Atletico Madrid’s early goal and gritty performance delivered a 1-0 win over Liverpool, the UCL defending champions, at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Spain.
Atletico had won only once in seven games coming into this encounter, while the World Club champions and runaway EPL leaders are on a 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Atletico Madrid, finalists twice under Diego Someone, stormed out of the block to take an early lead on four minutes.
Saul Niguez slotted home from three yards out after a corner kick deflected kindly into his path to give Atletico a surprise lead.
It was the first time in 379 minutes of football that Liverpool would be conceding a goal in as many competition.
Despite going a goal down, Liverpool continued to dominate possession (67%) but could not fashion a chance against a well drilled Atletico outfit which manmarked at every opportunity.
However, a rare Virgil van Dijk error allowed Alvaro Morata behind the defence but the striker’s low shot was saved by Alison Becker.
Liverpool’s best chance of the night fell to Jordan Henderson in the second period, but the captain’s shot was inches wide of the bottom corner.
Atletico Madrid have kept 10 clean sheets in their last 11 Champions League knockout games at home, and they added another as they successfully saw out a toothless Liverpool who had Jurgen Klopp furiously animated all night, while their fearsome front three of Firmino, Mane and Salah misfired.
…Erling Haaland’s double outshines Mbappe-Neymar combination.
A late second half spectacle saw Erling Haaland’s brace help Borussia Dortmund upstage PSG’s dynamic duo of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr.
The entertaining clash had saw Thomas Tuchel, PSG coach, visiting his former club but it ended in a 2-1 win for Dortmund.
Haaland, the 19-year old former Salzburg forward, slammed into the roof of the net from three yards out to give Dortmund the lead and rifled a 25-yarder into the top corner to restore the lead moments after PSG had equalised.
Mbappe made the equaliser, showing great acceleration to take on the whole Dortmund defence before squaring to Neymar for a tap in.
The two goals means Haaland has scored 10 goals in seven UCL games this season, sharing the top scorers’ chat with Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Paris Saint Germain
Fixtures (19 February 2020)
Atalanta vs Valencia
Tottenham Hotspur vs RB Leipzig