Liverpool pulled off a rare feat on Tuesday night as they beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, breaking a four-year home streak for the Spanish side.
Diego Simeone prides himself on his Atletico side being hard to beat, and it was widely expected that Liverpool’s trip to the Wanda Metropolitano would be a low-scoring affair.
But the two teams went into half-time with the scores at 2-2, before a second-half penalty from Mohamed Salah decided the tie and kept the Reds top of Group B.
It was only the second time Atletico had been defeated this season, after their 1-0 loss to Alaves in September, and more impressively, the first time in four years that Simeone’s side had lost at home in the Champions League.
That run stretches back to September 2017, and a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea – with six of the players involved in that game also featuring on Tuesday night.
Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring that evening, before goals from Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi secured victory for Antonio Conte’s Blues.
Prior to that, Atletico’s last home loss in the Champions League came two years earlier in 2015, against Benfica, and before that, they lost 2-0 to Rubin Kazan in the Europa League in 2013.
While Atletico may have moved from the Vicente Calderon to the Wanda Metropolitano in 2017, they have maintained their strength at home throughout that change – and particularly in Europe.
That mystique was reinforced last season when Atletico lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the last 16, as though they were nominally the home side, the tie was held in Romania.
Only four times in the last 10 years, then, have Atletico suffered home defeat in Europe, with the four-year streak broken by Liverpool their longest such run during that period.
Liverpool are also the first side to score three goals against Simeone’s side at the Wanda Metropolitano since Real Madrid in 2019.
Remarkably, it is already the seventh time this season that the Reds have netted at least three goals on the road.