Liverpool beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Anfield on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League The Reds qualify from their group with the result.
Jurgen Klopp welcomed Fabinho back to his starting XI for this one and it worked out flawlessly. The Brazilian took a place in holding midfield, immediately bringing more balance to the team.
With Thiago starting on the bench, Liverpool’s midfield injury crisis is easing up. At the very least, those allow for more varied options than we’ve seen in recent weeks.
Now we just need them to stay fit through the Christmas period. It feels like a big ask but that would be game-changing for Liverpool.
Liverpool went into this one with a plan. Attack down Atletico’s left with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah.
The Egyptian actually played the secondary role here, too. He stuck very, very wide on his flank, creating space for the other two.
Alexander-Arnold took full advantage, registering assists for both first-half goals. A brilliant plan, executed to perfection as Liverpool raced into a 2-0 lead over Atletico.
That Red card
So, it’s hard to judge this one too much. Or at least, hard to judge outside of the first half-hour.
Atletico got a first-half red card here and, if we’re being honest, it was never a red card. No one is calling for Felipe to leave the pitch if that card comes out yellow.
It is what it is, though, and it weakened an already depleted Atletico side. Liverpool were incredibly comfortable after that, as you’d expect.
Still, that opening 30 was about as perfect as it can be against a Diego Simeone side. Even if the red ended the game quite early, Liverpool certainly earned their points here with the 2-0 win over Atletico.
Liverpool held onto a 2-0 lead here against Atletico and while they had 10 men, that’s a serious upgrade on the Brighton draw. The Reds blitzed their opponents in the first half and then did very well to control things after that.
It deserves highlighting – Liverpool got the job done in a professional manner and they’ve struggled with that this season.
Now, again, Atletico were a man down. But the nature of the performance was enough to give us hope that Liverpool learnt their lesson.
That’s four wins out of four group games. Liverpool have never done that before and it’s well worth applause.
For one thing, this was a very tough group. There isn’t a weak side in it and the Reds have needed their best XI every time.
And yet they’ve won all four. Some were more comfortable than others, of course, but Liverpool have made a remarkably routine effort of this. They’ve now got two games left where they don’t really need to focus on them.
Instead, Jurgen Klopp can rotate a little, maybe even give some kids a game. A magnificent effort from everyone involved.