Atletico 1-0 Liverpool: Reds bid to defend their Champions League title in the balance as Saul earns lead

Liverpool’s bid to defend their Champions League title suffered a setback on Tuesday night as they were beaten 1-0 by Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

An early strike from Saul Niguez gave Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win over holders Liverpool in Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg at Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico had won just one of their last seven matches ahead of this tie, but they took the game to Liverpool from the off and opened the scoring through Saul’s fourth-minute strike.

Returning to the scene of their magical sixth European Cup triumph in June, the visitors dominated possession but failed to register a single attempt on target in response.

Just a third defeat in all competitions this season leaves Jurgen Klopp’s men with it all to do in the return fixture at Anfield on March 11.

GOAL! Atletico 1-0 Liverpool (Saul )

GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! SAUL PUTS ATLETICO AHEAD!!! 1-0!!! The home side take the lead in the tie as Saul converts from close range. Koke puts his delivery on the spot from the corner on the right flank. It strikes Firmino on the boot and travels towards the near post. Saul reacts to the loose ball and stabs his effort past Alisson from six yards out to put his side in front.

Robertson makes an important clearance

Lodi sends a perfect cross into the box from the left flank for the home side. Morata is there at the back post, but Robertson on the stretch just does enough to guide it out for a corner.

Salah goal disallowed for Firmino’s offside position

OFFSIDE! Liverpool have the ball in the net, but Firmino miles offside as he tees up Salah. Oblak makes a huge mistake, sending his clearance straight to Salah. However, the winger takes a heavy first touch that travels towards Firmino. The Brazilian has no alternative to pass to his team-mate with Oblak closing. Salah finishes with a low strike into the net, but the flag goes up for offside.

CLOSE! Salah’s shot blocked

BLOCK! Felipe produces a vital block to deny Salah. Firmino twists and turns his way past two defenders in the box open up the Atletico rear guard. He stabs the ball towards Salah in the middle, who fires at goal first time. His effort looks goalbound, but Felipe puts his body on the line to divert it over the bar.

Sub! Origi replaces Mane

Mane is a surprise withdrawal at the break for the visitors as he replaced by Origi, who scored the decisive second goal for the Reds in their Champions League final win over Tottenham on this ground last season.

CLOSE! Lodi’s long shot wide out

CHANCE! Lodi lines up a strike to nothing from 30 yards and he connects sweetly with his strike. Alisson scrambles over to his left with a dive and he watches as the ball travels wide of the post.

CLOSE! Henderson’s shot inches wide

WIDE! Origi digs out a cross from the right inside channel in a crowded penalty area. Henderson guides a strike towards goal on the volley, but the ball drifts just wide of the post.

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