Champions League Last 16Liverpool v Atletico Madrid
We go into Wednesday's game against Atletico on the back of one previous win out of five meetings in total, and even that felt like a defeat. A 2-1 victory at home in 2010, overshadowed by a crucial away goal scored in extra time by none other than Diego Forlan. Returning to once again make himself the scourge of Anfield, a whole 8 years after he initially broke Liverpool hearts for Manchester United (albeit generously aided by Jerzy Dudek). The goal denied Liverpool a place in the Uefa Cup final and a possible swansong for then manager, Rafael Benitez. On the face of things you could draw a few similarities with then and now, Liverpool playing the second leg at Anfield, trailing by one goal to nil after a frustrating evening in Madrid. Although I must add that Liverpool finished 7th in the Premier League that season on 63 points. A whole 19 behind where we are currently, with still 2 months of the season (Corona epedemic depending) to play. We lost more Premier League games in October that season than we have in the last two campaigns combined.
Reds everywhere will be holding their breath between now & about 7PM Wednesday evening, crossing their fingers & toes in hope that captain Jordan Henderson is able to return to the lineup after missing the last few games with injury. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker has already been ruled out, which will hopefully not be too much of a loss in real life as it would be on paper, largely due to the fact I don't see Atletico venturing far further than their own penalty box for the majority of the game. Anfield will need to be summoned once again and it will
come to life, as it does every time it's called upon. Saturday's lunchtime kickoff against Bournemouth will feel a million miles away from the cauldron of noise the Atletico players are to be greeted with on Wednesday evening.
I think there'll be two factors that depending on which way they go, could make the difference or become our downfall.1 - The referee
We had a taste in the first leg the antics that Atletico are going to no doubt bring and we'll need a strong, experienced referee to be able to control the match.2 - The spell after (touch wood) we score
I think we'll score a goal, whether we're 1-0 behind when we do, or whether it's in the 75th minute, I'm pretty sure we'll score at least one. We then need to capitalize on that. Get a goal and the volume of the Marshall amplifier that is the Kop will crank up from 10 to 11. This is when Atletico will be at their most vulnerable, if we can up the ante in this period (a la second half v Barcelona, first half v Manchester City) we can really go on to do the business.
We've never lost a European knockout tie under Jürgen Klopp. A phenomenal record that goes right back to 2016. In fact, Jürgen has reached a European final in 4 of his last 6 attempts as a manager - as he also managed a CL final with Dortmund in 2013.
Let's hope Liverpool have put themselves in a position to continue these records come 10PMish Wednesday eveningUp the reds!
« Last Edit: Mar 10, 2020 10:54:36 am by TameImpala »