Atletico Madrid 2, Liverpool 3 – Match summary: Liverpool win in shootout? Against Atletico?
Atlético: Griezmann 20 ‘, 34’
Reds: Salah 8 ‘, 77 (feather), Keita 13’
A little surprising from Jurgen Klopp, as he misses a completely unchanged squad with the sole exception of a return of Alisson Becker. However, Klopp will have the chance to bring up to five subs, if and when the players look a little on their feet.
Any result will be important for Liverpool tonight, but they could practically wrap up their qualifying efforts with all three points.
This referee lets absolutely everything go from the start. I hope we don’t see any injuries as a result. Unsurprisingly, Atletico are seated and playing as if they were the visitors. However, the Reds seem to run into a brick wall anytime they get close to the third striker, so it could be a very frustrating night.
GOAL! Another day, another goal in the 8th minute! In what could very well have been Liverpool’s first touches in the opposing penalty area of the game, Mo did a fantastic job of carving out a shooting chance. His shot looked to everyone like it took a touch of James Milner on the way, but I guess they give it to Mo!
GOAL!! Liverpool double their lead thanks to an absolute worldie from Naby Keita! Atletico cleared a cross from Alexander-Arnold, but Keita hits the clearance as he descends to the edge of the box with an unstoppable first end.
Goal. Well, nobody expected a goal party, but with three goals in 20 minutes that’s exactly what we have here. Atletico scored from a well-worked corner. There is a long VAR check for offside, but the goal is held.
Liverpool got quite excited after the opening goal, which temporarily paid off. Until, you know, Atletico pulls one off. However, Atletico remain dangerous at the break; Alisson returns huge on a 1-v-1 with Griezmann, allowing the yellow-clad Reds to maintain their advantage. It shows how dangerous this Atletico team is.
Goal. Griezmann is doing fantastically well to send Van Dijk the wrong way and pass Alisson. And we’re back to level terms.
Atletico killed Liverpool on the clock, and most importantly (except for two world-class goals) by keeping the Reds at bay. The Reds had over 70% of the possession, but regularly hit a brick wall when they hit the third striker, and a few freebies led to a dangerous situation in the other direction.
Fortunately, the referee blows his whistle for half-time. Adjustments will certainly have to be made halfway; Klopp can bring Fabinho, which would probably be a pretty good start, considering how easily our midfielder has been played so far.
Despite the phenomenal early start, Liverpool are fortunate to still be on the same level with the hosts. Atletico are happy to sit back and wait for mistakes, and so far Liverpool have given them a lot to pounce on.
Jurgen Klopp uses his first of five subs, bringing in Fabinho (thanks Fowler) for Naby Keita. He was probably hoping to save Fabinho’s legs for United a bit, but yes we had a huge Fabinho-shaped hole in midfield.
It doesn’t take long before Alisson’s services are in demand this half. And he came big again. It could be 4-2 at home, easily, without his exploits so far.
RED CARD! Griezmann challenged a header from Bobby Firmino with a high boot and the referee, who hasn’t seemed interested in calling just about anything so far, sent the France international to pack his bags.
James Milner threw himself into the book for a rather timid challenge on an aerial duel. It might be a good idea to get Milly away as soon as possible, if we’re handing out candy cards this half now.
Kloppo listened! He made a double change with just over an hour, bringing in Diogo Jota for Sadio Mané and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Milner.
A bit of space started to open up for Liverpool in attack with approx.
SADNESS! An otherwise harmless bullet was pumped into the box, and Diogo Jota was absolutely knocked down and shot. The referee has no choice but to point the finger at the spot.
GOAL! And Mo stepped in, threw Oblak the wrong way and put it in! The Reds are back on top. Sort of.
VAR BREAKDOWN! It looked like Jota had given the same stupid foul he had just taken advantage of, but after a long look at the monitor the referee reversed his decision! It would have been a soft pen, but still a bit lucky there.
Klopp makes another change five minutes from regulation time, calling in Joe Gomez for Trent Alexander-Arnold. And in stoppage time, he made his last change: Neco Williams for Mo Salah.
Final thoughts and man of the match
Liverpool have managed to put their noses in front and hang on, by hook or by crook. Atletico dominated the Reds for most of the first half and probably earned all three for the rest of the game. However, the red card fundamentally changed the game, and Kloppo’s experienced men were able to fully capitalize . Liverpool are now firmly in control, with a 5-point lead halfway through the group stage.