FT: Liverpool 2-0 Atletico Madrid
Liverpool secured a spot in the Champions League knockout stages with a 2-0 win over LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid at Anfield.
Trent Alexander-Arnold says the win over Atletico Madrid in Europe’s elite competition at Anfield was an “important one”.
The Reds thrashed Simeone’s Atleti 2-0 on Merseyside to book their place in the last-16 of the Champions League with two games left to play.
Jurgen Klopp’s side put in a dominant display against Rojiblancos as strikes from forwards Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane handed Liverpool the three points that guarantees them the top spot in Group B.
Atleti had lots of possession in the early parts of the clash, but it was the hosts that broke the deadlock after 13 minutes via ex-Wolverhampton star Jota, who nodded in a superb cross from England international Alexander-Arnold.
And, within eight minutes, the Premier League giants doubled their lead as Alexander-Arnold’s low cross was turned home by Mane.
Many would have thought Atleti would seal a comeback again but it was a different story for the Spanish club, who went down to 10 men just before half-time as referee Danny Makkelie made a horrendous decision to send off Felipe for violent conduct.
Felipe tripped Mane, but after ignoring Makkelie’s calls, the Dutch referee’s ego took over and he decided to hand the defender a straight red.
Jota and Suarez both had goals disallowed in the second-half following a VAR review, but the tie was already over when Simeone’s side were reduced to ten men.
'We learnt our lesson from Madrid'
After the clash Alexander-Arnold told BT Sport they learnt their lesson the last time they were in Madrid and decided to stick to their game plan this time.
“It was an important one for us,” Liverpool defender Trent said. “Every game is important but we stuck to our game plan. We got those early goals. We have learnt our lesson from Madrid when we were 2-0 up. We were able to see it through and dominate the game.
“We know what type of team they are. They like to suck you into their way of playing but we kept the ball, kept it moving quickly, and scored two very good goals.
“Me and Mohamed Salah have a really good understanding at the moment and Jordan Henderson pushing up with Fabinho back in the team was a big help for us. We tried to get on the ball and create things. With the form our good players are in, we just tried to get the ball to them and I think we did that.”
Oblak: 'I do think the team fought'
Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak told Movistar Plus (via Uefa.com) that his side didn’t fight hard enough and conceded two easy goals.
“They scored two easy goals against us, which can’t happen. After two goals like that it’s difficult to come back, especially with a man less,” Oblak said.
“So the feeling isn’t the best but I do think the team fought. We did all we could. In the end, we lost 2-0 but it’s still open [the group]. We depend on ourselves and we have to win the two games to come.”