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Liverpool have become the third team to progress to the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League round of 16 after their victory over Atletico Madrid at Anfield.
They follow in the footsteps of Bayern Munich and Juventus, who also qualified for the knockout stages in this round but Liverpool are the only side to have first place wrapped up after four games in the group stage.
Their performance in front of their home fans was one that saw the game wrapped up by half time after they terrorised the Spanish side’s centre-halves.
Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané got on the end of balls put into the box by Trent Alexander-Arnold to score from close range.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised his right-back’s performance after nabbing two assists that led Liverpool to the last 16.
“He’s a good player obviously and he has a pretty impressive right foot and his awareness is outstanding,” he said to Liverpoolfc.com.
“When he’s on top of his game, he’s outstanding, that’s how it is. But how we set up the first goal with the triangle with Hendo, Mo on that side, in the end, Trent has all of the space and time in the world to put the cross in.
“Second goal, obviously Sadio with his incredible skill set, just physically so strong, technically so good, getting rid of the defender, passing the ball to Hendo, Hendo outside and then getting through the gap, so that’s good football.
“And in the end, Trent can cross as good as he wants, if there’s no receiver in the middle then they don’t look that good, so it’s a nice mix.”
Atletico Madrid centre-half Felipe was oblivious to Jota’s presence for the first goal and allowed Mané to get into a good position to tap home the second.
His night got worse when he was given his marching orders towards the end of the first half – a tactical foul on Mané was deemed to have been worthy of a red.
Jota and former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez both had the ball in the net in the second half but VAR ruled them out and the score remained 2-0.
“If Bobby Firmino wouldn’t have gone off with a hamstring injury that would have been much better.
“But from pretty much all other points of view, it was a good performance, it’s an incredible group stage so far.
“I wouldn’t have expected that obviously when I saw the draw – nobody would have expected that. Doing that is pretty special.
“But for tonight, job done but we all know there are two games to go and we will try everything to win them as well. That’s how it is.”