Liverpool succumbed to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid in what was a frustrating encounter in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
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Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
Champions League Last-16 First Leg, Wanda Metropolitano
February 18, 2020
Goal: Saul 4’
The Reds made the trip back to Madrid 262 days after their triumph in the Champions League final, but this time came face to face with Atletico Madrid.
Jurgen Klopp turned to an XI he had yet to across all competitions this season, with Sadio Mane and Fabinho taking their place from the off after late cameos in the win at Norwich last time out.
A fervent atmosphere awaited Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano and it only went up a decibel after the hosts capitalised on the Reds’ poor defending from a corner.
Saul Niguez was the benefactor as he finished from close range with less than five minutes on the clock – a goal which played straight into the hands of Diego Simeone’s side.
The Spanish outfit dropped back, absorbed pressure and looked to counter at the opportune moment – with the Reds struggling to break them down and lay a glove on Jan Oblak.
Mohamed Salah‘s blocked effort was the closest Liverpool came in the first half in what was a frustrating night in front of goal for Klopp’s side.
The Egyptian would again come close with a headed effort after the break, with Jordan Henderson similarly flashing two efforts wide before being forced from the field with a hamstring injury.
The fixture was marred by a number of questionable decisions from the referee, but the tie is still very much in the balance when they meet once more at Anfield on March 11.