The Champions League returned to Atlético its best version. It was hard for the team to stay focused on the games, but the continental challenge motivated him to keep his head in place throughout the game. It was not a simple task. Liverpool is the champion of Europe and the most fit team in the continent. But Atlético, also helped a little by luck, knew how to contain it.
Because luck was that a ball out of a corner that had failed to finish no one bounced on Fabinho's feet and was loose in the small area for Saul to push four minutes into the game. It was the signal that the rojiblanco team needed to believe.
A stopped ball goal, even if it was a rebound, was a return door to the most recent and brightest past. Away from fear, Simeone decided that the best way to contain Liverpool was to force him to defend. If one of his best offensive arguments is the right back, Trent Alexander-Arnold, in front he had to have players who demanded him in defense, such as Lodi and Lemar.
Liverpool cornered Atlético for many minutes. Too soon it seemed for Simeone's team to live on the edge of their area. But Atletico regained the feeling of comfort that he transmitted not long ago when all his players wrapped up Oblak and the opponent was desperate trying to find a hole to get the ball to an auctioneer in the area. He did not find that crack the champion of Europe, who had to resort to distant shots of Robertson and Fabinho to force the appearance of a slit through which to peek into the goal.
Alexander-Arnold's lack of precision in the centers did not help the champion. Nor the inaccuracy of Salah, a step below at this time of his two forward teammates, Firmino and Sané, who associated to make a hole between a corridor of enemy legs. Salah was replaced when there were 20 minutes left. Mané had left at the break to leave his place for Origi.
Simeone said before the match that Liverpool knows how to play in any way, counterattack or position, but knows that the most comfortable he feels is the race. And that is how it benefits the most from the virtues of its forwards.
If he couldn't run, Klopp preferred a telephone pole like Origi to finish off in the area. Although there were few moments when he received in a corner of the area as a left end.
Atletico had managed to lengthen on the field in the first half by the band of Lemar and Simeone sent him to the bench to enter Llorente. It was his choice of security, the four midfielders with whom he feels most clothed. But Llorente, parked on one side, took advantage of his physical condition to become an extreme in the style of his father. Able to even reach the bottom line and raise his head to see Vrslajko. Although the accuracy in the auction is not the greatest virtue of the Croatian side.
Liverpool had made small advances with the ball. A header from Salah without anyone bothering him and a shot by Henderson in the area startled the red and white hearts. But they didn't even make Oblak work, which had generated only his biggest problem in the first part. A bad pass with the foot became a gift for Salah. But it was not the best day of the Egyptian, who controlled badly and put Firmino out of play, who was passing by.
The entrance of Diego Costa, applauded throughout the stadium, was the last push for the rojiblancos, who are once again excited about the possibility of making a career in Europe. Maybe everything is a simple problem of boredom. Atlético is aware that the League demands a lot of effort to keep up with Real Madrid and Barcelona. He feels incapable and is bored. In Europe the effort is shorter and you feel able to compete with anyone.