Atlético Madrid carried the early attacking threat when Ángel Correa found some space inside the opening ten minutes but inexplicably fired a cross out for a throw-in when former Liverpool fan favourite, Luis Suárez, was free in the middle. Liverpool had already scored 11 times in three Champions League games and It was the hosts who took the lead on 12 minutes. An instinctive whipped delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold gave Diogo Jota the simplest of headers further justifying his inclusion over Roberto Firmino.
Much like the previous meeting in the Wanda Metropolitano, Liverpool’s goal seemed to stun the La Liga Champions and just eight minutes later they had doubled their lead. Excellent work from the lively Sadio Mané saw the Senegalese drive at the retreating Atlético defence. The ball was worked to Alexander-Arnold whose cross-come-shot was sniffed out by Mané following in and he finished with ease. Atlético’s first half went from bad to worse when Felipe cut Mané down as the forward looked to break. The offence was a certain yellow card but the Brazilian repeatedly refused to acknowledge the referee, Danny Makkelie, who was in no mood for games and subsequently sent him off.
Never have Atlético had two players sent off against the same side in a single Champions League campaign but it was the off-field officiating which played a prominent role in the second 45. First ruling out Jota’s second with the Portuguese straying marginally offside and then again moments later VAR flagged José María Giménez off in the build-up to Suárez’s deflected strike. Diego Simeone shut up shop on 60 minutes taking off the ineffectual striking duo of Suárez and Félix and Liverpool seemingly took pity on their opposition to run the game down and stretch their unbeaten record in all competitions to 25 games.