Trent Alexander-Arnold Inspires Dominant Win As Liverpool Make Last 16

A 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid means that Liverpool have won Group B
22:01, 03 Nov 2021

Trent Alexander-Arnold was at it again in Europe as Liverpool secured a dominant 2-0 win over Spanish champions Atletico Madrid at Anfield. That result takes Jurgen Klopp’s Reds through to the knockout stages as group winners with two games to spare, and once again it was their inspired right-back who made the difference, with two assists for his teammates. 

Both assists, which came within the opening quarter of the match, were absolutely sublime. The first was a cross hit first time into the path of Diogo Jota who headed home from close range, and with Atletico unusually disorganised in the opening period, he then fired a low ball into Sadio Mane to finish. 

When Liverpool are this dominant in a match, Alexander-Arnold is an almost unstoppable weapon from deep positions. He has now got 44 assists since the start of the 2018-19 season and only Kevin De Bruyne on 51 has secured more as a Premier League player in all competitions. His ability on the ball is unquestionable but the home side could have scored several more on a night where their Spanish visitors were reduced to ten men in bizarre circumstances. 

In the first half, as Mane tried to break, he was ruthlessly brought down by Felipe, the Brazilian defender. Although the tackle was ‘profesional’ in stopping the break, everybody in the ground and in the commentary box believed he was going to be shown a yellow as the referee pulled out his cards. 

However, after he called the defender over three times, and having been ignored each and every time, the irate official whipped out the red and sent him off. The Anfield crowd were as surprised as anyone watching, while Diego Simeone was left absolutely furious on the touchline. 

Having thrown away a two goal lead in the reverse fixture, this red card took the sting out of the tie from a Liverpool perspective. However, Klopp will have been left frustrated that his side didn’t add to the tally after spurning a plethora of second half chances. Jota, in for Roberto Firmino from the start saw his second of the night disallowed after a marginal offside before Mo Salah somehow failed to get on the scoresheet. 

He dallied when one on one with Jan Oblak, Joel Matip fired wide from a corner and then Jota missed a free header as Liverpool couldn’t put their opponents to the sword. The only other worry for Klopp came when he was forced to withdraw substitute Firmino who went straight down the tunnel for treatment and now will be a doubt for the weekend. 

Simeone’s side kept trying and had a Luis Suarez goal disallowed for offside as the former Liverpool man had a goal taken away from him on his return to Anfield. He has still only scored one Champions League away goal since 2016 but tonight wasn’t about his return. Instead it was about a wonderful right-back, as Liverpool qualified for the last 16 in comfortable fashion. 

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