Atletico Madrid achieved a great feat on Wednesday. In a great duel played at Anfield, the Spanish team overcame host Liverpool, and won 3-2 in the extra time after losing 1-0 in regular time, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
We can say that the Atletico Madrid qualification has a lot of main men, such as Diego Simeone, who introduced both Llorente and Morata, who ended up scoring three goals at Liverpool’s fortress.
However, both keepers were the ones to be blamed. First of all, Oblak shone and was a true wall throughout the 90 minutes, as Liverpool created a lot, and should have won it. And then, here comes Adrian, Liverpool goalkeeper, who handled Atleti two goals, and paved Simeone’s triumph at the most difficult place to play in Europe.
Llorente scored twice, as Morata scored the third goal, as Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the regular time, and Roberto Firmino scored in the extra time for Liverpool.
The Reds needed to win whatever it costed. It was probably the last game at Anfield with the incredible fans from Liverpool supporting and pushing the team forward due to the coronavirus fears augmenting throughout the whole European continent.
And quite frankly, the Reds put on a show in the 90 minutes.
They absolutely smashed Atletico, who were compacted into two blocks of five basically in the whole game.
It was really hard to beat Atleti’s wall, but when the Reds did it, there was Oblak to save Atleti.
However, not even him could save Simeone’s men on 42 minutes, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went down the right and crossed it to the unmarked Wijnaldum, who climbed to head home and put the hosts ahead before half-time. 1-0 Liverpool.
The Reds could have sealed the deal with 66 on the clock, as Andrew Robertson headed at the crossbar, missing an incredible chance for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Unfortunately, the goal proved to be costly.
Liverpool kept on trying to avoid going into extra time at any costs, through Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Firmino, but they stopped at Oblak.
To augment the drama, in the last minute of the match, Atleti scored the equalizer through Saul, but the goal was correctly ruled out by offside.
Then we went on to the extra time.
Everything seemed to be conspiring to Liverpool to go through. With 93 minutes, Firmino received a ball from the right and headed it at the post. Luckily, the ball rebounded back to him, as he just tapped in, scoring for the first time at the season at Anfield. What a moment from the Brazilian. 2-0 Liverpool.
However, the incredible happened. Liverpool defense played it with goalkeeper Adrian, as the Spaniard failed to clear a simple ball, and ended up giving it to Correa. The midfielder passed it to Llorente, who risked from outside the area, and saw his countryman accept an easy shot. What a howler from the Liverpool goalie. 2-1 Liverpool.
With the away-goal rule, the Reds needed one goal to advance. But in a counterattack, Atleti scored and killed the game. Morata went down the left and passed it to Llorente. Apparently, Liverpool defense would clear it with no problems, as the striker was alone against three defenders.
However, Llorente went forward and without receiving any tackles from the defense, struck from distance, into the same corner he had just scored minutes ago, and scored past Adrian. 2-2.
In another counter, with 119 minutes, Morata scored past Adrian and sealed the away win at Anfield.
It was hard to take for Liverpool fans, but they will go again next year. However, the whole coronavirus situation may bother Atleti’s plans of conquering Europe for the first time, as right after the game, Juventus’ defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for coronavirus, and it may have a direct impact on UEFA’s plans to keep going with the Champions League.
It doesn’t take all the brilliance from Atleti away though. They went to Anfield and defeated the Champions of the World. Congratulations to Diego Simeone, who trained Atletico Madrid to be one of the best defensive teams in Football history.