Jurgen Klopp’s European champions were dumped out of the competition they reigned supreme in only nine months ago as Diego Simeone’s Spanish giants prevailed at Anfield last night.
The Reds were originally trailing 1-0 before the second-leg tie following Saul Niguez’s winning-strike at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium three weeks ago.
Georginio Wijnaldum clawed Liverpool back to level peggings after heading home before half-time. The Reds huffed and puffed looking for that crucial second goal in normal time but couldn’t blow the Atletico house down that was patrolled by the impenetrable Jan Oblak.
Roberto Firmino eventually scored four minutes into extra-time to claim his first Anfield goal of the season and put Liverpool in the ascendancy for the first time in 184 minutes of this enthralling Champions League tie.
However, substitute Marcos Llorente came off the bench to capitalise on a catastrophic error from Adrian to turn the tie on it’s head with a brace. Alvaro Morata then completed the victory after firing home with practically the last kick of the game.
After the defeat, former Liverpool striker Owen took to Twitter to rally to Klopp’s defence and claimed that the Reds ‘absolutely pummeled’ Simeone’s team despite being eliminated from the competition.
Please spare me all this inevitable Simeone masterclass nonsense. There’s nothing genius about putting 11 top class footballers behind the ball. Liverpool absolutely pumped them throughout.
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) March 12, 2020
This prompted a quick response from Walters that defended the Argentine coach claiming that in high-calibre matches such as last night, all that matters is winning.
He said: “Well it is a masterclass isn’t it!?”
“There’s no right or wrong way to play football, you play to win. Simeone and Atletico did that. Whether everyone likes it or not, his tactics were spot on.”
Well it is a masterclass isn’t it!?
There’s no right or wrong way to play football, you play to win. Simeone and Atletico did that.
Whether everyone likes it or not, his tactics were spot on. https://t.co/XtPOJN1tUj
— Jonathan Walters (@JonWalters19) March 12, 2020