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Atletico Madrid knock Liverpool out of Champions League

Atletico Madrid knock Liverpool out of Champions League
March 12
00:30 2020

Liverpool, defending UCL champions, were surprisingly eliminated from this season’s competition at the round of 16 by Atletico Madrid, who stunned their host 3-2 after extra time at Anfield to earn a 4-2 aggregate win over the English side.

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The loss was Liverpool’s first at home in 43 games in all competition. It was also Liverpool’s third defeat in four games. Despite having 34 shots on goal and 70% of the possession, Liverpool ran out of steam and were ruthlessly punished by the visitors.

The Reds, with Mohamed Salah, Saido Mane and Roberto Firmino leading the line, drew first blood two minutes from halftime through Georginio Wijnaldum’s header to extinguish Atletico’s first leg advantage.

Just as he did against another Spanish side — Barcelona — last season, the Dutch midfielder delivered from Mohamed Salah’s cross.

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Roared on by their fans at Anfield, Liverpool dominated but could not make it count and were almost punished on the stroke of full time by Atletico, but Saul’s goal was ruled out due to the midfielder being in an offside position.

A 1-0 scoreline after 90 minutes meant the need for extra time, and Jurgen Klopp’s men took the initiative with a replica of the first goal through Roberto Firmino on 94 minutes, with Wijnaldum providing the cross.

Three minutes later, an error from Andrian, Liverpool goalkeeper, gifted Atletico the much-coveted away goal, scored by Marcos Llorente.

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The erratic former West Ham shot-stopper’s kick was straight at Joao Felix who set up Llorente for a 25-yard curler that silenced Anfield.

The error was the fourth by a Liverpool goalkeeper in the Champions League since 2017, the highest by a club in that period.

It was, however, double joy for Atletico on the stroke of halftime — in extra time. Llorente again scoring a beauty of a goal to make it a 2-2 scoreline.

The midfielder, who came on as a substitute, evaded two Liverpool players before finding the bottom corner to equalize for Atletico Madrid.

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Liverpool, searching for two goals, were further stung by Alvaro Morata in the final minute of extra time to complete a 3-2 turnaround.

The former Chelsea player ran clear of the Liverpool defence and clinically finished with a left-foot shot which nestled in the back of the net, much to the delight of Diego Simeone who sprinted away from his technical area to celebrate with the away fans.

…Neymar leads PSG into next round amidst COVID-19 fears

Paris Saint Germain, the French league champions, qualified for the quarter finals courtesy of a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at their Parc des Prices stadium.

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Devoid of fans to help them overcome the 1-2 deficit suffered in Germany in the first leg due to fears of further spreading the COVID-19 pandemic, it was Neymar, the Parisians’ talisman, who took charge of proceedings with a diving header to open scoring on 28 minutes.

RESULTS
Liverpool (0) 2-3 (1) Atletico Madrid ( Atletico advance 4-2 on aggregate)
Paris Saint Germain (1) 2-0 (2) Borussia Dortmund (PSG advance 3-2 on aggregate)

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