Holders Liverpool are out of the Champions League after a dramatic last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid went into extra time – and a finely balanced game turned on a catastrophic blunder by goalkeeper Adrian.
Jurgen Klopp’s side – seeking to win the trophy for a seventh time – thought they had overturned Atletico’s 1-0 advantage from the first leg when Roberto Firmino’s first goal at Anfield this season at the start of the added 30 minutes gave them the lead in the tie.
Georginio Wijnaldum’s first-half header was full reward for Liverpool laying siege to the Atletico goal for much of the first 90 minutes.
And yet, as the Kop sensed another memorable Champions League victory, Adrian – deputising for the injured Alisson – paid the price for a dreadful clearance as substitute Marcos Llorente pounced with a low finish to secure Atletico’s crucial away goal.
Llorente struck again with another composed finish in the 105th minute and with the spirit draining out of Liverpool and their supporters, former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata adding insult to injury with a third in the dying seconds to send Atletico through to the last eight.
- Liverpool knocked out of Champions League – reaction
Alisson’s absence proves decisive
This game was, in many respects, a tale of two goalkeepers.
The magnificent Jan Oblak formed a formidable barrier for Atletico Madrid, his yellow shirt a colossal presence in his penalty area as he made nine saves and claimed countless crosses.
In contrast, Liverpool’s mammoth effort was fatally undermined by the hapless Adrian, who also made an error that contributed to their FA Cup fifth-round defeat by Chelsea.
The Reds had finally established a measure of control through Firmino’s goal, but once Adrian had hacked out a hopeless clearance and Llorente’s shot beyond him into the net at the Kop end, Atletico were ruthless.
Klopp looked and sounded suitably downcast last week when he announced his world-class Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson had suffered a hip injury, knowing he could make the difference to a Champions League tie that was always going to be decided on the finest of margins.
And so it proved, Liverpool’s morale and fighting spirit disappearing visibly after Adrian’s mistake.
Liverpool will still complete the formalities of their first Premier League title but they pride themselves on their status as European champions and this was a painful night.
Atletico deserve huge credit
Atletico Madrid arrived at Anfield with the usual reminders of how the stadium’s atmosphere has broken the nerve and resilience of even the elite teams in the Champions League – as Barcelona found out in last season’s semi-finals.
Diego Simeone and his players are made of sterner stuff than that. They may have been under pressure for much of this game but not once did they buckle as they faced up to Liverpool’s intensity and came out on top.
Atletico simply love defending, each goal conceded almost a personal insult to Simeone – who seemed to relish Anfield’s atmosphere – and his players.
After Llorente scored Atletico’s second, even Liverpool looked like a side who knew there was no way they would score two goals in such limited time to progress.
The La Liga side’s approach may not be a thing of beauty but they are a brilliantly drilled team and this was another landmark triumph for the master coach Simeone.
Man of the match – Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
- This was the first time Liverpool have failed to progress from a two-legged tie in European competition under Klopp, having won the previous 10.
- Liverpool have lost a home European game for the first time under Klopp, with this their first defeat at Anfield in Europe since October 2014.
- The Reds have fallen in the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since 2006.
- Atletico Madrid have progressed from five of their previous six Champions League knockout ties after winning the first leg, only failing in last season’s last 16 against Juventus (2-0 first leg, 0-3 second leg).
- Liverpool have lost both legs of a Champions League knockout tie for the first time since the last-16 stage in 2005-06 against Benfica.
- This was the first match in the competition to see four goals scored in extra time.
- Llorente is only the second Atletico player to score twice as a substitute in a Champions League game after Sergio Aguero against Chelsea in November 2009.
- Firmino scored his first goal at Anfield in 20 games, last netting v Porto in April 2019 – 337 days ago.
- Four of Wijnaldum’s five goals in the Champions League for Liverpool have come in the knockout rounds.
- Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been directly involved in four goals in the Champions League this season (three goals, one assist) – his joint-best tally alongside 2014-15 when he was at Arsenal.
Match ends, Liverpool 2, Atlético de Madrid 3.
Second Half Extra Time ends, Liverpool 2, Atlético de Madrid 3.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Atlético de Madrid 3. Álvaro Morata (Atlético de Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcos Llorente following a fast break.
Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético de Madrid) is shown the yellow card.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Thomas Partey (Atlético de Madrid).
Álvaro Morata (Atlético de Madrid) is shown the yellow card.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).
Álvaro Morata (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Takumi Minamino.
Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).
Jan Oblak (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Sime Vrsaljko.
Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).
Felipe (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Liverpool. Takumi Minamino replaces Roberto Firmino.
Foul by Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).
Álvaro Morata (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Andrew Robertson.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Thomas Partey.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Renan Lodi.
Hand ball by Renan Lodi (Atlético de Madrid).
Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Georginio Wijnaldum.
Substitution, Liverpool. Fabinho replaces Jordan Henderson.
Second Half Extra Time begins Liverpool 2, Atlético de Madrid 2.
Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. José Giménez replaces Ángel Correa.
First Half Extra Time ends, Liverpool 2, Atlético de Madrid 2.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Atlético de Madrid 2. Marcos Llorente (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Álvaro Morata following a fast break.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Atlético de Madrid).
Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Álvaro Morata replaces João Félix.
Attempt blocked. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Felipe (Atlético de Madrid).
Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Offside, Atlético de Madrid. Jan Oblak tries a through ball, but João Félix is caught offside.
Foul by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).
Sime Vrsaljko (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
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