After Atletico Madrid gave Liverpool a masterclass in gamesmanship during the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, Phil Thompson thinks his former club should give as good as they got in Madrid.
The former Liverpool defender and manager told OTB AM that the team hasn’t been as motivated for a game since their St Stephen's Day game against Leicester City - who were second in the Premier League table at the time.
In the aftermath of their defeat to the Spanish club a fortnight ago, Jurgen Klopp criticised the approach of Atletico and their players.
He said, “They were falling over easy but we got on with it and we are better than that. It was a decent performance but we have a second leg to put it right. They celebrated as if they had won the tie. But let’s see.”
Phil Thompson said that he would like to have the same referee from the first leg because he was swayed by the fans - an atmosphere he wants the Anfield crowd to recreate.
“I don’t often say that you should take gamesmanship to the limit but I think this is one of those nights,” said Thompson.
“Like the second leg against Barcelona last season, it’s not just about scoring the goals, the players have to be ready to take [the game] to Atletico.
“And they deserve it after what happened in Madrid. Yes, they’re the best at it and they feign injury and everything but we [Liverpool] have to be ready to do similar things.
“The crowd has to be ready to react and I think that is the big thing,” he said.
Doing his best impression of Winston Churchill during the Blitz, Thompson attempted to rally the troops ahead of tonight’s second leg game against Atletico.
“I think everybody is up for this game tonight, as much as they were for the Barcelona game last season, but for different reasons.
“That is what football is all about. That is what makes football great.
“You don’t know what is going to happen and you have to be ready for it, you have to be ready to react.
“It will be tough. It will be hard. But I think this team is quite easily [beat], we haven’t been up for a game like this not since Leicester away and we [Liverpool] will perform,” Thompson proclaimed.