Liverpool 2-3 Atletico Madrid: The Reds are knocked out of the Champions League

  • Rob Swan

Liverpool have been knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid following a 3-2 defeat at Anfield.

Two goals in extra-time from Marcos Llorente and another from Alvaro Morata dumped the reigning European champions out of the competition at the last-16 stage.

Liverpool dominated large periods of the match but were denied on numerous occasions by Jan Oblak, who produced a Man of the Match performance for the visitors.

Georginio Wijnaldum did manage to beat Oblak shortly before half-time, levelling the tie on aggregate in the process.

Liverpool suffered a 1-0 defeat away at the Wanda Metropolitano last month and knew that conceding an away goal at Anfield would leave them with a mountain to climb.

The cross for Wijnaldum’s goal was provided by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and you can watch the goal here…

Liverpool’s star of the first half, though, was Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The right-back had more touches than any Liverpool player during the opening 45 minutes and kept Oblak on his toes with a series of dangerous crosses into the box, along with a shot on target.

“He’s put on a clinic,” Rio Ferdinand, providing analysis for BT Sport, said of Alexander-Arnold in the half-time interval.

Mohamed Salah had an immediate chance to double Liverpool’s advantage early in the second half but shot straight at Oblak.

The hosts began the restart extremely positively. They knew that scoring a second goal was absolutely vital.

Oxlade-Chamberlain threatened twice in quick succession – forcing Oblak into another smart save with his second strike – and then Roberto Firmino missed a good chance at the back post on the hour-mark.

Oblak, in absolutely imperious form, was keeping Atleti in the tie.

Saul Niguez tried to catch Adrian out with a shot from his own half, but the ball floated just wide.

Shortly afterwards, at the opposite end of the pitch, Andy Robertson hit the crossbar with a header from six yards.

Robertson had another chance minutes later after Alexander-Arnold tested the brilliant Oblak from long range. The Scottish full-back’s effort was blocked on that occasion.

The tie was delicately poised as the clock ticked down to the end of normal time.

A second goal for Liverpool would send them through, but a goal for Atletico would send the reigning European champions crashing out.

Sadio Mane and Salah both went close before the end of normal time but, no matter what the home side were trying, the ball wouldn’t end up in the back of the net.

Atleti, however, did have the ball in the back of the net right at the death.

Saul thought he’d won it for the visitors with a last-gasp header but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

Firmino sent the home fans into raptures with a goal in the fourth minute of extra-time…

But a mistake from Adrian saw Atletico score the all-important away goal minutes later…

And Liverpool fans may feel that Adrian could – and perhaps should – have done more to prevent Llorente’s second goal from finding the back of the net.

Simeone celebrated by sprinting down the touchline. He knew the job was virtually done by this point.

Morata then added insult to injury by scoring a late third goal for Atleti…

The defeat means that the Premier League title will be the only trophy Liverpool win this season.

Every Liverpool fan will have taken that at the start of the season – but that won’t mean this premature Champions League exit won’t hurt.

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