In 1973, the Serbian venue was where Bill Shankly ended his European exertions as a Liverpool manager.  Unfancied Widzew Lodz stopped Bob Paisley signing off with another European Cup in 1983, defeating Liverpool in the European Cup quarter-final.

Now Jurgen Klopp is hoping he has at least two more cities to visit before he passes the torch to his yet-to-be named successor.

Having led Liverpool to the great football cathedrals of Madrid, Milan, Paris and Barcelona over the past nine years, this would feel like a low-key end to Klopp’s celebrated adventures on the continent. With the arena under reconstruction, only 900 Liverpool fans will be among the 25,000 crowd. The Liverpool manager said the minimum requirement is for his team to play better than in the first leg. They can’t play any worse.

06:39 PM BST

Preview: Visitors have it all to do

Liverpool have a mountain to climb to make the Europa League semi-finals as they travel to Italy tonight to take on Atalanta in their quarter-final second leg. Atalanta won 3-0 at Anfield a week ago thanks to a double from former West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca and a goal from former Chelsea player Mario Pasalic.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hoping to evoke the spirit of their Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona in 2019. Klopp’s side were 3-0 down from the first leg but staged an incredible comeback to win 4-0 at Anfield to reach the final, where they beat Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid to win their sixth European Cup.

“I usually don’t prepare these things like that, especially not the day before or four years before whatever,” Klopp said. “I remember I said, ‘If we fail, then let’s fail in the most beautiful way’. And that’s exactly how I see it again.

“After the game (last week) everyone in the stadium thought ‘that’s it’. Now it’s a week later I don’t think everyone thinks it is already decided. We want to win the game. If we want to win, we better play good. If we play good, we have a chance to win it. Then we will see.”

Liverpool’s last three games in all competitions have been a huge disappointment. Liverpool drew 2-2 at Manchester United in the league before the defeat at home to Atalanta. Then on Sunday they lost 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace.

These two sides were drawn in the same group during the 2020-21 Champions League season. Liverpool lost 2-0 at home to Atalanta but won 5-0 over in Bergamo thanks to a hat-trick from Diogo Jota, who is back fit again after a knee injury. Liverpool fans will be hoping for a similar result in Italy tonight. Jurgen Klopp will be without defender Conor Bradley tonight, who is set to miss three weeks with an ankle injury picked up in the defeat to Crystal Palace. But Trent Alexander-Arnold returned from a knee injury in the first leg and is set to make his first start since his injury.

Team news to follow shortly.