Post-Atletico newspaper round-up

As the world wakes up a better place, with Americans having voted Barack Obama in as the first black President in American history, Atletico Madrid must be scratching their heads wondering how Liverpool salvaged a draw from last night’s game at Anfield.

After being denied two penalty appeals, Liverpool were finally awarded their third in the 95th minute whilst trailing 1-0 and the game looking all but over. Captain Steven Gerrard kept his cool from the spot to rescue a point and keep the Reds top of their Champions League group, ahead of the Spaniards.

But the penalty Rafael Benitez’s men were awarded appears controversial. Paul Joyce of the Daily Mail writes:

The Liverpool skipper threw himself to the floor after going up for an aerial challenge and even the Kop could not disguise its disbelief when referee Martin Hansson pointed to the spot on the advice of his assistant.

Similarly, Sam Wallace (The Independent) describes the Kop as ‘œembarrassed’ at the late decision which keeps Liverpool on track to progress to the next round of the Champions League with victory over Marseille later this month.

The Atletico fans might wonder this morning whether the Hanssons of Sweden are in any way related to the Alan Hansens of Liverpool ‘“ so bad was the referee’s decision. When Gerrard jumped into the Atletico defender Mariano Pernia in injury-time, Hansson took ages to make up his mind. It turned out that he had actually taken momentary leave of his senses and, in awarding the penalty, changed the game in an instant.

Oliver Kay of The Times quotes Steven Gerrard on how it was important the Reds avoided defeat last night.

Gerrard underlined the significance of avoiding defeat straight after Tottenham Hotspur ended Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season on Saturday. ‘œIt was a big result for us tonight and a big point. Good teams usually don’t lose two games in a row and so it was important we got something,’ he said.

And Andy Hunter of The Independent quotes Benitez’s defence of Robbie Keane’s performance.

Benitez dismissed concerns over Robbie Keane’s display, with the £20.3m striker replaced by the rookie David Ngog in the 79th minute. “He is working hard and he is doing his job,” said the Spaniard. “Sometimes you change strikers when you need a goal because the striker you bring on can be lucky.”

Liverpool now return to Premier League action on Saturday with the visit of West Brom to Anfield (5.15pm kick-off).