Liverpool and Mohamed Salah have continued their incredible form as the Egyptian scored a late winner in the group stage of the Champions League by beating Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in a game of constant drama.
In the dazzling match in the Spanish capital between prodigies of attack but vulnerable at the back, the Reds saw an early two-goal lead covered up by Antoine Griezmann’s magical double.
The France forward was then shown a straight red card early in the second half for his dangerous raised foot tackle allowing the visitors to reassert their authority and snatch a big win through Salah’s calmly taken penalty, awarded for a clumsy barge on Diogo Jota by Mario Hermoso.
Jota almost became the villain as his challenge on Jose Maria Gimenez resulted in a penalty being awarded but only for the referee to retract his decision after consulting the VAR to view the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Earlier, Salah had given Liverpool the lead when his low finish was luckily deflected into the left corner at the end of a weaving run before Naby Keita’s brilliant volley doubled the visitors’ advantage.
Griezmann’s neat close-range finish then superb turn and shot across Alisson restored parity, all before the break.
But Salah spell the last words, who has become Liverpool’s top goal scorer in the Champions League with his two goals taking him to 31, one more than Steven Gerrard.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are now unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions and continue to provide an attacking threat opponent are rarely able to deal with.
In their last nine matches they have racked up 30 goals and have scored at least three times in all of their seven away games this campaign.
It did not however impress Atletico boss Diego Simeone, who spent the game either whipping the home crowd up into a frenzy or berating the officials and then headed off down the tunnel at full time without shaking the hand of Klopp.
It was on this ground in the Spanish capital that they won Europe’s top club prize for the sixth time in 2019 – although that was followed by a 1-0 first-leg loss to Atletico in the stadium the following season that contributed to the end of their trophy defense.