Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool
Liverpool would play out their 3rd Champions League group tie of the season a short time ago.
Said clash would see the Reds face a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano for a clash with Atletico Madrid.
After dispatching AC Milan and FC Porto in their previous two ties, Atletico were, on paper, set to present Liverpool’s toughest test of Group B.
And after the Spaniards secured four points from their opening two CL ties, Liverpool knew that a loss on Tuesday would see them knocked off top spot in their group by Atletico.
But, when all was said and done in the Spanish capital, Liverpool were able to maintain their status as Group B leaders.
And it did not take long for Liverpool to open the scoring on Tuesday, with that man Mohamed Salah once again integral in the build-up.
The Egyptian picked up the ball out wide and skipped past three Atletico defenders before getting a shot off, which deflected off James Milner before going in (the goal was still given to Salah).
Liverpool extended their lead 13 minutes in, smashing a volley past Jan Oblak from the edge of the box.
Naby Keita with a rocket of a volley! 🚀
Liverpool are dominating early on against Atletico as they take a two-goal lead inside the first 15 minutes! pic.twitter.com/Nwi8xtDycz
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 19, 2021
Atletico then pulled one back after 20 minutes following a corner, before netting his and Atletico’s second after 33 minutes to put the hosts back on level terms.
However, the Frenchman’s evening was turned on its head as he was shown a straight red for a high foot.
2+1 – Antoine Griezmann is the first player in UEFA Champions League history to score twice and be sent off. Comedown.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 19, 2021
Mario Hermoso then gave away a bizarre penalty in the 76th minute, which Salah stepped up to score and hand Liverpool the win.
Here are four things 101 learned from the tie.
Salah is the best in the world right now
There can be little argument amongst football fans that, right now, Mohamed Salah is the best player in world football.
The Egyptian has had a simply insane start to the 2021/22 season, which would see him net 10 and assist four in 10 outings before Tuesday.
And, though the opening goal did take a deflection, it was his run and shot which led to Milner deflecting the effort in to give Liverpool the lead.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have of course been some of the most dominant stars over the last decade, but Mo Salah’s form is head and shoulders above the pair at present, with the 29-year-old seemingly only getting better with age.
The first player in our history to score in nine consecutive appearances for us ⚽️
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 19, 2021
Liverpool should not be underestimated
After their dip in form last seaosn, which was of course largely brought about due to their horrid injury luck, there had been little talk of Liverpool being the favourites for the Premier League or Champions League at the start of this season.
The Reds also only signed one player, Ibrahima Konate, during the summer transfer window. Elsewhere, PSG put together an insane frontline with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, whilst Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City all spent big in England.
As a result, Liverpool would go somewhat under the radar. However, their unbeaten start to the Premier League season and their unbeaten start in Europe shows that Jurgen Klopp’s side, despite a lack of investment, should not be taken lightly this season in either the Premier League or Champions League, especially when they have their full strength XI on the pitch.
Keita does not fit Liverpool’s midfield
Naby Keita’s night got off to a great start vs Atletico, netting a stunning volley to double Liverpool’s lead.
However, Keita would then look pretty suspect defensively for Atletico’s first and second goals of the day.
The former RB Leipzig man did not do enough closing down his man from the short corner for Atletico’s first, and was again poor defensively for their second.
The 26-year-old is no doubt a talented player. But Tuesday’s tie once again proved that Keita, three years after his switch to Anfield, does not have the required skill set to work well in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield three, especially against the better sides.
Klopp seemingly agreed, subbing Keita off at half-time for Fabinho, who took less than two minutes of his appearance to break up an Atletico break.
Liverpool have all but secured top spot
Tuesday’s result was a huge one for Liverpool and has all but confirmed that the Reds will top Group B.
Liverpool headed into the match in top spot with Atletico second. And, after the Merseysiders secured all three points on the day, they now have a five-point lead over the Spanish side with three games left to play.
And, with easier ties vs Milan and Porto on the horizon, it seems pretty much impossible for Liverpool to blow their lead at the summit of the group.
Liverpool betting odds, next game:
Man Utd vs Liverpool odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers
|Man Utd vs Liverpool Result/Both teams score||Yes||No|
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Premier League table
|4||Brighton & Hove Albion||8||3||15|
|7||West Ham United||8||5||14|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||7|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||5|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||5|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||4|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||4|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||4|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||4|
|Sarr, Ismaila||Watford FC||4|
|Greenwood, Mason||Manchester United||4|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||3|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||3|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||3|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||3|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||3|
|Lukaku, Romelu||Chelsea FC||3|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||3|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||3|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||3|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||0||4|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||4|
|Veltman, Joel||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||4|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||2|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||3|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||3|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||3|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||3|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||0||3|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||3|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||3|
|Canos, Sergi||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Struijk, Pascal||Leeds United||1||2|
|McArthur, James||Crystal Palace||0||3|
|Brownhill, Josh||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Etebo, Oghenekaro||Watford FC||0||3|
|Djenepo, Moussa||Southampton FC||0||3|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||2|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||2|
|Jimenez, Raul||Wolverhampton Wanderers||2|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||2|
|Manquillo, Javi||Newcastle United||2|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||2|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||2|
|Azpilicueta, Cesar||Chelsea FC||2|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion||2|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||2|