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19th Oct 2021

10-man Atletico Madrid beaten by Liverpool in five-goal thriller

Callum Boyle

Vintage Gazprom

Atletico Madrid and Liverpool served up one of the most exciting games of this season’s Champions League as Jurgen Klopp’s side emerged 3-2 victors at the Wanda Metropolitano.

It looked like it was going to be a comfortable night for Liverpool in the early stages as they raced into a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes.

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring with a shot from the edge of the box which appeared to have taken a slight touch off James Milner, but the Egyptian was given the credit as he scored in his ninth consecutive game for Liverpool.

Naby Keita then made it two shortly after with a thundering volley from just outside the 18-yard box after Atletico failed to clear their lines, giving Jan Oblak no chance.

Liverpool’s dominance started to fade as the hosts grew back into the game, scoring just after the 20-minute mark as Antoine Griezmann tapped home from close-range to half the deficit.

Atletico drew level 14 minutes later after impressive work from Joao Felix saw him motor past the Liverpool defence before an exquisite pass into the path of Griezmann, whose single touch took Virgil Van Dijk out of the equation before slotting the ball past Allison Becker to complete his brace and level the scoring.

Moving on into the second half and the game looked evenly poised, but things would change as Diego Simeone’s side were reduced to 10-men as Griezmann – seemingly involved with everything in this game – was sent off for serious foul play after his high foot caught the head of Roberto Firmino.

The drama then escalated even more after Mario Hermoso gave away a silly penalty 12 minutes from time, which Salah dispatched with confidence to restore Liverpool’s lead.

It didn’t end there though, as the home side looked like they would get a penalty of their own after Diogo Jota was judged to have fouled José María Giménez from a free-kick inside the box.

Fans in the Wanda Metropolitano had to wait as the referee watched the incident again at the pitchside monitor, after which he decided to overturn his initial call.

Liverpool’s victory in Madrid means that they need just one point in the return fixture in two weeks’ time to qualify for the knockout stages.

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