Liverpool (Gerrard pen. 90′ + 5) 1-1 Atletico Madrid (Rodriguez 37′)
Stadium: Anfield Stadium, England
Competition: UEFA Champions League, Group D
Date: 4 November 2008
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT, 14:45 ET
Liverpool pulled out a last-gasp equalizer on a controversial penalty to salvage a draw against Atletico Madrid! Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the live blog and feel free to leave comments below!
When these two teams met a fortnight ago, Liverpool seemed to have the match well in hand before Atletico Madrid scored a late equalizer to salvage the point at home. Now, these two teams will play at Anfield with qualification into the Knock-Out stage on the line.
After ending Chelsea’s 86 home-match unbeaten streak, Liverpool looked like they had finally silenced their critics and doubters and were poised to take control of the title chase in the Premiership. However, after a heartbreaking loss to Tottenham, Liverpool find themselves under scrutiny once again. Do they depend too much on Steven Gerrard? Do they miss Fernando Torres? Do they have problems on defense? Liverpool can do a lot to get back on track with a convincing win against a quality Atletico Madrid team.
The Mattresses are no strangers to drama. The draw against Liverpool may have saved Javier Aguirre’s job, and subsequent performances, particularly getting two late goals to force a draw with Villarreal, and a win at Mallorca, seem to indicate that things may be turning around. They’ll still have UEFA’s punishment to deal with (they’ll play their next home Champions League match in an empty stadium), but things definitely look brighter than they did a few weeks ago.
Who will prevail? Will Liverpool bounce back from their loss to Tottenham? Will Atletico Madrid continue their good form? We shall see…
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard (c), Riera, Kuyt, Keane.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Benayoun, Babel, Lucas, Ngog, Degen.
No Torres for Liverpool, which probably makes Atletico Madrid very happy. Only one change from the side that lost to Tottenham on Saturday. Dossena will make way for Aurelio at left-back. This seems to be Benitez’s favored formation without Torres in the lineup, so it should be interesting to see what happens when he’s fit again. Unlike his League form, Robbie Keane has been on fire in the Champions League, scoring in each of his last two matches.
Atletico Madrid: Franco, Lopez, Heitinga, Perea, Pernia, Rodriguez (c), Assuncao, Maniche, Simao, Forlan, R. Garcia.
Subs: Coupet, L. Garcia, Aguero, Pongolle, Banega, Ibanez, Nacho Camacho.
Unfortunately, the player with the best name in the world, Nacho Camacho, will not get the start today. Atletico Madrid will go with the same lineup that beat Mallorca, 2-0, this past weekend, except for one big change up front. Aguero will start out on the bench as Raul Garcia gets the start. Things really picked up for Atletico Madrid against Liverpool two weeks ago when they brought in Aguero in the second half, so that will undoubtedly be in the back of everyone’s mind. Two former Liverpool players, Pongolle and L. Garcia, will start out on the bench.
Thanks to everyone who followed along! Join me tomorrow when Manchester United pay a visit to Celtic! So long!
90′ + 6 Atletico Madrid lose their cool as Heitinga gets booked for dissent and Aguero gets booked for kicking the ball into the stands. Can’t really blame them. That shouldn’t have been a penalty. There’s the whistle and we’re done!
90′ + 5 GOAL! Gerrard steps up and catches Franco going the wrong way for the equalizer.
90′ + 3 Oh boy. Let the controversy begin. Gerrard and Pernia both go for the ball and Gerrard goes down in the box. He wins the penalty kick and Pernia gets booked! I don’t know about that one. It looked like they were both going for the ball and Pernia barely touched Gerrard.
90′ + 2 Gerrard whips a great cross from the right flank towards the far post where Kuyt gets a head on it, but knocks it out. Ngog was in front of goal and tried to volley it in with his hand. Looks like he saw Paul Scholes in the Supercup.
90′ + 1 Four minutes will be added on. Lucas heads it weakly on goal, and Franco takes it easily.
90′ Alonso tries to play Babel through, but his pass is long and out for a Atletico throw. Meanwhile, Simao will come off for former Liverpool man Luis Garcia, who gets a nice hand from the Kop.
88′ Pernia fouls Arbeloa, and Liverpool will have a free kick from about 35 yards away. Gerrard sends it into the box, but Ngog is called for a foul in the box.
87′ And another wasted opportunity for Liverpool.
86′ Gerrard feeds Carragher and he makes a nice move to elude the defender and unleashes a hard shot on goal that forces Franco to make a great reflex save. Another corner to Liverpool.
85′ Rodriguez gets fouled by Babel near the center line. Agger comes back on the pitch with his hand taped up.
84′ Agger is holding his hand and looks like he’s in pain. He should be holding his head, what with all those free headers he’s missed. Simao makes some trouble for Liverpool’s defenders, but they’re up to the task.
83′ Nice move from Ngog to keep it from going over the end line. He sends in a cross that is knocked away for another Liverpool corner. Agger has yet another shot on the corner, but his header goes just wide of the far post. How many chances has he missed now?
81′ Aurelio sends it to the far post for Gerrard, who tries to flick it back to Lucas, but it’s knocked away for a corner. Gerrard sends in the corner, but Atletico clear it away from danger.
80′ Babel draws the foul and Aurelio will take the free kick from about 35 yards out or so.
79′ Maxi Rodriguez wins a corner for Atletico, but nothing doing on the resultant corner. Liverpool go on the attack, and Ngog’s header goes over the crossbar.
78′ Gerrard gets it deep down the right flank, but Pernia does well to take it away. Great chance for Ngog as he gets a beautiful over-the-top pass. Ngog muffs his touch, and it goes through his legs to Heitinga, who sends it away.
77′ Corner is knocked away by Atletico. Liverpool will make another switch as Lucas will replace Mascherano.
76′ Gerrard tries to get around A. Lopez, but the Atletico right back does well to hold his ground. Perea then makes a mistake and gives it away to Ngog. Perea recovers, though, and forces the corner.
75′ Gerrard sends a touch pass through to Kuyt, but the shot hits the side netting.
73′ Marseille are on their way to winning their match, 3-0. So, if this result holds, then Atletico Madrid will qualify for the Knock-Out round. Aguero causes some excitement in midfield, but ultimately loses possession.
72′ Long pass to Ngog that causes some confusion in the back for Atletico. Franco takes it on a bounce and is able to handle it cleanly. Otherwise, that could have been interesting.
71′ Gerrard and Keane play a nice one-two and Gerrard nearly breaks through as he just misses the top left-hand corner. Forlan will come off for Aguero while Liverpool will put in Ngog for Keane.
70′ Forlan tries to play the one-two with Rodriguez, but they end up giving it away.
69′ Gerrard tries to pick out Kuyt with the through-ball. It’s a little too strong, though, and Kuyt runs out of real estate.
68′ Alonso sends in the free kick from the right wing towards the far post where Kuyt waits. It’s knocked out for a Liverpool corner. On the corner, Forlan heads it away from danger, but Liverpool stay on the attack.
67′ Booking for Maniche for what looked like a ticky-tack foul.
66′ Gerrard tries his luck from the edge of the box, but it’s well wide of the near post.
64′ Arbeloa sends in a cross, and Assuncao takes no chances and knocks it out for a corner. Atletico fail to clear it and Agger tries to volley it in. Franco makes a great save, though, to deny him. Poor defense from Atletico Madrid, who have been playing with fire these last few minutes.
63′ Gerrard tries one from long-range after Perea muffs his clearance. The skipper’s shot goes over the crossbar, though, and it will be a goal kick for Franco.
62′ Raul Garcia tries a long-range shot, but it’s well wide of the post.
61′ Babel comes in for Riera.
60′ Kuyt gets it deep down the right flank. Pernia knocks it out for a corner. Gerrard whips it in, but Franco punches it away. Simao leads the break and lays it off to Forlan, who makes the run down the left. Forlan takes a shot, but it’s deflected off Mascherano. Reina then handles it easily.
58′ Forlan sends a nifty-looking pass to Garcia, but it gets cut out by Carragher.
57′ The ball hits Pernia in the arm, and this time they call handball. It’s just outside the box, though. Aurelio whips it into the box and Agger gets a free release on the header. He beats Franco, but it’s just over the crossbar. Atletico were very fortunate there.
55′ Gerrard and Heitinga jockey for position on the ball, and it looks like it goes off Heitinga for a corner, but the refs award the goal kick to Atletico. Let the conspiracy theories begin!
54′ Long cross into the box from Arbeloa, but Heitinga knocks it away. Looking at the replay of the handball, and it’s clear that it should have been a penalty. Even Fernando Torres thought it was a handball from all the way in the stands, but he’s hardly an unbiased observer.
53′ We’re back and Liverpool are on the attack once again.
51′ While we’re waiting for ESPN to resume their coverage, I’d like to point out that Roma are now leading Chelsea, 2-0.
51′ Arbeloa swings in a corner towards Keane, and it looks like it catches Perea’s arm. Every single Liverpool player is raising his hand. Either they want a handball, or they’re auditioning for “The Full Monty.” Now, we’re experiencing technical difficulties on ESPN. Stay tuned…
50′ Atletico take the free kick short and Forlan gets it on the edge of the box. He turns and fires on goal, but it lacks power and Reina easily takes it.
49′ Corner is sent into the box, but Simao gets it and takes it on the counter attack. Garcia gets it and he collides with Gerrard and the Liverpool skipper is called for the foul.
48′ Alonso, who seems to be driving the offense today, sends in a pass to Keane, but it’s knocked away for a Liverpool throw.
47′ Alonso picks out Mascherano with a nice pass into the box. Mascherano’s shot is blocked by Perea. I think Mascherano’s a good player, but you know you’re in trouble if you’re counting on him to score.
46′ Liverpool kick off and we’re off! Aurelio sends in a long cross from the left flank, but Franco handles it.
46′ Chelsea are losing, 1-0, at halftime on a goal from former Chelsea man, Christian Panucci. Inter Milan are involved in a shootout with Anorthosis Famagusta, 2-2. Barcelona and FC Basel are scoreless at halftime, while Bordeaux are leading CFR Cluj, 2-1.
Not the best match so far as Atletico Madrid have really slowed down the pace and seemed willing to play for the draw before getting their goal. We can expect them to try and sit on the lead in the second half, which means Liverpool will really have to work to keep the pressure on. Liverpool had their chances and definitely broke down the Atletico defense a couple of times. They just need to finish their chances. Let’s see what they can do in the second half.
45′ + 1 Kuyt sends in a shot/cross towards the far post that Franco easily handles. There’s the whistle and we’re at halftime!
45′ One minute will be added on.
44′ Kuyt wins a free kick after Perea fouls him from about 30 yards out or so. Let’s see what Liverpool can do here. Gerrard tries to pick out Riera in the box, but Heitinga knocks it away.
42′ Liverpool have done a good job of generating pressure and playing it into the box, but they have looked a little bit off. There have been a lot of errant passes, missed shots, or miscommunication between players.
41′ I know Spaniards are known for bullfighting, but Carragher did a great impersonation of a matador there. Ole!
40′ Alonso tries to thread the ball through to Keane, but Keane wasn’t looking for it and Franco controls the loose ball.
37′ GOAL! Great play by Atletico down the right wing. Long ball to Lopez down the right flank, who picks out Maxi Rodriguez streaking into the box. He gets around Carragher like he isn’t even there and beats Reina! Wow! What a strike!
36′ Keane nearly gets through again as he gets another long pass. He takes a poor first touch, though, and Franco takes it.
33′ Gerrard splits the defense and seems to have a good chance, but Perea is there to block the shot. It’s out for a Liverpool throw-in. Riera sends in a dangerous cross into the box that bounces near Kuyt. It’s too high for him, otherwise, he would have had a great chance there. Liverpool back on the attack and Robbie Keane then has a chance as Arbeloa plays him through into the box. Franco, however, throws his body in front of Keane and is able to knock the ball away.
32′ Pernia fouls Arbeloa in the Atletico half of the field.
30′ Mascherano again as he tries to pick out Keane with a long pass. It’s long again, and Franco will kick it away again. Man, Mascherano has been busy. You’d think he was trying to impress Maradona or something.
29′ Mascherano tries to pick out Kuyt with a cross, but Kuyt just misses getting his head on it. It’s out for another Atletico goal kick.
28′ Corner is whipped into the box. Franco comes out and punches it away, but it goes right to Mascherano, who is sitting on the left edge of the box. He tries to curl a shot past Franco, but it’s just wide of the far post.
27′ Aurelio tries the long-range shot and it’s well off the mark, but it’s deflected out by Perea for a corner.
25′ Good interception by Mascherano ends the game of keep-away. Alonso sends a deep cross from the right edge of the box to Riera on the far post, but it’s long and out for a goal kick.
24′ Kuyt trips Pernia and is called for the foul. That’s the most action we’ve had in the last couple of minutes.
22′ Looks like I spoke too soon. Atletico Madrid have really slowed it down to a snail crawl. On the bright side, their passing stats will go through the roof!
19′ Atletico Madrid go on the counterattack as Pernia whips a cross from the left wing to the center of goal, and Simao has a good chance, but shanks his shot over the crossbar. Well, things have certainly picked up, haven’t they?
18′ Corner to Atletico Madrid as Mascherano deflects the cross out of bounds. Corner is cleared away by Liverpool and they go on the quick attack. Alonso nearly gets loose in the box, but he can’t get enough force behind the shot. Kuyt goes for the loose ball and it looks like it might have caught Assuncao’s arm, but no call from the refs.
17′ Gerrard gets cute and tries to back-heel a pass to Alonso. Alonso isn’t able to catch up to it, though. What was Juventus saying about Alonso being too slow for them?
15′ Keane gets a golden opportunity as Alonso sends a long pass to Keane into the box that catches the Atletico Madrid defense napping. Keane’s shot goes just wide of the post and hits the side of the net. A lot of fans thought that was in, but no dice. Liverpool come back and Kuyt tries his luck from long-range, but Franco handles Kuyt’s curving shot.
13′ Gerrard whips in the corner and Franco gets a hand on it. He doesn’t handle it cleanly, but Atletico are able to clear it away from danger.
12′ Agger wins a free kick from about 40 yards out after R. Garcia fouls him. Gerrard takes it quickly and sends it to Arbeloa on the right. He crosses it in, and R. Lopez concedes the corner even though there was no one around him. Let’s see if it bites him in the butt.
9′ Liverpool work the ball around and Gerrard tries to spring Arbeloa down the right flank, but Pernia gets to it first. He tries to kick if away, and it goes off Arbeloa and over the end-line. Oh well. That works, too.
7′ Kind of a slow start so far. Both teams are being careful not to expose their back four, so there have been a lot of long over-the-top passes so far.
4′ Simao tries to find Forlan in the box, but he lays it off to Pernia. His cross from deep down the left flank goes out past the touchline for an Atletico throw.
3′ Agger gets in deep down the right flank and tries to send a cross towards the far post, but it’s long and out for a goal kick.
2′ Gerrard whips it in and Keane, Agger, and Kuyt have chances as it bounces dangerously in front of goal, but Franco gathers it. Forlan gets his first touch of the game, and he is roundly booed by the Liverpool faithful.
1′ Atletico will kick off and we’re underway! Early corner for Liverpool.
0′ And, of course, we get to listen to the UEFA Champions League anthem! Ich bin ein Berliner! Habla espanol! Fere Jacques! The Champions! I think that’s how it goes.
0′ Well, we know Diego Forlan has fond memories of Anfield. Let’s see if he can add to his account today.
0′ On an unrelated topic, I know Arsene Wenger is trying to protect his players, but what good does it do to blame all of his problems on his injured stars and then accuse other players of deliberately hurting them? All it does is give a young team that already has problems focusing and playing consistent football a built-in excuse in case they come up short. Wenger needs to look in the mirror. Who gave Gallas the armband and kept it on him even after last year’s debacle? Who decided to stick with a goalkeeper that, at best, is above average? Who stubbornly refuses to spend money even though his club is one of the most profitable in the world? Who spent an entire season ostracizing Gilberto Silva in favor of Matthieu Flamini, only to let Flamini go over a few million? Wenger needs to grow up and take some responsibility for once.
0′ Looks like there won’t be any weather issues in Liverpool today. How weird does that sound?
0′ Today’s match features unbeaten Liverpool and unbeaten Atletico Madrid. The two squads battled to a 1-1 draw two weeks ago. Let’s see what happens today.
0′ Hello everyone and welcome to Soccerlens’ coverage of the UEFA Champions League! I’m Victor and I’ll be your liveblogger.
Well, I don’t think Liverpool deserved that penalty, but in the end, a draw is probably the appropriate result. Plus, Liverpool should have had a penalty for the handball in the box by Heitinga early in the second half, so I guess it evens out. Liverpool dominated possession and generated far more chances, especially in the second half when Atletico seemed content to sit on their lead. Liverpool didn’t look particularly sharp and may still be hungover from the Tottenham match. No matter, though, as both squads are still in good shape and will have winnable matches against PSV and Marseille on the horizon. Clearly, these two squads are the class of their group, and should both go through to the next round.
Man of the Match:
Once again, Alonso turns in a fine display for the manager who seemed desperate to get rid of him and bring in Gareth Barry. With most of the defense keying in on Gerrard, Alonso got free rein to operate in midfield and generated numerous chances for his teammates. For Atletico Madrid, their defense really stood tall, especially Perea and Heitinga in the middle, and, to a lesser extent, Lopez and Pernia on the edges. If it weren’t for a dubious penalty, then they would have had the clean sheet.