The Champions League defending champions Liverpool have been knocked out in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday by Atletico Madrid.
The Reds lost 3-2 at Anfield, 4-2 on aggregate. Having lost 1-0 to Atletico in Madrid, Roberto Firmino had given Liverpool 2-1 aggregate lead in extra time, but late goals from Marcos Llorente and Alvaro Morata extinguished Liverpool’s dreaming of defending their title.
In what some football pundits have called one of the most thrilling games of recent, the Reds, with more than 65% ball possession had subjected the visitors to enormous pressure. However, Liverpool could hardly penetrate the Atletico Madrid’s Gibraltar rock defence until Georginio Wijnaldum’s first-half header rewarded Liverpool with 1-1 on aggregate.
In a thrilling game where one team did everything to score, while the opponent, on the other hand, did all it could to stop them, it’s hard to not say that both goalkeepers somehow decided the faith of the match. While Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeper Oblak effectively thwarted all the efforts of the Reds to score, Adrian, on the other hand, handed the game to Atletico Madrid through his costly mistakes.
It was a very entertaining game that brought out the best in the players and both coaches. The Red played perhaps one of their best games this season, and they gave everything to win. Jurgen Klopp showed why he is presently regarded as the best coach in the world. Diego Simeone, who was the former captain of Argentina and the dean of defence during his playing days, showed impenetrable Masterclass in Atletico’s defence. His timing and the changes he made in the dying minutes showed his experience as a coach. Both Klopp and Simone deserve showers of praises for their Masterclass experience and coaching abilities.
“We put everything into that game so we are bitterly disappointed, especially with the goals we conceded,” lamented Liverpool’s 29-year-old captain Jordan Henderson.
Although Liverpool lost in the Champions League, they are still very much a force to reckon with in the Premier, where they top the table with a clear 25 point lead. A Premier League victory for Liverpool will be a huge consolation and compensation. After all, the Premier League is a title they last won 30 years ago.