It wasn’t an easy match, and it wasn’t a match that Liverpool always played well in, but at the end of the day the Reds ended their night against Atletico Madrid with the victory and have taken the maximum nine points from their first three Champions League outings.
It will also have been, perhaps, a small measure of revenge earned on Tuesday evening, a victory on the road against Atleti after Liverpool’s 2020 Round of 16 defeat to the same opponents. Following the match, vice-captain James Milner reflected on the three points.
“It’s a tough place to come,” Milner noted. “A well organised team, difficult to play against, passionate fans, passionate manager. It’s not just the football side, it’s the atmosphere and everything that goes with it. So to come here and get three points is a great day’s work.”
As a result of getting those three points along with other results in the group, Liverpool have nine points to Atleti and FC Porto’s four and AC Milan’s none and as a result are very close to qualification for the knockout rounds with group stage play only half way through.
Even a single point from the remaining three games might be enough to qualify, and one more victory would guarantee it. To have reached this point this quickly in the consensus toughest group in this year’s edition of the competition is a noteworthy achievement.
“We were in control and we made the odd mistake here and there and they get back in it and it was very hard to get momentum back,” Milner added. “But fair play to the boys to be able to do that in the second half. To get momentum back and get the win was pleasing.
“Now we’re in a strong position in the group but we need to keep our foot down and keep this run of form going. We’ve got plenty of games coming up thick and fast, so we need to keep performing and putting in the performances.”