Well that’s not what we wanted.
Liverpool got Simeone’d tonight. Atletico Madrid scored an early goal from a set piece at the Wanda Metropolitano, then dug in deep to see out the result. Jürgen Klopp’s side didn’t seem to have much of an answer, and so it goes that they must find a solution in the second leg at Anfield. Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk were upbeat that the job could be done.
“We conceded the goal from the corner, first chance for them, not even a chance”, BBC Sport report Van Dijk as saying. “Bit of luck.
“The message at half time was to keep playing. We had the ball most of the game but unfortunately could not create massive opportunities. We still have another 90 minutes to set it right.
“It is the way they play. It is a bit of the Spanish football as well and you have to adapt but we knew it and I feel we handled it pretty well.”
Robertson struck a similar tone, adding that “the corner just ricocheted, it was tight but onside. We gave them the best possible start and that gets the fans behind them and then they start falling over and getting under the skin a bit.
”We put in a decent performance and we know we can be better. We’ve got a second leg to put it right.
”They celebrated as if they won the tie after the game. They are coming to Anfield and we know our fans will be there.”
It’s hard for anyone to claim that Liverpool were at their best here. Atletico did what they do. It became impossible to break through. But there is nonetheless every reason to believe things can and will be different at Anfield.