CHAMPIONS LEAGUE | Liverpool edges 10-man Atletico Madrid in five-goal thriller


AGENCIES | CNN Sports | Liverpool narrowly edged past 10-man Atletico Madrid in an all-time classic Champions League encounter, as the two sides shared five goals in the Spanish capital.

Strikes from Mo Salah and Naby Keita had given Liverpool an early lead before a brace from Antoine Griezmann drew Atletico level before halftime.

Griezmann was then shown a straight red card early in the second half for a high challenge on Roberto Firmino, but it was Mario Hermoso’s error — inexplicably fouling Diogo Jota — that gifted Liverpool the chance to win it from the penalty spot.

Salah, fresh from his wonder goal against Watford over the weekend, duly obliged and slotted home the deciding goal.

There was still time for yet more drama, as Atletico was awarded a penalty after Jose Maria Gimenez was brought down by Jota.

However, after consulting with VAR, referee Daniel Siebert overturned his original decision much to the dismay of Atleti coach Diego Simeone and 60,000 Atletico fans.

Blistering start

Liverpool got off to the perfect start in what will likely be its trickiest game of the group stages, as Salah jinked inside three Atletico defenders before firing off a shot.

James Milner then touched the ball, as did an Atletico defender, with Salah’s shot ending up in the net and the Egyptian being awarded the goal.

To the credit of Atletico Madrid’s fans — after a brief explosion of noise from the Liverpool fans in the away end — the Wanda Metropolitano was quickly filled with chants of “Atleti, Atleti” as they attempted to rouse their team from its sluggish start.

For a group of players that so often look as though they would be willing to run through brick walls for head coach Simeone, in that opening period they were looking uncharacteristically meek.

Atletico’s misery was then made worse as Keita fired home a fantastic volley from outside the area following Felipe’s weak clearance.

Now there was no attempt from the home supporters to lift their players, with the Atleti supporters stunned into silence.

Antoine Griezmann’s brace brought Atletico level before the break before being shown red in a Firmino encounter.

However, as though with the flick of a switch, the Wanda Metropolitano was soon rocking.

Following a corner, Antoine Griezmann was on hand inside the six-yard box to divert Koke’s wayward shot past Alisson in the Liverpool goal.

Just 20 minutes had been played so far in Madrid, but already this was shaping up to be a Champions League classic.

Since returning to Atletico from Barcelona in the summer transfer window, Griezmann’s form had been simmering but he was yet to hit the heights of his previous stint in red and white.

Tonight, however, was the night he truly reintroduced himself to the Atleti faithful.

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