In his pre match press conference, Jurgen Klopp suggested that being from Germany, he could admire Diego Simeone’s stultifying tactics, and regimented organisation.

He didn’t say he liked it though. And in a little remembered friendly encounter with Atletico in the Audi Cup back in 2017, his feelings on the Argentine’s approach were rather clearer.

"Atletico wanted to win the cup. We did also, but we also wanted to play football, Atletico only wanted to win the cup,” he said at the time with barely concealed contempt.

This wasn’t football at all, and Klopp’s anger at that boiled over at the end, when he was booked for a rant at the referee over his opponents’ shocking time-wasting, play-acting antics.

Liverpool came up against frustrating tactics from Atletico Madrid

He is a complex man, not quite the laid-back joker he often projects, and he is certainly not laid back when it comes to those who park the bus in this excruciating manner.

Watching him on the touchline in the Wanda Metropolitano, the animation was extreme. He was gesturing and growling at every punt for touch from the Madrid side, an inevitable tactic given the Spaniards rarely ventured anyone ahead of the ball, following their early goal.

There was a moment when his opposite number Simeone whipped up his home support, trying to raise the atmosphere level further, and Klopp looked across in disdain, shaking his head and staring with a manic grimace.

Saul Niguez's early goal proved the winner on the night in the first leg of the tie

But then it It was so painful to watch - for Klopp of course - and for the wider world television audience, not used to seeing such turgid fare when Liverpool are involved.

The visiting team had 75 per cent possession for virtually the entire contest. At the home of a side which has won La Liga, and twice reached the Champions League final under their current manager. It is absurd, and almost obscene.

But it is a tactic which has caused Klopp problems in the past, and even this season, with Napoli emplying a similar lack of ambition in taking a win and a draw from their two Group stage meetings.

It is so hard to criticise this Liverpool team, given their miraculous form this season, and their ability to get the job done no matter how opponents play.

Jurgen Klopp was left frustrated by Diego Simeone's tactics

But if they lack something against those sides who seek to frustrate with the discipline and organisational quality of Atletico, it is a touch of imagination in their passing.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold strangely out of sorts, there was no whip-smart delivery from the flanks, no intelligent switches of play…and no shots on target deep into the first leg encounter.

Klopp had predicted as much if his side “weren’t at 100 per cent intensity”, but it was the intent and pace of their passing which was at fault here in Madrid.

Too often they passed sideways or back, which more urgent delivery forward was required.

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Atletico are a side with quality who use those qualities to play like a Sam Allardyce team. They will always be difficult to break down. But the truth is, they are not very good. Not good at all. And Liverpool should have done so much better here against them.

In fact, the home side could have punished Liverpool further, beyond that early scrambled goal when Virgil van Dijk seemed to lose his bearings to concede a corner, and then play the scorer Saul onside.

So perhaps Klopp’s side got away with one here. And as he said when reminded before the game that Atletico simply let many in at home: “It’s a good job it’s two legs then!” A good job indeed.