There’s something mundane and numb about the routine. You probably feel this most days while doing tasks at work or in your life you’ve done a thousand times before. Liverpool won 2-0 tonight against the Spanish champions, Atletico Madrid. It was routine and mundane. From the first minute Liverpool were the better team and Atletico hardly had much to offer tonight, and that was before the wild red card. The Reds made the best team in Spain from last year look like a routine outing.
Liverpool are unbeaten in the Premier League, through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, and tonight they’ve secured Champions League knockout football by winning their fourth straight group stage game in the so called “Group of Death.” Liverpool are absolutely cruising right now, a lot like they cruised through Atletico Madrid tonight.
Winners and Losers
A lot of people online were complaining about the lack of depth in midfield because the injuries that Liverpool had picked up recently. Most of the complaints were overblown and sensationalized. If Oxlade-Chamberlin is your 8th or 9th choice central midfielder, then your squad is really strong. He did very well against a tough Atletico side tonight and more of this to come, please.
The red card that Felipe from Atletico picked up was wild. He tactically fouls Sadio Mane from about 80 yards away from their goal, doesn’t turn around when the referee asks him to, and the ref pulls out the card. Can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it.
Trent is no longer in the conversation for “best rightback in the world.” He’s now in the conversation for best player on the planet, regardless of position. That’s how good he is now. The pass he had for the first goal was absolutely sublime. He probably didn’t mean to pass it to Mane for the second, but he gets the assist anyways.
This windup merchant made a storyline the last time these two teams played because he didn’t shake Jurgen Klopp’s hand. He comes to Anfield tonight to setup his team to attack Sadio Mane and his whole plan comes undone after going 2-0 down, again. Now it looks like him and Atletico Madrid are headed to the Europa League. Oh well.
Funny to put him in the “Losers” category, isn’t it? Salah did not score a goal tonight. That’s the first Champions League game this season that he’s played in and hasn’t scored. With the group wrapped up, one can wonder if Salah plays again in the group stage. If he doesn’t then he might be behind in the Champions League golden boot race.
What Happens Next?
Liverpool are qualified for the round of 16 and are looking at a gauntlet of league games after West Ham United and the international break. Between November 20th and January 2nd, Liverpool has 13 matches in 42 days. A match every 3 days, basically. Two of those matches are the remaining matches from their group in the Champions League. Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp could use those matches to rest stars and gain form for squad players. Hopefully he does both.
Take your deep breath now. Once this starts it’s going to be nothing but adrenaline. Up the Reds.