"We'll Focus On Winning The Premier League," Jurgen Klopp Reacts As Atalanta Sends Liverpool Out Of The Europa League.

 Liverpool crashes out of the UEFA Europa League after failing to overturn a stunning 3-0 quarter-final first leg loss at Anfield last week Thursday, inflicting yet another severe blow to Liverpool's hopes of a fairytale ending to manager Jurgen Klopp's final season. 

Atalanta progressed to the Europa League semi-finals despite losing 1-0 to Liverpool on the night as they triumphed 3-1 on aggregate to move one step closer to a first ever European final for the Serie A side.

The Reds, knowing they had a mountain to climb, got off to a perfect start at the Gewiss stadium in Bergamo, Italy, as Mohammed Salah gave his team an early lead by scoring from the penalty spot in the seventh minute, stimulating expectations of an incredible comeback.

Mo Salah blanked in the first leg against Atalanta and then miserably against Crystal Palace at the weekend, and the hope was that it would mark a resurgence from the No. 11.

Invoking memories of the historic 2019 Barcelona comeback, Jurgen Klopp urged his players on to get more goals, but Liverpool's well-documented wastefulness appears to be haunting them wherever they go.

Salah was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance to reduce the deficit again in the first half, attempting to loop an effort over Juan Musso from Cody Gakpo's teasing through ball, blasting disappointingly wide.

Despite the Reds having control for most of the game, Atalanta's overwhelming aggregate lead remained unchallenged, and the Serie A's sixth-placed side, are in the last four of a European competition for the first time since 1988.

For just a second time in the club's history, Atalanta have reached the semi finals of a major European competition. They still have the opportunity to crown Gasperini’s reign with the club’s first major trophy since the Italian Cup in 1963.

The result compounded a particularly damaging few weeks, as it marks the end of a difficult 12 days for the Reds, who drew 2-2 at Manchester United and lost 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace to surrender their lead at the top of the Premier League.

Liverpool have been eliminated by an Italian side in the knockout stages of a major European competition for the first time since losing the 2007 Champions League final against AC Milan.

Liverpool haven't lost a single game in any competition this season when they've gone 1-0 up, playing 30 games, win 27, and 3 draws.

Klopp's frustration was evidently directed at the way his team threw away the match at Anfield one week prior. 

"It was clear we gave ourselves a massive hurdle. It was really tricky and we were too hasty in moments. We won the game and that was the reaction we wanted to show. It was difficult and we knew it would be but they deserve to go through 100%".... he said post-match, while vowing to "throw everything" at Premier League glory.

Only the Premier League now remains, with initial talks of a famous quadruple now a distant memory.

With six games left to play, the league is Liverpool's final chance to give Klopp a fairytale ending to his eight and a half years on Merseyside and add to their success in the Carabao Cup which they already won in February.

They sit third behind second-placed Arsenal and two points off leaders and current champions Manchester City.

Klopp speaking to TNT Sports added; "We have to focus on the league and that is exactly what we will do from now. Tonight we won the game so we are back to winning ways.

"It is mixed emotions. We are out but I am happy with the game. We would have wished that we could have gone to Dublin but that hasn't happened. We now have one competition left and we will throw ourselves into that completely."

Liverpool would next continue their Premier League title challenge on Sunday with a trip to Fulham on Sunday, then face a Merseyside derby against Everton under the Goodison Park lights on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile the semi-final fixtures for this season’s Europa League have been confirmed following the completion of the quarter-final second legs on Thursday.

Atalanta will play French Ligue 1 Marseille who saw off Benfica via a penalty shoot-out after the game ended 1-1 on aggregate.

While newly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen who are yet to lose a single game in all competitions this season, will face AS Roma in the last four.

Leverkusen drew 1-1 at West Ham, after winning the first leg 2-0 in Germany.

Roma beat AC Milan 2-1 at home, after also winning 1-0 at the San Siro.

The two legs of the semi-finals will take place on Thursday 2 May, and Thursday 9 May, 2024.

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