Big step: 5 things we learned as Liverpool beat Atletico Madrid 3-2

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Big step: 5 things we learned as Liverpool beat Atletico Madrid 3-2

Liverpool went to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday and came away with a 3-2 win. The Reds can look back on this one with some pride.

Klopp makes a brave choice…

Jurgen Klopp made a very brave choice to kick this one off – he left Fabinho on the bench. The Brazilian missed Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford and there was an expectation that he’d make the starting XI here.

Instead, Klopp stuck with the same outfield players that dominated at Vicarage Road. That left no place for Fabinho, despite his fresh legs.

The boss clearly valued consistency over anything else, then.

…and it backfires

Initially, Klopp’s choice looked perfect. James Milner flicked home some brilliance from Mohamed Salah for 1-0 and then Naby Keita scored a sensational volley to make it two.

But things fell apart. Keita, in particular, struggled badly to contain Atletico. They dribbled past him for both first-half goals, resulting in Klopp taking off Keita at half-time.

In his place? Fabinho, of course. Klopp quickly reversed his brave decision from before the game.

My Revenge On Ben Foster

Reds lean into their attack

Liverpool have scored for fun this season, no matter the opposition. Sometimes that leads to 5-0 wins, other times it saves them from questionable defending.

It was certainly the latter here. Liverpool being able to provide attacking pieces of magic made the difference for them – it’s essentially the sole reason they got a result.

Alisson Becker

Despite the attack, Liverpool still needed to rescue something here. The Brazilian made some wonderful saves, particularly one-on-one with Antoine Griezmann.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

It’s far from the first time this has been the case, either. Alisson has had some fantastic performances this season as Liverpool have looked a little shaky at the back at times.

He’s furthered his credentials as one of the absolute best goalkeepers in the world. This performance certainly did that.

Top seed

This was a gigantic step towards topping the Champions League group. Three wins from three, with one of them coming in Atletico’s home.

This is, in our estimation, the toughest group of all but Liverpool are making it look easy. Coming out on top – and earning a better draw – would be a fantastic achievement.

Liverpool are well on their way to doing just that with the 3-2 win over Atletico.

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