Liverpool and Atlético faced off in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16. The temple of Anfield was ready for it as the excited crowd sang the “You´ll Never Walk Alone” anthem on a typical rainy British night. To stay alive on the biggest football club tournament was the price.
And the match started out following the most expected scenario. Liverpool were living on the opponent´s field as they needed to come back the 1-0 win Atlético earned in the first leg. Despite Liverpool´s domain, Atlético stayed firmed backwards. However, the Reds detected quickly Atlético´s weakest area defensively, the fullbacks, and they looked to attack on that side constantly.
Cholo´s squad were holding Liverpool back as well as they could thanks to Oblak´s multiple saves and the excellent performance by central defenders Savic and Felipe, who kicked out every ball that went into the box. However, Liverpool finally managed to knock down Atlético´s wall just a few minutes before halftime through a perfect cross by Chamberlain that Wijnaldum headed into the net. Now the aggregate was 1-1 and there were still forty-five minutes left to find out who would make it through.
Second half followed the same script, with Liverpool forcing Atlético to fall back. Klopp´s box to box team created danger on every play and Cholo´s squad were going through their worst moment of the game, so the Argentinian coach substituted forward Diego Costa by Marcos Llorente to add strength to the midfield, which ended up being decisive. Meanwhile, Oblak kept making saves to maintain Atlético alive.
The Anfield crowd lifted their team and a loss by Koke in the middle ended on a header by Robertson to the crossbar just as Atlético were surviving extremely, but they are used to that. They even scored a goal in the last play of the ninety minutes through a header by Saúl, but the goal was disallowed s he was offside and the match went to overtime.
Firmino scored the second goal immediately after the break and now Liverpool were in, but Atlético never went down, they never stopped believing. They found their golden goal only three minutes later thanks to a shot by Marcos Llorente outside the box after a poor pass by keeper Adrián. Now Atlético were back in.
And this time they gained so much confidence just as Liverpool lost all of it and never came back into the game. Llorente scored the second one on a counterattack and now Liverpool needed two goals to qualify with only fifteen minutes left. This way, Atlético locked their goal completely and Morata scored the final 2-3 in the last minute to turn over the score and confirm that Atlético advance to the UCL quarter – finals. Courage and heart by Cholo´s team on an epic night at Anfield.