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Liverpool 2-3 Atletico Madrid: 5 things we learned as Los Rojiblancos beat the defending champions | UEFA Champions League 2019-20Β 

Liverpool suffered a 2-3 loss to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Round of 16 fixture
Liverpool suffered a 2-3 loss to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Round of 16 fixture
Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Modified 12 Mar 2020, 08:34 IST
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A brace by Marcos Llorente and a late strike deep into extra-time from Alvaro Morata were enough to render goals by Gini Wjnaldum and Roberto Firmino useless, with Atletico Madrid progressing 4-3 on aggregate to the quarter-finals and knocking defending champions Liverpool out of the Champions League on their own turf.

One would have been forgiven for thinking they were watching a repeat of the first leg, with Atletico Madrid content to defend even deeper than they did in their own stadium, while Liverpool had all the possession for the entirety of the 120 minutes.

However, unlike that night at the Wanda Metropolitano, the Reds reverted to their form of old and played some of their best football in recent weeks, carving out numerous chances and went into the break deservedly ahead courtesy of another trademark Champions League header from Wjnaldum.

They pushed to get the winner in regular time but a combined effort from Felipe, Stefan Savic, and Jan Oblak, as well as the deep-lying midfield block, ensured this did not happen and took the match to extra-time.

Firmino scored his first goal at Anfield in almost a year when he converted his deflected header off the post but the visitors soon turned the tie on its head with two quickfire goals from Llorente which left Liverpool needing two goals to qualify and just 15 minutes to get them.

This proved to be a comeback too far for even the revered Anfield and Morata condemned them to defeat with a goal on the break with what was essentially the last kick of the game.

Atletico Madrid would progress to the last eight, while Liverpool would be left licking their wounds and here, we shall be highlighting five things we learned from the extremely engaging fixture at Anfield.


Also Read: Liverpool 2-3 Atletico Madrid: 5 reasons why the Reds lost the match | UEFA Champions League 2019-20Β 

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#5 Anti-climatic end to Liverpool's season

So much more was expected from Liverpool
So much more was expected from Liverpool

Liverpool have played some of the best football ever seen anywhere this term and their emphatic displays essentially saw them installed as Premier League champions-elect as early as December.

There were also trophies won in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup and the overwhelming consensus was that the Merseysiders had begun to reap the dividends of the appointment of Jurgen Klopp in 2015.

However, a significant drop in performance levels after the winter break saw the Reds lose three out of four matches, having lost just 'one' of their previous 50, with defeats to Atletico Madrid, Watford, and Chelsea all suffered in the space of a fortnight.

This saw them lose not just their unbeaten start but also knocked out of the FA Cup and hanging on the precipice in the Champions League and this second-leg defeat means they would not get the chance to defend the title that kicked off their excellent year.

With two months to go in the regular season, Liverpool are left just playing for the Premier League title, which is already a guarantee and this rubs the sheen off what they have accomplished this term.

Make no mistake about it, Koppites would have given an arm to win just the Premier League this season but the emphatic nature with which they started the campaign meant that so much more was expected from this team.

Many were already comparing them to great sides of the past but they have fallen some way off in achieving what the likes of Barcelona did in 2009 or AC Milan in the late 1980s, while Real Madrid's three-peat and Manchester United's treble winners still hold bragging rights over Liverpool.

Even Manchester City, for all of the derision they have received this term, are still in contention for two titles and progression in both of them would mean that their season would have purpose and meaningful matches heading into the home-run of the campaign.

This is not in any way to take away from the achievements of Liverpool but for how brilliant they were, their elimination from the Champions League has a bit of anti-climatic feel to it, laying credence to the saying that titles are only handed out in May.


Also Read: Liverpool 2-3 Atletico Madrid: 5 Hits and Flops as Simeone's men knock out defending champions | UEFA Champions League 2019-20

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Published 12 Mar 2020, 08:34 IST
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