Mohamed Salah notched up another Liverpool record as he scored twice in a dramatic and, at times, controversial 3-2 win at 10-man Atletico Madrid to maintain the Merseysiders’ perfect start in Champions League Group B.
The Egyptian cut past three players on the right and fired a deflected shot into the corner to open the scoring on eight minutes. There was initially some confusion over who should be credited with the strike but UEFA eventually settled on Salah which saw the forward make history as the first-ever Reds player to score in nine consecutive matches in all competitions.
The visitors then doubled their advantage on 13 minutes when Naby Keita rifled a brilliant volley into the corner from 20 yards out.
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Atletico responded and Antoine Griezmann directed Koke’s cross-shot into the corner on 20 minutes before taking Joao Felix’s pass on the burst and firing a low effort beyond Alisson just past the half hour.
However, the France international's night turned sour early in the second half when he was shown a straight red card for challenging with a very high boot that caught Roberto Firmino in the face.
Liverpool toiled in trying to make their one-man advantage count but were given a huge opportunity 12 minutes from time when Mario Hermoso inexplicably shoved Diogo Jota in the box. Salah stepped up and coolly fired home the spot kick to claim his 12th goal of the season.
Atletico then had a penalty award overturned when the referee consulted the monitor following a push by Jota on Gimenez and Liverpool were able to hang on from there.
The result sees Jurgen Klopp’s men remain top of the pool on nine points with Atletico in second on four. Porto are also on four points in third while AC Milan are bottom and pointless.
Next up in Group B, Liverpool host Atletico on November 3, while FC Porto visit AC Milan.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates scoring his teams first goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool FC at Wanda Metropolitano on October 19, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT

Where do you start? The bottom line is that Liverpool claimed a first ever away win against Atletico Madrid and are now very close to qualifying from Group B with a five-point lead at the summit – but there was so much more packed into this enthralling encounter.
The Reds were at their swashbuckling best early in the contest and threatened to run riot, but defensive frailties raised their heads to allow Atletico to hit back. The hosts looked the better side at the interval but Griezmann went from hero to villain when he was given his marching orders. Some felt it was harsh but it was also very dangerous. Diego Simeone and his players weren't happy and reacted by creating a siege mentality that looked like carrying them through to securing a point, but a huge error gifted Liverpool a penalty to regain the lead.
There was more drama to come and Atletico’s feeling of being hard done by intensified when the referee awarded them a spot kick only to change his mind after VAR suggested he should consult the pitch-side monitor. Emotions were running high in both camps and the animosity between Simeone and Klopp showed once again at the full time whistle as the Atletico boss ran down the tunnel without offering a handshake.
Liverpool were far from their best but got the job done in the end and will head into Sunday’s clash with Manchester United in high spirits while the next chapter in this intense rivalry is only two weeks away at Anfield. If this was anything to go by, we already can’t wait!

'The referee did well' - Simeone and Felipe on decisions against Liverpool

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alisson (Liverpool). The goalkeeper returned to the line-up and once again demonstrated just how important he can be for Klopp’s side on the biggest stages. He produced a series of top-class saves in a period when Atletico looked to be in charge and was a key figure in securing the victory.

PLAYER RATINGS

ATLETICO: Oblak 6, Trippier 6, Felipe 6, Kondogbia 6, Hermoso 5, Carrasco 7, Lemar 6, Koke 7, De Paul 6, Joao Felix 7, Griezmann 7. Subs: Gimenez 6, Luis Suarez n/a, Correa n/a, Lodi n/a, Llorente n/a.
LIVERPOOL: Alisson 8, Alexander-Arnold 6, Van Dijk 6, Matip 6, Robertson 6, Keita 6, Milner 6, Henderson 6, Salah 7, Mane 6, Firmino 6. Subs: Fabinho 6, Jota 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Gomez n/a, Williams n/a.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

08’ - GOAL! – Atletico Madrid 0-1 Liverpool. Salah skips in from the right and jinks beyond three challenges before seeing a low 20-yard strike deflect into the corner.
13’ - GOAL! – Atletico Madrid 0-2 Liverpool. Keita doubles Liverpool's advantage with a sizzling 20-yard volley.
20’ - GOAL! – Atletico Madrid 1-2 Liverpool. The hosts are back in business. Griezmann diverts Koke's shot from the right of the area into the corner after Liverpool were caught out by a short corner on the left.
28’ – ATLETICO MADRID CHANCE! Griezmann rampages on to a long ball from inside his own half. He bears down on Alisson but the Brazilian makes a superb one-on-one stop to keep Liverpool in charge.
34’ - GOAL! – Atletico Madrid 2-2 Liverpool. All square! Griezmann takes Joao Felix's delightful pass on the burst and slides a clinical shot beyond Alisson into the corner.
49’ – ATLETICO MADRID CHANCE! Chances at both ends. Oblak claws away Mane's header from a right-wing corner before Carrasco exchanges a one-two to open Liverpool up, but Alisson is there once more to block.
53’ – ATLETICO MADRID RED CARD! Griezmann is shown a straight red for catching Firmino in the face with a very high boot.
78’ - GOAL! – Atletico Madrid 2-3 Liverpool. Salah steps up and coolly sends Oblak the wrong way from the spot.

KEY STATS

  • Griezmann is the first player in UEFA Champions League history to score twice and be sent off.
  • Liverpool both scored and conceded twice in the first half of a UEFA Champions League match for the first time.
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