Jurgen Klopp admitted he was shocked at how Liverpool started the win over Atletico Madrid as Mo Salah made Reds’ history yet again.
Salah set yet another goalscoring record as Liverpool recovered from squandering a two-goal lead to beat 10-man Atletico 3-2 on a wild Champions League night in the Wanda Metropolitano.
Salah became the first man in the club’s history to score in nine successive matches with the first and last goals of a thoroughly-absorbing and occasionally crazy game.
In between a superb Naby Keita volley had given the visitors an early 2-0 lead only for Antoine Griezmann to strike twice before being sent off with 38 minutes remaining.
Salah thought he had had the final decisive say, slotting a penalty at the same end he did when Liverpool won their sixth European Cup in 2019 but that honour, in fact, went to referee Daniel Siebert who rescinded a late Atletico penalty award after consulting the pitchside monitor.
When the dust finally settled Liverpool had nine points from their first three matches and a five-point lead at the top of Group B with the chance to secure qualification at Anfield in a fortnight’s time against the Spaniards.
Speaking after the game, Klopp told BT Sport: “A tough game which we expected. We did surprisingly well at the beginning. Did we expect it to be that defensive? Probably not. It was not so easy. We scored two wonderful goals then played good football.
“It was 2-0 then obviously Atletico are not too bothered about having possession. The first goal we gave away then the second, it was nice play but the gaps we had there… That was not alright. At half time I think everyone in the stadium thought it was only going one way and we thought ‘let’s give it a proper try again,’
“We played a really solid second half in a tough game with intense football from both teams. We got the penalty, then there was a red card and obviously it was in our favour.
Atletico turned the tide
“They just won the balls and we didn’t do the right stuff anymore. We chose the easy pass but we needed to play between the lines. The last line was pretty deep. Then they came with wing-backs and midfielders and we stayed there instead of accelerating. The game was too slow and that was what they wanted. That was why the momemtum changed.
“I saw it and our penalty is a penalty. I think the other one is not a penalty but I didn’t expect it. I think it’s the right decision.
“The red card was for sure unlucky but it is a red card. A foot in the face. It can happen. It was a tough game. Honestly, how we win it, I couldn’t care less! On a night like this, getting three points is really nice.”
PLAYER RATINGS: Two men stand out in crazy win over 10-man Atletico Madrid