Champions League

ATLETICO MADRID KNOCKS OUT EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS

On
a wet and Noisy night at Anfield, Atlético showed how to do it against the
reigning European champion. Atlético are the first team to beat Liverpool in
the champions league at Anfield since 2014

The Spanish side came to Anfield with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg at
Wanda Metropolitano.
The defensive organization of Atletico was predicted by a lot of people,
especially knowing that they came leading from the first leg.
Liverpool was confident on the ball and dominated throughout the first half. Their
dominance was rewarded with a Wijnaldum header that bounced past Oblak, who had
saved everything that came to him before then.

The
second half was the same as Liverpool were all over Atletico’s defense, thanks
to the rock-solid Oblak and the well-arranged pack of Atletico’s defense.
The game was pushed to extra time, and the first half extra-time goal from
Roberto Firmino would have been enough to send the reigning champion through to
the quarters if the scores had remained unchanged, but the resilience of
Atletico paid off, helped by the mistake of Adrian’s Improper clearance.

Marcos Llorente’s strength was seen in display in the latter stage of the game.
The super-sub quickly positioned himself for a pass that found him and shoots
at goal past the helpless Adrian and switched the tie back in Atlético’s favor.

The Spaniard was also in space at the right time to give a passing option for
Morata in a counter-attack.
Morata’s pass found Llorente, who, without hesitation, bent the ball beyond Adrian
once again to take the game far from Liverpool’s reach.

Alvaro Morata added the third goal at the death to complete the comeback for
Atletico Madrid.

Liverpool managed 62 crosses and 34 shots in the match forcing Oblak to eight
saves.
They will now focus on wrapping up the Premier League title in the coming weeks.

Jurgen Klopp, in his words, said: “I don’t understand with the quality
they have the football they play. They could play proper football, but they
stand deep and have counter-attacks.

“We accept it, of course, but it doesn’t feel right tonight. I realize I
am a really bad loser, especially when the boys put such an effort in against
world-class players on the other side who defend with two rows of four.

“We know in the last two years we had some lucky moments in the Champions
League, you have to, to reach two finals, but today it was everything against
us in the decisive moments.”

Diego Simeone has since responded to Klopp’s criticism, the Argentine said;
“I respect his identity and the quality footballers they have,”
“We try to exploit deficiencies in the opponent. That’s what we do. And we
try to win.”
This worked for Diego Simeone as his side knocked out the Champions League
holders with a 3-2 victory at the dreaded Anfield.

Another player who is over the moon at this victory is Trippier. The English
international lost to Liverpool in the last season’s final when he was with
Tottenham. But he is more than satisfied with the outcome.
Trippier said, “We knew it was going to be very difficult, but we needed
to stay defensively strong and try and frustrate Liverpool as much as we could.
We knew that we’d get our chances if we beat the press of Firmino, Salah, and
Mane.

“Liverpool are very strong at home; I’ve played them so many times in the
Premier League (to know that), but we knew we’d get our chances, and it was
about being clinical in those moments, and we were.

“The way we play is the way we train. He’s [Diego Simeone] like this on
the touchline in training, it’s a joy to learn from him every day and work with
him. I knew I needed a change, and when a club like Atletico Madrid come in for
you, you can’t say no. I’m learning new things every day.

“You’ve seen how defensively strong Atletico have been over the years, and
we were again tonight. The substitutes that came on made a big impact for us.

“There are some fantastic teams in the competition. We will focus on
ourselves and who knows what will happen at the end of the season.”

Charles I Adebiyi Administrator

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