The Warm Down: Liverpool make it three wins from three in the Champions League
MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during UEFA Champions League Group B soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain on October 19, 2021. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Liverpool squeezed past Atletico Madrid in a thrilling 3-2 victory in the UEFA Champions League group stages.

 

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring early in the match after his deflected shot wrong sided Jan Oblak. Naby Keita then doubled the lead shortly after, with a stunning volley from the edge of the area.

 

Atletico responded quickly and grabbed two goals to equalise before half-time – Antoine Griezmann grabbing both.

 

Deep into the second half, Mario Hermoso gave away a penalty, allowing Salah to grab his second of the match, and Liverpool to take the lead once again.

 

Diego Simeone’s men were almost given a chance to equalise after Diogo Jota gave away a penalty, however after lengthy VAR check, the decision was overturned and Liverpool saw out the win to earn maximum points so far in the Champions League.

 

  • Super Salah

 

Salah became the first player in Liverpool’s history to score in nine consecutive games, adding to the growing list of records he has broken.

 

The Egyptian King is arguably the best player in the world right now, and his two goals at the Wanda Metropolitano will certainly be furthering those arguments.

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The two goals also meant that Salah became Liverpool’s highest Champions League goalscorer with 31 goals.

 

Despite the deflection, Salah’s first goal demonstrated the confidence he has, and the form that he is in right now.

 

Salah picked up the ball out wide, after a deep cross from Andy Robertson, and skipped past three defenders with some incredible close control.

 

It was the same close control that we saw in his goals against Manchester City and Watford – both of which worthy of winning goal of the season.

 

To win the match, Salah poetically found himself in a rather familiar position as the one he was in 2 years ago. And this time, just like he did in 2019, he scored.  

  • Naby Keita

 

Keita has been one of the more underwhelming signings of the Jurgen Klopp era. There was a huge amount of excitement across The Reds supporters , and with that comes expectation.

 

The Guinean started well in his first few games at the club, however regular injuries have really halted his progress.

 

He doubled Liverpool’s lead with an unbelievable goal.

 

A poor clearance from Savic fell into the path of Keita, who smashed it past Oblak before the ball could bounce.

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It was a brilliant goal, which mirrored his stunning strike against Crystal Palace.

 

However, he was hooked at half-time for Fabinho Tavares which suggested his defensive contribution let him down.

 

Keita was largely at fault for Atletico’s first goal, as Thomas Lemar breezed past with ease when the 26-year-old went to press the short corner.

 

Lemar was able to fizz in a cross which led to Griezmann’s first goal.

 

This is something we’ve seen before with the Guinean international. In the Quarter-final tie against Real Madrid last season, Keita was hooked before the half-time whistle.

 

Despite his creative abilities going forward, it’s clear that Keita lacks the defensive stability to consistently play in Klopp’s midfield. Out of the four tackles he attempted, he only successfully retrieved the ball once.

 

Keita’s contract runs out in 2023, giving him under two years left on his current deal. Therefore, time for him to step up his game is running out.

 

  • Amazing Alisson

 

Alisson Becker made some brilliant saves, once again, to keep us in the game in Madrid.

 

At 2-1, Alisson made a brilliant save to deny Griezmann, who looked to chip the Brazilian goalkeeper.

 

Alisson made a further four saves in the match to help Liverpool take all three points, as well as to claim the Player of the Match award.

 

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During the summer, Liverpool extended his contract until the summer of 2027, keeping him at the club for another six years.

 

Alisson has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world since moving from Roma in 2018, and there is no doubt he will keep that status for the remainder of his time at Liverpool.  

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