Atletico Madrid v Liverpool: Live Champions League blog
Liverpool suffered a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid after Saul Niguez's fourth-minute goal at Estadio Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
It's all over as Saul Niguez's early goal is enough to give Atletico a first-leg advantage in the last-16 tie.
We now head to Anfield for the return fixture on March 11.
Alexander-Arnold’s cross aimed towards the back stick is diverted for a corner in the nick of time by Vrsaljko. Atletico are awarded a free-kick from the resulting corner.
Costa fires an effort wayward from distance.
Four minutes have been added on as Liverpool search for an equaliser.
Henderson has received some medical attention and comes off for Milner.
The hosts' final change sees Costa introduced as Correa makes way for the striker.
Henderson goes extremely close to levelling, with the midfielder hooking fractionally wide from Origi’s cross.
Liverpool make another sub - Salah is replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain.
A long-range effort from the full-back Lodi goes close.
Atletico make their second change of the evening as Mortata makes way for Vitolo.
A let-off for Liverpool.
A cut-back finds Morata free inside the box. However, he slips just as he’s about to finish and the Reds survive.
Origi is sent down the left channel after a threatening ball, but the striker’s first touch is heavy and the ball goes out of play.
Gomez is now carded.
Atletico are struggling to get out of their own third with Liverpool asserting a heavy spell of pressure.
Gomez curls a brilliant ball into the box that finds an open Salah.
The Egyptian’s header has Oblak scrambling, although the ball goes fractionally wide.
Atletico create a promising situation inside Liverpool’s penalty area. Fortunately for the Reds, though, Vrsaljko can’t adjust his feet to get a shot off.
We're back under way here in Madrid.
Both teams have made a change - Origi replaces Mane, while Llorente comes on for Lemar.
Here's how Opta saw that first half...
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
The Reds head down the tunnel a goal down after Saul Niguez's close-range finish early on.
Let's keep pushing in the second half, lads!
One minute of additional time will be played.
Correa is cautioned for a foul on Henderson.
Mane goes into the book.
The ball falls to Salah inside the penalty and he manages to get a shot away at goal. It looks to be going in, but Felipe heads it over for a corner.
Following the corner, no Liverpool player is able to get on the end of Alexander-Arnold’s whipped ball across the face of goal.
Robertson tries to find the bottom corner with a bending effort from outside the area, but it ends up going just wide.
Action at both ends.
Van Dijk’s header makes it way to Morata, who advances towards goal and cuts inside. He unleashes a shot that’s saved well by Alisson.
Then, Liverpool go up the other end and Salah puts the ball in the back of the net. However, the flag is raised as Firmino was offside in the build-up.
Great defending from Robertson.
The left-back manages to divert Lodi’s cross behind for a corner, with Morata waiting to pounce at the back post.
Lodi is there in the penalty area to head clear a threatening cross from Robertson on the left.
Liverpool have settled down after the opener and are enjoying lengthy spells of possession. However, that hasn’t resulted in a clear-cut opportunity yet.
Alexander-Arnold looks to put a cross into the box, but doesn't connect properly and the ball sails over Oblak's crossbar.
Correa advances down the left before releasing a shot that goes wide as Atletico continue to bring the pressure.
Goal for Atletico - Saul Niguez.
The Reds are unable to clear Koke's corner from the right and the aftermath sees Niguez finish beyond Alisson to give the hosts an early lead.
Henderson gets the action started.
Come on, Liverpool!
The teams emerge out of the tunnel to an incredible atmosphere.
There's a pre-match lights show going on accompanied with AC/DC's Thunderstruck.
Not long till kick-off now...
AXA - principal partner and official training kit sponsor
Here's how Opta predicts both teams will shape up...
1.400 kms away but we are going to feel Liverpool by our side. Everything is ready! #YNWA 💪🏻🔴 #ADR13N https://t.co/pdNBW6TBHD— AdriSanMiguel (Adrián San Miguel) 18th Feb 18:54
[👥] 𝟭𝟭 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿𝘀 to represent the Atleti Family tonight 👇 ⚽ #AtletiLFC ⭐ #UCL 🔴⚪ #AúpaAtleti https://t.co/GtSavk44Mm— atletienglish (Atlético de Madrid) 18th Feb 18:51
Inside the away dressing room...
The teamsheet shows two changes for Liverpool against Atletico Madrid.
Sadio Mane and Fabinho come into the starting line-up at Estadio Metropolitano, replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi, Matip.
We're in Madrid. #LFC #ChampionsLeague #ATMLIV https://t.co/LGfJT77lDW— TheEgyptianKop (☥ 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝕰𝖌𝖞𝖕𝖙𝖎𝖆𝖓 𝕶𝖔𝖕 ☥) 18th Feb 17:55
It's always nice to go back to your country... big game tonight in @ChampionsLeague! Siempre es bonito volver a tu… https://t.co/MqtLdyksb5— AdriSanMiguel (Adrián San Miguel) 18th Feb 17:38
Tonight's Polish match officials
Referee: Szymon Marciniak
Assistants: Tomasz Listkiewicz, Paweł Sokolnicki
Fourth official: Tomasz Musiał
VAR: Pawel Gil
Assistant VAR: Tomasz Kwiatkowski
Simeone's charges qualified for the last 16 from a tricky group containing Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Los Rojiblancos' home form was the foundation of their second-placed finish in the group, with seven points collected from the available nine and two clean sheets in Madrid.
It's almost time...
"Playing Atletico is one of the most difficult things in the life of a football player. [They are] really good organised, a result-machine, squeezing results pretty much out of each game if possible," said the Reds boss at his pre-match press conference.
"Yes, people will tell me - and have told me already - this year it is not exactly like it was, it's a transition period, that's normal, but still [they are] fighting with all they have, don't [concede] a lot of chances and all that stuff. That is really difficult.
"What they played so far in the season was not as bad as people are saying and it is nothing to do with their chances [tonight]. The team who will play better and then in the next game when we play against each other, who fight more, who want it more will go to the next round and not the team who plays a better Premier League or La Liga season. It's as easy as that.
"We are here and I think nobody doubts that we are really ambitious, so we will give it a proper try."
Back in Madrid... 👌🔴 https://t.co/Y8CBNRzuZC— LFC (Liverpool FC (at 🏠)) 18th Feb 16:28
The European champions feature heavily in today's Spanish press...
Six minutes in Madrid...
... that Klopp will never forget. Relive the manager's emotions in his first moments as a Champions League winner...
Where might this match be won and lost? We've picked out three individual duels - featuring Alexander-Arnold, Firmino and Van Dijk - to keep an eye on at Estadio Metropolitano.
Robbie Keane scored an early opener the last time Liverpool faced Atletico in the Champions League in Madrid, but can you remember the rest of the starting XI from the 1-1 group-stage draw in 2008?
Fill in the Missing Men below...
[📋] Here you go! Our 𝙎𝙌𝙐𝘼𝘿 𝙇𝙄𝙎𝙏 for #AtletiLFC! 👇 ⭐ #UCL | 🔴⚪ #AúpaAtleti https://t.co/PgeP1DuY0W— atletienglish (Atlético de Madrid) 17th Feb 19:36
We asked La Liga expert Dermot Corrigan, who writes for The Independent, the Irish Examiner and others, to give us a detailed lowdown on Atleti ahead of the game.
On the home fans' hopes, he explained: "That, under Simeone, no-one can motivate a team or set a team up to scrap and fight and ruffle feathers in big games as much as Atletico.
"They've been great at it in Champions League matches, going back to Chelsea [a semi-final in 2013-14] or Barcelona [quarter-finals in 2013-14 and 2015-16], or when Arsenal came over for the Europa League semi-final in 2018; it was 1-0 but they really steamrollered them.
"They're hoping with their hearts more than their heads that the form book will go out the window and they can lift themselves for one big game, then head to Anfield and see what happens."
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
262 days ago...
Torres all #UCL goals for @LFC & @Atleti 🤤 Which club did you love watching El Niño play for? 🔴👊 https://t.co/5D8q8CFt7G— ChampionsLeague (UEFA Champions League) 18th Feb 14:46
Our history in Spain
In 19 previous away games against Spanish clubs, Liverpool have won seven, drawn five and lost seven.
This is the Reds' fifth successive European campaign in which they have faced Spanish opposition - we've only been eliminated by clubs from Spain twice in the previous 11 two-legged ties.
A few decorations from Madrid this afternoon. #LFC #ChampionsLeague https://t.co/791Pm12NHC— FinbarKeating (Finbarr) 18th Feb 14:10
It's quiz time!
How much can you remember about Liverpool's group-stage campaign?
Test your knowledge with the six questions below....
How we got here
The Reds needed a result in their final group game to reach the last 16.
They did the business in Salzburg, of course...
Flashback to this beaut 🤩 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returning to Champions League football in style 👌 https://t.co/1dDGmg2WVI— btsportfootball (Football on BT Sport) 18th Feb 11:29
Last time out
Sadio Mane's clinical finish secured a 1-0 win for Liverpool at Norwich three days ago...
'I think a lot of people are running out of words for him'
Trent Alexander-Arnold was asked about Alisson Becker during his press conference last night.
"I think a lot of people are running out of words for him, but [it's an] unbelievable feeling to have him behind us," the No.66 said.
"When you've got a lot of confidence in your goalkeeper, it's something you can't really overlook and you can't really take for granted. A world-class goalkeeper, probably the best in the world. I think we're really grateful to have him in our side – he helps us out.
"From the time he's been injured to coming back and keeping so many clean sheets, he's showed game in, game out that he can make the hard saves look easy."
Liverpool and Atletico: The story so far
Tonight's match will be only the fifth meeting between the Reds and Los Rojiblancos.
The sides drew 1-1 in both Champions League group-stage games in 2008-09, before Atletico came out on top on away goals in the semi-finals of the Europa League in the following season.
'Liverpool will have their place in history'
Diego Simeone was effusive in his praise for the Reds during his pre-match press conference.
“I have no doubt that that as we look back across all those years [of football] Liverpool will have their place in history, for certain,” Atletico's boss said.
“They have qualities, characteristics, that are different to all those teams we have admired: they’re much more direct, much more intense, have much more variety. I feel a great admiration for them.”
Did you know?
Jürgen Klopp has never lost a two-legged European tie as Liverpool manager, winning all 10 of his previous ties.
Not bad, boss.
Plan of action
Liverpool trained at Real Madrid's training ground this morning - the same place they did so before last season's Champions League final.
The players will head back to the team hotel afterwards for a team meeting and to eat and relax ahead of tonight's game.
Last time we were in Madrid
Our cameras were with the Reds throughout Monday.
Go behind the scenes of matchday -1 with Inside Madrid...
The road to Istanbul
Information for travelling Liverpool fans
If you're in Madrid for the game, it's worth keeping this fan information page handy.
Look familiar, lads?
After arriving in Madrid, Liverpool's squad reacquainted themselves with the pitch they became European champions on 262 days ago...
The Reds trained at Melwood before flying out to Madrid on Monday.
Check out our gallery of photos of their matchday -1 session...
UCL is back! 🙏🏻👊🏻#YNWA https://t.co/bf1mj6lIx8— _fabinhotavares (Fabinho) 18th Feb 09:51
Jürgen Klopp offered a positive fitness update when we spoke with the boss on board the team flight to Madrid yesterday.
Liverpool have brought a 21-man squad to Spain and Klopp confirmed that he has no fresh injury concerns after the weekend win at Norwich, meaning Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne are the only senior absentees.
Atletico, meanwhile, have a 19-man group to choose from for tonight's match. Diego Costa is available again after being out since November, while Jose Gimenez could also be back.
However, Joao Felix has been ruled out, along with Kieran Trippier and Hector Herrera.
Jürgen Klopp and Trent Alexander-Arnold held a press conference at Estadio Metropolitano on Monday night.
Watch it back in full below..
Compare and contrast the sides' Champions League campaigns so far below...
Hola from Madrid!
Liverpool's quest to retain the Champions League trophy resumes against Atletico Madrid tonight.
Stick with us for live updates on all the build-up, match action and post-match reaction from Spain.