The Reds had a tough time tonight. We have to accept that Liverpool simply were not as good as Atletico Madrid. The hosts held out for a scrappy, scrappy 1-0 win. The hosts were resolute in defence and managed to keep a persistent and dominant Liverpool at bay. We have another 90 minutes to win this tie and win this tie we will.
Atletico’s opening goal was as unlucky as they come.
A crowd of players challenged for the ball and when none won their header the ball ricocheted off of the innocent Fabinho and straight into the path of Saul.
With the ball a yard or two out, Alisson was helpless. It was just bad luck.
No. We won’t mention the bad luck involved in them even getting the corner in the first place.
We should be used to it by now but refs in Europe really are soft aren’t they?
One incident in the first half epitomised the issue we have with refs in Europe: Atletico’s left back was caught on the ball by Mo Salah and the defender immediately jumped the floor crying, the ref gave a foul from 20 yards away even though the linesman (5 yards away) didn’t see anything wrong with Mo’s challenge.
If the ref hadn’t blown up then we would have been in a dangerous position. Later on we saw the ref refuse to blow up for a blatant handball moments from time. It was so poor from the referee throughout.
When we quickened the pace around the Atletico area we misplaced too many passes.
The ball would be pinged into the feet of a striker only for them to bounce it a yard wide of the onrushing midfielder or winger.
Whilst our long passes were largely accurate, the shorter, more rapid fire passes are more important when facing a low block. We needed to be better.
Bonus: Atletico Madrid
Our bonus thing that went wrong: we faced Atletico Madrid.
They are so good. They are stoic defensively and we have to accept that. Whilst their goal was scrappy, the hosts were organised in defence and held out with great character, we’ll get them back at Anfield.