ATLÉTICO

Atlético's Marcos Llorente enjoying new role and relishing Liverpool clash

Atlético Madrid's Marcos Llorente has started the team's last four games but was moved from his usual holding midfield role to the right wing against Valencia last night.

Atlético's Marcos Llorente enjoying new role and relishing Liverpool clash
JOSE JORDAN AFP

Marcos Llorente believes Atlético Madrid can take confidence from last night's 2-2 draw at Valencia when they host Liverpool in Tuesday's Champions League Last 16 first leg. Llorente has switched from his usual holding midfield position to a wider, more attacking role on the right wing. He was in the right place to tuck in the opener at Mestalla on Friday - his debut goal for Atleti

Atlético not as strong at the back and still struggling to score

Atlético led twice at Mestalla with Thomas firing in the team's second but the hosts were back level quickly with goals from Paulista and Kondogbia as it finished 2-2 on the night. Simeone's team have won just one of their past seven games in all competitions (beating Granada 1-0 last week).

Atleti account opened: Marcos Llorente celebrates with Simeone.

Atlético and set-pieces

Llorente acknowledged that Tuesday's meeting with Liverpool wll be "very difficult" but feels that the team is now on the right path. He was also delighted to get off the mark, scoring his first goal for the club in 20 appearances this season. "Thomas' goal was a bit nicer than mine but you have to be in the right place at the right time, believe and have faith. You always go home happy when you score a goal - hopefully there will be more to come," Lllorente told Movistar+ after the game. He also acknowledged that Atleti are conceding a lot of goals from dead-ball moves. "Every season, opponents have different players finishing off set-pieces - and players taking them. It's something we have to work on so that we don't drop points because of it".

Atleti host defending European champions at the Metropolitano on Tuesday and Llorente, who only featured in the final group stage game against Lokomotiv, could make his second appearance in the competition. "It's going to be a very difficult, complicated tie, but we are ready and we can't wait for the day of the match to arrive. I'm sure we'll take it forward," he concluded.