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Atletico Madrid 1 Liverpool 0 (Feb 18 2020)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

It’s been so long I’d forgotten what a defeat felt like. It’s not nice. I don’t like it and I’m not taking it too well. I actually started writing this immediately after the game, which is not my usual approach as I normally like time to reflect before I do the report.

 

I need to get stuck into this just because it’s cathartic. There’s a lot to get off my chest here and a shitload of things I need to vent about. Currently I’m trying to decide who I’m most angry with. Is it the ref? Their shithouse players? Simeone and his jack in the box shite on the touchline? Maybe it’s Steve McManaman. 

 

Yeah it’s Steve McManaman. He did my fucking head in all night, completely buzzing off Atletico, Simeone, Diego Costa… you name it he was kissing the arse of it. I see loads of Reds ripping him after our games but until now he’d never really bothered me (other than the ridiculous over pronunciation of any word ending with ‘ing’). Tonight though, Jesus Christ I wanted to strangle him.

 

But if we’d played the way we can then I doubt I’d have even noticed how massively irritating he was. That’s the main thing here really. We didn’t play well enough and despite all the other things that got right under my skin, none of it excuses our lack of goal threat. We sometimes have games like this away in Europe. I can’t explain it but it’s definitely a ‘thing’. We’ve lost six of our last ten or something, which shows you it’s a ‘thing’ because domestically we’ve lost one game in the last hundred or something mental. I don’t know, I’ve lost count.

 

This wasn’t one of those horror shows like we saw last season in Naples and Belgrade though. The performance wasn’t bad in a lot of areas but we just never looked like scoring. No shots on target apparently, although I’m not sure how they work that out when Mo had a goal bound shot headed away by a defender? I guess it only counts as a shot on target if the keeper saves it.

 

They defended well and they’re probably the best in the business at that sitting deep and frustrating approach. That’s the reason they were the last team in the draw I wanted. I still expected us to go through comfortably enough and nothing has changed, but they are fucking horrible to play against and them scoring so early was the worst thing that could have happened.

 

Proper fucking spawny goal it was too. I thought it was offside until about the fourth replay when I finally saw that it had come off Fabinho. Things like that can happen though. All it takes is one lucky ricochet or fortunate bounce and any team can concede, no matter how strong they are defensively.

 

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view the full report

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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Spot on about their antics. The perfect example of it is Costa right at the end when we had a free-kick just inside our half and the ref had given the shout to take it then Costa just stood right in-front of the ball and walked towards the ref shouting something. Blatant shithousery.

 

I wouldn't support us anywhere near as much as I do if we had a side who played like that. A lot of people say we need to join in the dark-arts. I might have even said it myself with a cob on but nah, I'd rather we played proper football. Getting better at dealing with them needs to happen though. Fabinho and Vin Dijk could have been a lot more intimidating. If anything Fabinho went within himself for a bit after Morata clattered him. 

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The worst (most damaging anyway) officiating decision was to give them a throw in when it was obviously ours. Corner then goal arose from that. 
 

really hope we smash them next month

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Massively disappointing. We had 85 minutes to get back on level terms at least. Instead we had to take Sadio off over concerns he'd get a second yellow, had some brutal crossing and throw ins by Trent in particular and had Gini slowing things down when we needed to be a lot quicker.

 

I dont know what's going on with Mo, is he trying too hard and wanting two touches too many? Sure defenders have been coached how to nullify him but where's that instinctive finish from his first season gone? To be fair to Mo, almost every other player bar Ali, Joe and to a lesser extent Robbo didnt have good games.

 

When we did put a decent ball into their box, there was often no one there to get on the end of it and when there was both Mo and Hendo nodded narrowly wide.

 

It was just one of those games that comes along every so often where you get nothing and play poor. Inept officials, simeone and atletico shithousery aside, I hope we rediscover our touch for the 2nd leg.

 

I think it will be tougher than may think. If we get an early goal like they did, that will really put them under pressure. But, the longer it goes without us scoring, I fear the crowd may get a little aggitated and that could transfer to the players even if we have been mentality monsters so far this season.

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We aren’t used to playing against 442.  We usually pull the opposition midfield around a bit whether it’s passes around the middle or switching the play which leads to Virg or Gomez putting our full back in space.  They just covered that pass off early all the time.  It absolutely killed Trents game.  When a team can do it as well as they do then it means we can’t rely on the full backs for the width.  Mo and Sadio need to get wide and stretch the back four with our midfield 8s then going beyond and getting in the box.

 

Mo tends to not go wide.  Sadio does it when he needs to.  Towards the end of the first half he started doing it consistently and it felt like something was going to come with him and Robbo.  As soon as he was subbed it was game over.  No other player we have can stay wide like he does.  Origi definitely tries to, Ox doesn’t even bother as he clearly doesn’t want to play there but I really doubt Jones would stay wide either.  I’d probably try Elliot before him although he obviously prefers the other flank.

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For a dive as blatant as the one near Mo - proved on a replay - suspend the player for the next leg.

 

Might stamp it out.  

 

These ain't fouls we're talking about.  It's out and out cheating.

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I hate their players.

I hate that ref.

I hate Simeone and his Tony Pulis shithousing.

I hate Spanish teams.

I hated the game so much.

 

Fuck them all and just batter the filthy tramps back at Anfield.

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28 minutes ago, sir roger said:

He hasn't been brilliant so far , but Minamino is surely nearest to a like for like Mane substitute ?

Thats arguably the most racist thing I've ever seen in my life. And I used to watch Raggy Dolls. 

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Good report, Dave. The most frustrating thing today is the three week wait for the second leg.

 

I'd like to see Minamino and Keita get some game time between now and then to see if they can offer something different on the night if required.

 

I also think the shithousery of Atletico has taken the attention away from the most effective tactics I've seen used against us this season. A couple of half chances aside, they didn't let us create anything despite gifting us possession. We had a few masterful, awful-for-the-neutral performances like that ourselves under Houllier and Benitez against superior opposition that I wouldn't ever wish to watch again.

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Agree with the whole report, but we knew they'd be exactly like this, especially after going a goal up.

It was clearly not working out wide for us last night, and we had so much of the hall that we were crying out for someone with a bit of guile in the middle who could manipulate the ball in tight spaces. Keita for either Fabinho (who was slowing the pace down) or Henderson would have made sense. Got the sense Jürgen was going safety first and didn't want to take any chances and potentially give them an opportunity for a counter when we still have the second leg at home to play

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34 minutes ago, etho said:

Agree with the whole report, but we knew they'd be exactly like this, especially after going a goal up.

It was clearly not working out wide for us last night, and we had so much of the hall that we were crying out for someone with a bit of guile in the middle who could manipulate the ball in tight spaces. Keita for either Fabinho (who was slowing the pace down) or Henderson would have made sense. Got the sense Jürgen was going safety first and didn't want to take any chances and potentially give them an opportunity for a counter when we still have the second leg at home to play

Cheers for doing the report so quickly Dave. I’m still seething. We’ve known what Atletico play like for a while now. Plus we had good experience against similar in Qatar against Monterey and Flamengo. It’s not their shithousery that bothers me (and I’m livid at those snide cunts) it’s that we didn’t step up. Our play was too ponderous, too predictable, too monotonous against the best in the business at this sort of backs to the wall play. They played to their strengths and probably played to their potential. We did not. I hope we rip them a new one, but a lot might depend on the ref. Ideally we put the game to bed before the ref gets swayed by their bullshit.

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Thanks dave. 

I bet we have the same scenario at anfield, same tactics. Need to get an early goal to open them up. Its going to be a tricky game and whatever chances we get have to be taken. 100% concentrated. 

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With the early freekick against Mo in the corner, the linesman was stood a few yards away and didn't give it. Whilst some of the other occasions the ref fell for blatant dives may have been excusable considering the extent of the theatrics, surely the ref should be going with the linesman in that instance.

 

Hopefully we get a stronger referee in the second leg. It's hard to imagine they'll get away with even a fraction of the theatrics at Anfield.

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I knew it'd be a horrible game last night and it'll be the same at Anfield because most European refs allow their sort of shithouse tactics. They're a better version of Napoli which is why I'm expecting a tight, tough game and we'll have to be near our best to progress. 

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9 minutes ago, mike23 said:

With the early freekick against Mo in the corner, the linesman was stood a few yards away and didn't give it. Whilst some of the other occasions the ref fell for blatant dives may have been excusable considering the extent of the theatrics, surely the ref should be going with the linesman in that instance.

 

Hopefully we get a stronger referee in the second leg. It's hard to imagine they'll get away with even a fraction of the theatrics at Anfield.

 

Yeah I noticed the lino didn't give it, but sometimes that doesn't mean anything as you often get them giving absolutely nothing, presumably because the ref doesn't want them to.

 

Unlike the ref, he actually had a perfect view of that though, so unless he's been told to not give fouls the ref should be looking to him to make that call for him, and if he gave nothing then clearly it wasn't a free kick.

 

That ref is just shite. Probably a bad homer, as he was exactly the same in Paris last year when we lost to PSG.

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The worry is they are happy to not have the ball and just park the bus. They are going to try and do a Chelsea 2014 against us.

The ref is going to have a big impact for the second leg cause if he falls for their shithousing the atmosphere will get angry and frustrated very quickly. 

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You can add that free kick he gave against Mo to your other 2 examples because the lino was right there and the ref was miles away.

 

He’s just a massive cunt, who's way over his depth.

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21 hours ago, Butch said:

 

Need to get an early goal to open them up.

What make you think they will change the way they play? Maybe at 2 0 with 15 minutes to play but, otherwise, I reckon they will stick to their game plan.

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1 hour ago, Barnesey said:

What make you think they will change the way they play? Maybe at 2 0 with 15 minutes to play but, otherwise, I reckon they will stick to their game plan.

Agreed. Why would they attack us until they have no choice? We might score. 

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