Liverpool broke through a poorly disciplined Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and confirmed that they qualified for the Champions League knockout stages with a comfortable 2-0 victory.
After an exciting victory for Liverpool in the reverse match last month, Jurgen Klopp concluded that the drama is “guaranteed” when his team fights Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. He was not disappointed.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the opening quarter when Trent Alexander-Arnold threw a fantastic first delivery into the penalty area which left a bunch of blue shirts going in the wrong direction, but sat up inviting Diogo Jota to nod Liverpool ahead.
For the second time in as many weeks, Liverpool ran into an early two-goal lead against Atletico Madrid. Sadio Mane ran across the field, slalomed with a variety of challenges and dropped the ball before running into the area. Alexander-Arnold’s darted pass cut through Atletico’s crisp back line to select his Senegalese teammate, who doubled Liverpool’s lead in the 21st minute.
At the start of another wave, Mane was cooled by Atletico’s midfielder Felipe to stop a counterattack during the last ten minutes of the first half. After ignoring three pairs of referee Danny Makkelie’s whistle to come face to face with the referee, the Brazilian received a straight red card.
Within three minutes of the restart, Jota had the ball in the net again after Joel Matip was allowed to stroll into Atletico’s half of the field and hit a pass for the Portuguese who had deviated narrowly offside. Liverpool squandered a lot of chances around the 53rd minute when they emphatically tried to end the competition as Mohamed Salah, then Joel Matip came close.
After losing by four clear goals when he returned to Merseyside with Barcelona in 2019, Luis Suarez was sentenced to yet another miserable trip to Anfield as he was given a rejected volley ruled out for offside in the build-up just before the hour.
Liverpool were pleased with a two-goal advantage and male advantages, professionally drove down the clock, with more than 80% ball possession in the last half hour but hardly threatened to increase their bill.
Alisson was much missed the last time Atletico Madrid joined Anfield / Laurence Griffiths / GettyImages
Alisson (GK) – 7/10 – Barely called to soil his gloves, Alisson was characteristically composed with the ball at his feet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – 9/10 – Play passes that few players can detect, let alone perform.
Joel Matip (CB) – 7/10 – Spoon a volley from close range to emphasize Liverpool’s dominance.
Virgil van Dijk (CB) – 7/10 – Locked in cruise control from first signal to last.
Kostas Tsimikas (LB) – 7/10 – Filled the rested Andy Robertson’s real shoes with a little hassle but a few frills.
Jordan Henderson (left) messes with Atletico’s Joao Felix / Laurence Griffiths / GettyImages
Jordan Henderson (CM) – 8/10 – Released from the base of the midfield, Henderson ran forward to act as a link in Liverpool’s attack.
Fabinho (CM) – 8/10 – Serenely patrolling the devilish pockets between the lines that have hurt Liverpool in recent times, Fabinho did not miss a step of his return.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (CM) – 6/10 – Provides an occasional driving force from the midfield without starting the competition.
Sadio Mane was made for the main stage. ? @NBFotboll | #NBFootball pic.twitter.com/j9lRa9TPrv
– 90 min (@ 90min_Football) November 3, 2021
Mohamed Salah (RW) – 7/10 – Unusually kept out of the goal protocol, Salah still spent much of the match playing with Atletico’s besieged fullback.
Diogo Jota (ST) – 7/10 – Could not afford a single minute when he was on Atletico’s books but only needed 13 to find the net against his previous team. May very well have added that number in the ensuing seconds.
Sadio Mane (LW) – 8/10 – Mane was involved in the center of events right from the start and was spared the laser focus from Atletico’s playing and coaching staff and demanded a second yellow card with a substitution at half time.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – 5/10 – With the match already won, not at all as involved as the goal scorer he replaced before he himself was replaced.
Thiago Alcantara (CM) – 5/10 – Careless play put Atletico for their biggest chance in the game.
Divock Origi (ST) – N / A
Takumi Minamino (CM) – N / A
Red card to Felipe …
The right decision? ? pic.twitter.com/Ut8u9FdahK
– 90 min (@ 90min_Football) November 3, 2021
Jan Oblak (GK) – 6/10 – Not forced to an abundance of work but kept the score respectable.
Felipe (CB) – 2/10 – May very well feel harshly treated for his red card but could potentially have gotten away with yellow if he had listened to the referee.
Jose Maria Gimenez (CB) – 4/10 – A stray offside shoulder that chalked away Suarez’s effort was about as close as Gimenez came to deny a goal at each end.
Mario Hermoso (CB) – 4/10 – Mercilessly targeted by Liverpool’s terrifying right flank after an early yellow card but, unlike many of his other teammates, he kept his head down afterwards.
Koke (left) and Kieran Trippier (right) crowded around Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain / OLI SCARFF / GettyImages
Kieran Trippier (RWB) – 4/10 – Aside from an early riot, almost a non-entity ahead and left with a few bumps and bruises to remember an evening to forget.
Rodrigo de Paul (CM) – 4/10 – Struggled to exert some form of influence on the procedure.
Koke (CM) – 4/10 – Past time and time again in a flooded midfield.
Yannick Carrasco (LWB) – 5/10 – Possibly Atletico’s most potent threat in the future, but it is hardly a ringing support on a blunt evening.
Luis Suarez (right) celebration canceled when he returned to Anfield / Laurence Griffiths / GettyImages
Angel Correa (RW) – 4/10 – Wasted an early chance to pick a team-mate from a well-worked corner before Liverpool had torn the match out of Atletico’s grip.
Luis Suarez (ST) – 4/10 – For a player whose every touch was dispelled, Suarez unleashed one of the loudest cheers when his second half volley was not allowed. Hooked within an hour.
Joao Felix (LW) – 3/10 – The few times the fifth most expensive player in history touched the ball usually ended up with Liverpool in possession.
Hector Herrera (CM) – 4/10 – Dragged a shot outside when a rare sight on goal from a Liverpool slip got.
Renan Lodi (LB) – 5/10
Sime Vrsaljo (RB) – N / A
Javi Serrano (ST) – N / A
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