Atletico Madrid 1-0 Liverpool | The good, the bad & the ugly

Dark-arts-picture
Well that wasn't what the doctor ordered. Everything we expected from Atletico but at the end of the day we simply didn't play well enough. 73% possession and eight shots but not a single one on target. So for all of Atletico's anti-footballing ways, we have to look most closely at our own performance.

Individually, I'd rate all our players about a six, bar Alisson who can't be blamed for the goal or our poor performance. In fact he made a crucial save toward the end to keep us only one behind.

My novice view of the game tactics wise is that Atletico were happy to let us have the ball out wide and trust in their defence to deal with any crosses which they did very well. We didn't help ourselves on that front with T2A in particular not crossing to his normal high standards and Robbo didn't have much joy either. That left us to try and find more central routes to goal which we were unable to do. Again you have to credit Atletico's solidity - boring but effective.

There were more points of interest, some good, some bad, some downright ugly. In reverse order:

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The ugly

Simeone's tactics and the manor in which his team plays. An absolute yawn-fest filled with play acting, time wasting and all round unsporting, anti-footballing ways. It's effective but personally I'd never want to support a team with those traits.

The officials and the fact they're complicit in the above. Is it that they feel the pressure of the home fans, they're biased toward the home team or just lack any backbone whatsoever? Probably all three and the governing bodies should take a look at it because it's been evident for years. Mind you that would require the governing bodies to have some backbone and not be biased themselves.

The Bad

Our general sloppiness was not the best but being specific - when Mane was taken off to avoid a second yellow card, it once again highlighted our lack of quality cover for that left side position. Much debate has been centred around Origi in the past and people hold varying views on how good he is but I'd suggest it's a fact that we see a large drop in performance when he covers for Mane. That's not necessarily his fault, he's probably better used in the centre but it's a problem for us. Oxlade is also used to cover there and again it's not his best position and subsequently we see a drop in quality. Maybe this is an area we need to address this summer.

A further issue we might look to improve on before the start of next season is our creativity from central midfield which was lacking last night and with our wide attacks not bearing fruit that left us struggling to get past Atletico's buses. We still hope that Keita will help in this department.

Lastly in the bad section our normally terrific trio weren't, terrific, and in fact haven't really been for some time. Mane being consistently the best this season with Salah and Firmino good in patches. We really need them all to be on song together in games like last night's. Maybe we should bring in some Timo shaped competition to spur them all on.....

The Good

It's only one nil peoples and next up it's 'welcome to Anfield' time. Jurgen and our lads were clearly pumped up after last night's exceedingly rare defeat and chomping at the bit to right the wrong at Anfield. There they will have a whole stadium of Kopites roaring them on to do just that.

Back in Blighty the officials are also less easily bought much more professional and so Simeone and his players will not be able to get away with as many dark arts and what we'll be left with is a game of football, which we know we're far better at than them. They're goal last night was a total fluke and back at Anfield I can only see it ending one way, Liverpool 4-0 Atletico.

In the meantime our beautiful red train rolls on, next stop, West 'Ammmm

YNWA all

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