Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid – Well, where do we start! This is why we love the Champions League. Buoyed by the home crowd and the intensity with which they started. the game, Atletico Madrid took the lead just minutes into this game through Saul Niguez.
Suddenly, Liverpool seem to take the game to the home side as many would have predicted but Simeone’s men were having non if it with some trademark defending and on two separate counter attacks almost got a second goal.
The visitors did score in the 25th minute but it was chalked of for offside.
This was shaping up to be an intriguing affair. The visitors were having a lot of joy in wide areas as Atletico’s wide men kept a narrow shape by tucking infield and that allowed Liverpool to create several chances but couldn’t penetrate as they went into the break behind.
The second half began with both managers making substitutions with Llorente and Origi replacing Lemar and Mane respectively as both gaffers looked to switch things up.
Mo Salah saw his headed effort narrowly missed the target as the second half began in frenetic pace with the visitors bombarding forward and pinned Atleti at the edge of their goal but the home side again showing their defensive capabilities.
Simeone’s men should have doubled their lead in the 67th minute but Alvaro Morata slipped and in so doing, skied his effort. He was replaced two minute later by Vitolo.
The dangerous Renan Lodi flashed a shot just wide off Alisson’s goal as the home side looked to take a foothold on the game.
Shortly after, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Mo Salah and liverpool came close to equalizing but Jordan Henderson’s effort nestled narrowly wide as the game suddenly increased gear with Diego Simeone leading an orchestra in his technical area.
Diego Costa replaced Angel Correa on 76 minutes and James Milner replaced Henderson two minutes later.
The away side poured forward time and again in search of that crucial away goal but Atleti defended with poise and character.
With Liverpool dominating the game with over 70% possession but unable to register a single shot on target inside the buzzing metropolitano, the second leg at Anfield proposes to be a do or die affair.