Liverpool 2-0 Atletico Madrid: Jota and Mane seal Champions League last-16 spot against ten-man Atleti

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 (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
(Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool booked their place in the Champions League last-16 as Group B winners after a 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.

Wednesday’s game came shortly after a draw between Porto and AC Milan in Italy, a result which helped both sides and emphasised the Reds’ focus on a potentially perfect passage through the opening round.

Diogo Jota hit his first goal against his former employers courtesy of a perfect cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold, racing in behind to nod past Jan Oblak.

After 21 minutes, it was two with Alexander-Arnold once again grabbing the assist. This time, a low cross-shot fired into the goalmouth was nudged home by Sadio Mane, whose fantastic strength had forged the chance’s creation moments earlier.

Atletico had managed to come from two behind in the reverse fixture last month yet there was little threat of that on this occasion, particularly after Felipe’s dismissal.

The defender cynically sent Mane tumbling as the Senegalese forward broke and steadfastly refused to walk back to Danny Makkelie to collect the seemingly inevitable booking. Frustrated by Felipe’s attitude, or planning to dismiss him anyway for landing his studs on Mane’s heel, the referee produced the red.

Liverpool had multiple chances to end the contest but Jota, Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip all failed to make hay from great positions.

It appeared that the Reds may be punished for their profligacy, too. After Jota had a goal ruled out via a tight offside VAR review, Luis Suarez’s deflected volley nestled in the net - but was also chalked off after a replay.

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