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Atletico Madrid 2-3 Liverpool: Player Ratings

Liverpool were back in the Wanda Metropolitano tonight, for their 3rd Champions League group stage fixture of this season.

The red half of Merseyside enjoyed a particularly great weekend in the Premier League.

Whilst bitter rivals Manchester United and Everton fell to 4-2 and 1-0 defeats respectively, Liverpool were in a different class as compared to the rest of the league. 

Thrashing Watford 5-0, Liverpool were the team with the biggest winning margin at the weekend, with the next largest being two, achieved by only two teams.

Liverpool returned to Champions League action tonight though, travelling to Spain to take on Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.

Simeone's team knocked out Liverpool in their 2019/20 league winning season, in a dismal tie any Red will struggle to forget.

Jurgen Klopp made only one change from the 11 that started during league action three days ago, with only Alisson Becker coming in at the expense of Caoimhín Kelleher.

Brazil had played Uruguay only 36 hours before Liverpool's early Saturday kickoff, not giving the duo enough time to recover. Him and his Brazilian teammate Fabinho Tavares were therefore sent straight to Madrid after international action.

In a surprising twist, Fabinho got benched, as Klopp elected to keep his midfield from the last game intact.

Roberto Firmino's razor sharp form kept him in the front three, with the Brazilian putting three past Watford with an assist to boot.

BRIEF MATCH REVIEW 

Liverpool raced into a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes, with Mohamed Salah opening the scoring via a deflected shot, and Naby Keita doubling the lead with a worldie and a half.

Liverpool got careless from then on however, with Atletico equalising before half time with two quick fire goals from Antoine Griezmann, the Liverpool midfield being brushed aside like feathers.

The second half started off with a bang as well, with Atletico's goalscorer, Griezmann, getting sent off for a high boot on Firmino. Liverpool still struggled to regain the momentum though against the Madrid side's ten men.

A challenge on Diogo Jota in the Atletico box led to the referee pointing his finger to the penalty spot, an opportunity Liverpool grabbed with both hands. Mohamed Salah made no mistake and restored his team's lead.

Drama arose mere moments later, as Jota himself made a challenge in the Liverpool box, with Atletico Madrid immediately being given a penalty. 

Fortunately for Klopp and his men, VAR intervened and overruled the on-field referee's decision.

Atletico did not give up, and kept on throwing themselves at Liverpool, who did just about enough to hold onto the lead, as the game finished at the 96th minute.

This was Liverpool's first win in Spain since they defeated Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernebéu years ago.

Here are the player ratings!

ALISSON BECKER 8.5

Kept Liverpool in the match, did absolutely splendid to keep the damage to just 2-2 before HT. He was magnificent in the second half too, and Liverpool have their Brazilian between the posts to thank for getting this nervy victory.

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Alisson

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD 6.5

Liverpool's right flank was shut down today, and Alexander-Arnold did not get the chances to go forward as often as normal. His defensive duties, bar a few mishaps, were tidy though.

JOEL MATIP 6.5

The better of the two centre backs today. 

VIRGIL VAN DIJK 6

A below average, almost poor game by his standards. Should have done much better for the second Atleti goal, even though it was not entirely his fault.

ANDREW ROBERTSON 6

He was so busy in bombing forward that he could barely get back to defend.

JAMES MILNER 5

What a poor midfield showing it was. Milner provided no help to an already shambolic midfield. 

JORDAN HENDERSON 5

Where was the midfield for the two opposition goals? Half the team got sliced open like a hot knife through butter for the Atletico goals. Where was Henderson's protection which he had provided at the weekend?

NABY KEITA 5

What a rollercoaster of a half for Keita. Scored an absolute beauty to take Liverpool up 2-0 (the only reason he got rated higher than his midfield partners) then became the primary reason for Liverpool conceding two to make it 2-2. Subbed off at halftime, Keita's Madrid nightmare's continue.

SADIO MANÉ 6.5

Was nowhere to be seen. Hardly visible until he got subbed off.

ROBERTO FIRMINO 7

Another player who was barely getting involved in attacking areas. In fact, he was defending more than he was attacking. 

MOHAMED SALAH 8

Stadium announcers must be getting tired of calling out Salah's name in every Liverpool game. 

He is now the first Liverpool player in history to score in nine consecutive games.

The Egyptian was not at his best tonight, but still scored twice from the two opportunities he got and dragged Liverpool over the line.

SUBSTITUTES 

FABINHO TAVARES 8

It was a shock how he didn't start the match. His introduction at half-time stabilised the midfield a bit, and he contributed enough to make the defence more compact. Classy player.

DIOGO JOTA 7

He did get the penalty (and almost gave one away), but didn't have much time to make a bigger impact. Was alright, but not good.

ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN 7.5

Another bright cameo from the Englishman. Quite encouraging to see whether he could be a reliable bench option or not.

JOE GOMEZ N/A

NECO WILLIAMS N/A


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