Liverpool's Champions League match against FC Midtjylland moved to Jurgen Klopp's former club Dortmund

UEFA agreed to move the December 9 game to a neutral venue as UK Government's quarantine rules state anyone returning from Denmark needs to observe a 14-day quarantine; Jurgen Klopp will return to the stadium where he spent seven years as manager of Dortmund

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Liverpool FC and Atalanta BC at Anfield on November 25, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images)
Image: Jurgen Klopp spent seven seasons as manager of Dortmund

Liverpool's last Champions League group stage fixture against FC Midtjylland has been rescheduled to take place in Dortmund.

UEFA agreed to move the game on December 9 to a neutral venue as the UK Government's quarantine rules state that anyone returning from Denmark needs to observe a 14-day quarantine, meaning Jurgen Klopp's side will now travel to Germany instead.

Klopp is no stranger to the stadium, having coached Dortmund from 2008 to 2015 before making the move to Merseyside.

"The UEFA Champions League group match between Midtjylland and Liverpool on 9 December will be held at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK (kick-off 18:55 CET)," a Borussia Dortmund statement said on Thursday.

"The reason for the change in venue is the UK coronavirus regulations, which dictate that people returning from Denmark must spend 14 days in quarantine. Instead, Midtjylland and Liverpool - led by former BVB coach Jurgen Klopp - will now go head-to-head in Dortmund."

Jurgen Klopp, Coach of Borussia Dortmund gestures to fans after the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Signal Iduna Park on April 8, 2014 in Dortmund, Germany.
Image: Klopp won two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund

The Reds will host Ajax next Tuesday and will qualify to the Champions League's round-of-16 stage with a win, having lost to Atalanta 2-0 on Wednesday night.

Klopp: No excuses for deserved defeat

Klopp said he had no regrets over the selection gamble which backfired in the defeat to Atalanta, despite the Reds' hopes of progressing early to the last 16 being dealt a blow in a "deserved defeat".

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Liverpool made five changes from Sunday's victory over Leicester, including altering three of the back four, and paid for it with a lack of cohesion and rhythm which allowed last season's quarter-finalists to become the first team to win at Anfield in 90 minutes since Chelsea in September 2018.

Klopp said: "We made five changes, it was very important we did that, and in the end it didn't work out and that is part of the deal. I would do it again.

"[We had] no real rhythm, first half was not a good game at all, they were not good as well. We spoke about it but second half it didn't look like it [would change] and that is why we changed early.

"A second before we could change (Klopp was in the process of making a quadruple substitution) they scored the first goal, in a space which we knew they tried to use and we couldn't defend in that moment.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refused to get carried away by the setback
Image: Klopp refused to get carried away by the setback of losing to Atalanta

"We had better football moments but not good enough. If you don't have a shot on target that is never a good sign."

Liverpool lost a competitive home match by a margin of more than one goal for the first time in 137 matches at Anfield under Klopp, with this their heaviest such defeat since August 2015 in the Premier League against West Ham under Brendan Rodgers, a 3-0 defeat.

Victory over Ajax next week would still guarantee safe passage and with December's schedule, Klopp will want to avoid the nightmare scenario of having something to play for with the final game against Midtjylland.

"If I would think like this then it would be great. It is tricky, sounds easy to beat Ajax but with all the challenges we face in this country on top of the normal challenges we face already," he added.

Klopp
Image: Klopp says his focus is on Brighton rather than Ajax

"My concern isn't that I think about Ajax; we go in a few hours to play Brighton. When this game is over we start to think about Ajax."

Even the return of Mohamed Salah could not lift the side out of their torpor as second-half goals from Josip Ilicic and Robin Gosens ensured there would be little room for Klopp to rest players in their final two matches.

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini, whose side were beaten 5-0 in the reverse fixture three weeks ago, hailed the win as the club's most prestigious.

"Obviously this is something which will be written in the pages of history," he said.

"They haven't lost a Premier League game in 64 matches. This is perhaps our biggest-ever victory in our history, certainly our most prestigious.

"We were more solid in defence this time around because the defence was better protected with more players in midfield. This is the solution we opted for as we thought it was appropriate for this game."

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