Liverpool and Atletico serve up Champions League classic

Liverpool's top scorer in Champions League is Mohamed Salah
It began with fireworks, and ended without a handshake.

Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid manager, decided to walk down the tunnel and not shake Jurgen Klopp's hand. It was certainly not the most graceful way to end Wednesday's Champions League match.

Peter Crouch, a former Liverpool striker, said Simeone had "let him down", while Joleon Lescott, ex-defender for Manchester City, called it "cowardly".

Both managers quickly dismissed the lack of the post-match gesture of respect.

Klopp called it "nothing", and BT Sport added: "His reaction to Atletico's knockout of Liverpool at Anfield in 2020 was not too good. He was clearly angry with me, but also the game and the world.

Simeone concurred. Simeone said, "I don’t usually greet after the game." It is something I don't like and it is unhealthy because there will always someone who doesn't like the game. They have a different culture than I do.

Both stated that they would meet up at Anfield's return leg in two weeks.

After a series of crucial saves, Alisson was named man-of-the-match

"How we win it, that's all I care about"

Both would not want to downplay the intensity, quality and brilliance that the Wanda Metropolitano game was. It has been home to Liverpool's win in the Champions League in 2019, losing 1-0 seven months later. This game contributed to their end of title defense and is now a classic.

It went one way - Liverpool took a two goal lead through Mohamed Salah & Naby Keita after 13 minutes. Then it was back to square one with Antoine Griezmann scoring twice to restore parity before the break.

Atletico had 38 minutes to keep hold of 10 men after the France forward threw a dangerous boot on Roberto Firmino, which was probably accidental and not intended.

The story ended with two penalties. Salah scored his second goal after a foul on Diogo Jota. This was before Jose Maria Gimenez, the Portugal forward, was originally penalised for leaning towards Salah in the box at one end.

After a VAR-inspiring pitchside check by the referee, Atletico's lifeline was removed and the Reds were able to win three consecutive Group B wins.

Klopp said, "A difficult game, which was what we expected." "We did surprising well at the start. Were we expecting it to be so offensive? It is unlikely. It wasn't so easy. It was not easy. We scored two amazing goals and then played some good football.

"It was 2-0, then clearly Atletico don't care about possession. We gave away the first goal and then the second. It was nice play, but it wasn't right because of the gaps.

"At half-time, I think everyone in that stadium thought it was going one direction and we decided to give it another chance."

"We played a solid second half in a difficult game with intense football from both sides.

"The most important points are the ones that are least understood, and tonight they were." Although it wasn't the best football we played, it was an important step.

Klopp said that the two penalties and red card were not a penalty, but that he believed the penalty was a clear one. Although the penalty for Atletico was not a penalty, I was surprised that they returned it.

"The red card – it's unlucky, but I believe it's a card." The foot is in your face."

Griezmann was the first player to score multiple goals in Champions League matches and be dismissed.

"Liverpool keeps finding a way"

Mark Lawrenson, a former Reds defender, was acting as a summariser on BBC Radio 5 Live. He was clearly impressed by the game and the resilience of his old side.

"Where do I begin with this?" He said. He said, "First and foremost Liverpool have won, that's what is most important."

"They played well for the first 20 minutes, but then they were poor and ended up at 2-2. It was a great game. We have seen all that can happen in a football match.

"Liverpool had some problems but they won.

It's huge. Klopp will need to extract the best and worst bits before Manchester United on Sunday.

"But Liverpool continue to find a way. They have nine points from three matches, so they might only need to draw at Atletico [to move on].