Llorente brace dumps holders Liverpool out of Champions League!

Atletico Madrid came from a goal down to knock holders Liverpool out of the Champions League in extra-time with a resounding 3-2 success in the second leg of their last 16 round clash at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Read: Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid – team news, match facts and probable lineups

Jurgen Klopp made one change to his side that beat Bournemouth at the weekend, welcoming back his captain Jordan Henderson into the squad.

Liverpool and Atletico Madrid in their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie.
(Image: SuperSport)

The start saw the visitors have one goal in mind, to score as early as possible and get an away goal. And Atletico almost got off to an electrifying start in 15 seconds with former Chelsea striker Diego Costa spotting a gap to exploit the Liverpool defence but got put off by their excellent recovery, with his shot going wide of goal.

In the 10th minute, Liverpool went close to grabbing an eqalizer as Sadio Mane connects well with the ball before feeding Mohamed Salah out on the right. The Egyptian attacker cut in from the right but his shot was too tame to trouble Oblak in the Atletico posts as it sailed over bar.

The Reds continued to pile pressure and were once again unlucky not to have grabbed the opener as Roberto Firmino fired from close range but once again Oblak responded with another save, parrying the ball away.

Two minutes before the interval, Klopp’s troops opened the scoring through a beautifully headed-down goal by Georgio Wijnaldum after getting onto the end of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross from the right and level the tie on aggregate.

Liverpool started the second period like they finished the first, well on top, and were almost 2-0 to the good with Salah’s effort easily saved by Oblak once again.

After being dominated on all fronts in the match on the night, Atletico’s huge chance came in the 61st minute with Joao Felix unleashing a low shot which was parried away by Adrian, before crucially making another save from the rebound to keep the Reds in the game.

The home side thought it was game set and match when in the 64th minute Andy Robertson benefitted from a loose ball by Salah but agonisingly missed the target after being put off by Kieran Trippier with the Liverpool full-back nodding it against the crossbar.

Ninety minutes failed to divide the sides, as they headed into extra-time.

It didn’t take long for the home side to make it 2-0, with Firmino reacting quickly after his inital header from Wijnaldum’s cross came off the post, before volleying home the rebound in the 94th minute.

Their celebration was however shortlived, just three minutes later with Atletico getting an away goal after Adrian gifted Diego Simeone’s side an easy goal after his poor clearance allowed Atletico to attack, with Marcos Llorente slotting home into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 on the night, and 2-2 on aggregate.

With the end of the first half in extra-time looming, Anfield were left stunned with Llorente bagging his second of the night to make it 2-2 after finding space on the edge of the box before firing a low shot home into the bottom corner, and put the holders on the brink of Champions League exit.

With the last kick of the game, former Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata put the last nail in the coffin by breaking through the Reds defence before slotting past Adrian to make it 3-2, as Simeone’s troops progressed to the quarter-finals.

Starting XI:

Liverpool: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Subs: Lonergan, Fabinho, Milner, Minamino, Lallana, Origi, Matip.

Atletico: Oblak, Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Lodi, Koke, Partey, Saul, Correa, Felix, Costa.

Subs: Adan, Gimenez, Vrsaljko, Llorente, Lemar, Carrasco, Morata.