Oblak, Llorente and an unforgettable night
Atlético, for better and for worse, play the game as they do. And this time it was for the best.
They resisted the Liverpool bombardment on a cold and wet British night, where Anfield's continuous roar grew loader on every occasion that Klopp’s men carried the ball to Atlético’s penalty area – and there were many.
But in the home side’s way was Oblak, the last man in an organised defence who helped delay the goal that would eventually come. Liverpool did not despair, they continued intercepting, attacking and shooting – from one minute to the next, with everything in their favour, including the Dutch referee, who consented to everything.
The first goal did not come until the end of the first half through Wijnaldum. Moments before the final whistle, Saúl scored an equalizer, which was ruled out for offside as euphoria quickly turned to disappointment for Simeone. Soon after, in extra time, it was 2-0 and the game seemed done and dusted.
But then Llorente stepped up. The former Real Madrid man came on for a useless Diego Costa (who will now likely regret his angry overreaction to being replaced) and contributed with his youthful energy to support Atléti’s attack. And the goal that seemed like it would never come was scored by him after Adrian gifted the visitors a chance with a poor clear out that landed at the feet of Joao Felix. The young Portuguese forward passed to Llorente in space, who slotted his long-rage shot into the bottom right corner with the precision of a surgeon.
And then came his second goal. In the midst of Liverpool's torrential attack, Llorente found an opportunity to break again and successfully shot for the same corner as before. Grandson of Ramón Grosso and grandnephew of Paco Llorente, Marcos showed all of his exquisite pedigree in those two great pieces of play – and in a third, in the dying moments, when he passed to Morata to strike the final dagger into Liverpool’s heart. 1-0 in Madrid, 2-3 at Anfield. Atlético have knocked out the reigning champions as Llorente paid honour to his ancestors on an unforgettable night in Liverpool.
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