The Reds blew the chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with two games to spare as goals from Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens gave the Italian side a 2-0 win at Anfield.
It was Liverpool’s first home loss in a 90-minute match since September 2018, with the Premier League champions failing to register a shot on target.
Jurgen Klopp hit out at at the fixture list once again after Liverpool lost 2-0 to Atalanta
Two second-half goals consigned a much-changed Liverpool side to a rare defeat at Anfield
Klopp, whose Liverpool side travel to Brighton for the 12.30pm kick-off on Saturday, claimed his side lacked intensity as they negotiate a packed fixture list between now and Christmas.
He told BT Sport after the Atalanta game: ‘I’m afraid to say but I think it (running out of steam) could happen not only to us but to other teams as well.
‘You (BT Sport) my special friends ask us to go on Saturday at 12.30pm, which is nearly a crime to be honest. It has nothing to do with the game tonight but congratulations for that.
‘My only interest in the moment is that I get a thumbs up, nobody injured, let’s recover immediately. We take it.
Klopp’s side now need to recover quickly to take on Brighton in the Saturday 12.30pm kick-off
The German manager described this week’s schedule for the Brighton game as a ‘crime’
‘The boys are completely disappointed, frustrated, really, but we don’t have time for it to be honest. It’s just get fresh legs as quick as possible and go again, that’s it.’
Despite the short amount of time between matches this season, Liverpool have begun the season well and are level on points with Premier League leaders Tottenham – but a lengthy injury list has threatened to damage their campaign.
With the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Thiago Alcantara out with long-term issues, Klopp rested the likes of Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota from the starting line-up against Atalanta.
But Klopp claimed that the Champions League tie on Wednesday was so intense that his back-up players struggled to keep up with proceedings at Anfield.
Klopp demanded BT and Sky Sports talk to find a solution over kick-off times last weekend
The German added: ‘Usually when the first half is done you’re settled a bit more but for some players who didn’t play for a while you could see it was very intense for them so we didn’t really find a way in the game to create.
‘We didn’t have enough bodies between the lines, not enough bodies in behind and all these kind of things.
‘I’m not surprised. It’s difficult to win a game (when you don’t have a shot on target).’
BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand did not have much sympathy for Klopp after he ranted about the fixture list once again.
The former Manchester Untied defender argued: ‘Everyone’s in the same boat. It doesn’t make it right but when you look at the depth of his squad, they’re sitting in a better position than most.
‘With the schedule they’ve had of late and they’ve had a few injuries as well, it’s a challenge and you can understand the frustrations. He’s the loudest-speaking at the moment.’
Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch added: ‘The clubs agreed to it (the fixture list) at the start of the season and we are in unprecedented circumstances.
‘Managers have complained about lots of games since the beginning of time. I remember Sir Alex Ferguson used to go on about international games a lot. It will always continue.’
Klopp claimed his back-up players struggled to keep up with Atalanta on Wednesday night
Klopp – along with his rivals Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – has been critical of the Premier League schedule in recent weeks, with all three managers taking aim at broadcasters over kick-off times following Champions League action.
After Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Leicester last weekend, Klopp hit out at Sky Sports and BT in an angry rant, saying: ‘It was never about us when I spoke about it. It’s about all the players, England players, players who play next summer in the European Championships.
‘But if you (Sky) don’t start talking to BT then we’re all done. Sky and BT have to talk because if we keep playing on Wednesday and then Saturday (at) 12:30, I’m not sure if we will finish the season with 11 players – all the top seven.
‘But I know you (the broadcasters) don’t care and that’s the problem.
‘No it’s not wrong to say it because we’ve discussed it for a long time already and nothing’s happened.
‘Everyone tells me it’s really difficult but it’s really difficult for the players, the rest is just a decision on a desk in an office.
BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand (above) had little sympathy for Klopp after the final whistle
‘I’m happy about the game but we lost another midfielder (Keita). Also on the bench we don’t have a lot but that’s the situation.
‘But it’s not about us I don’t talk about Liverpool, I talk about all the football players out there. Yesterday, (Gerard) Pique massive knee injury. (Bukayo) Saka, maybe, I’m not sure, looked like a knee injury – he played all three games for England during the international break.
‘Now people tell us to rotate players but who? We have some offensive players but the rest are kids.
‘It’s a massive problem. Wednesday and Saturday 12:30 is a broadcaster problem and nothing else. We play against Atalanta on Wednesday and then 12:30 (Saturday) against Brighton. It’s an early Christmas present. We will show up there shaking. I think about sending the points. That’s how it is.
‘Gentlemen, start talking and start making decisions. I know it’s not you. I like the relationship with you.
‘If someone tells me again about contracts I’ll go really nuts. Because these contracts aren’t made for a Covid season.
‘We all have to adapt. You stand here with a face mask, a year ago did you think you would have to go somewhere with a face mask and interview like this?
‘That’s the situation so everything’s changed but the contract with the broadcasters is still: “We have this, so we keep this”. What? Everything changed, the whole world changed!’