‘Crush the Cholo team’ – Spanish media react to Atletico Madrid’s Liverpool ‘nightmare’
Liverpool are now unbeaten in 25 games in all competitions after beating Atletico Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday night.
As a result of the win, the Reds qualified for the last-16 of the Champions League and guaranteed top spot in Group B with two games to spare.
Diogo Jota opened the scoring on 13 minutes before Sadio Mane added a second eight minutes later converting a fine Trent Alexander-Arnold cross from the right.
Diego Simeone’s men were reduced to 10-men before the half-time interval when Felipe was shown a straight red card for a foul on Mane.
And although the Reds dominated possession in the second period, they failed to build on their lead, and below is how the Spanish media reported on the game.
‘Klopp could not have a better weapon’
Patricia Cazon of AS worte: “Losing is often what really teaches you to win . And Klopp chewed that defeat for many months and a pandemic, that of Anfield against Atleti in 2020. With a body full of memories, his Liverpool appeared at night, the revenge not yet consummated, despite the victory in the Metropolitan. Klopp wanted more, wanted last night. Crush the Cholo team. Make Anfield a nightmare .
“An Atleti who believed in the first minutes. Responding with order and presence in the area the departure of Klopp . Llorente was missing, a hero that night, but Cholo came out with his best available and a necessity: to score to put distance with Porto. It was after an occasion when Correa sent too hard, too high, when what he had to do was shoot or cross low, that Simeone discovered that those first few minutes had only been a hoax, a trompe l’oeil by Klopp .
“Because Liverpool’s initial sterile domain was actually the wolf disguised as a granny. He had Henderson’s legs, Salah’s teeth, Alexander-Arnold’s face. And he just wanted to bite, eat, hunt . He opened his jaws at Cholo’s feet as soon as he had a counter. They dragged Salah and Henderson, the space opened, the door, Alexander-Arnold had time to think and see: Diogo Jota entered the area with his head screaming to eat me … goool.
“Without Felipe and Trippier getting along, much less cutting off the path. A Jota also with memory, those days training in the Cerro, isolated, the summer in which he did not convince Cholo. Klopp could not have a better weapon with which to shoot the Argentine’s heart .”
‘The German wanted blood’
Alberto R. Barbero of Marca wrote: “To the place where you have been happy you should not try to return, sings the teacher. In European competition you have no choice but to go where they send you, and if you have to return to the place where you have been happy, it is logical to a certain extent that you stop being happy.
“Especially if Liverpool awaits you there, a better team than you as long as the opposite is not proven. It is also not the same to stand with everyone at your disposal than without Savic in defense, without Lemar in midfield, without Griezmann in attack and without Llorente … well, to Llorente that each one places him where he wants.
“Even with those Simeone assured that his team would be competitive. It was better, because the bench was a drama this time. With forgiveness, but a drama. In short, it was not expected that the first plan would collapse in a resounding way. What happened.”
Before he continued: “In case there was any doubt, Klopp pulled Firmino in the intermission. The German wanted blood. In the exchange, Mané left the game, perhaps because he was moving with yellow, but indeed the first thing that happened was that Jota hit the visiting goal.
“Fortunately, I started in an illegal way to take a few millimeters away from me. Then Salah failed in the heads up. Matip immediately failed at the exit of a corner . With one less you can defend yourself much better than you defended yourself. That smelled of escabechina … but that was where Liverpool came.”
‘Simeone asked for calm to breathe’
Carlos Guisasola of El Mundo wrote: “Anfield is a stadium that beats in the form of a roar and infects an indomitable team. To get out alive, apart from courage, you need faith. Also a bit of luck. And of course, soccer.
“Atlético knows it well, which managed to tame the beast just before the pandemic. Last night, however, he lacked quite a bit of all that. In 20 minutes he had already been devoured by that red tsunami that Jurgen Klopp orchestrated.
“After half an hour, after an expulsion to Felipe that the local fans had difficulty understanding, the conquest of the magical Liverpool temple was already a chimera.
“Simeone asked for calm to breathe in the midst of such a storm. At rest, the only mission was to return to Madrid with the least number of bruises. They did it a little out of pride and the same because of Liverpool’s piety.
“At least the draw at San Siro eased some of the pain from the slap. The second against the English team. The future is still in your hands, but any oversight can be fatal.”